The thought of student home visits may at first seem intimidating, but the impact can be powerful. Taking the time and making the effort to sit down with the family in their home sends powerful messages:
I care enough about your child that I will do whatever it takes to support his or her success.
I value you and your support so much that I will come to you rather than expect you to come to me.
Student home visits can be dramatically positive. Frequently, distrustful family members suddenly become major backers of your efforts with their children. In addition, students are often awestruck by your demonstrating such a commitment to their education. As a result, their behavior, commitment, and investment in your class improve immensely.
A few guidelines to follow for home visits:
Get the family’s permission.
Never simply drop in on a family member at home. Always schedule the visit and make sure you are welcome. Also check with your administrator to make sure that such a visit is okay.
Keep your safety a top priority
You may work in an area where the neighborhoods are not safe for you to go by yourself. Consider having another staff member go with you, or meeting the family members at a public location near their home, like a restaurant or library.
Plan What You Will Say to Family Members
No matter what the issue, it is always a good idea to take a moment to think about and write down what you are going to say. This will maximize the probability that you will have a productive interaction with family members.
- Start off with discussing the purpose of your visit and stating your care for their child.
- Ask the family if there’s anything that they want you to know about their child: likes, dislikes, what he/she may need support with, what he/she excels at, etc. Ask the student to contribute to this discussion as well!
- Get input from the family and emphasize the importance of the family’s role in their child’s education.
- Emphasize that you want to work together with the family to ensure their child’s success.
- End the home visit on a positive note!
The above information is just a glimpse of the information and resources for educators in our self-paced No-Nonsense Nurturer® online course. Learn more and sign up here.
Bonus: Spend time reflecting on building relationships with your students’ families by accessing this free printable from “Every Student, Every Day: A No-Nonsense Nurturer Approach to Reaching All Learners” available now through Amazon and Solution Tree. Order your copy here.
Click here to read more tips for building relationships with families from a current turnaround principal.