Dear generous donor,
In our report this quarter I would like to share with you a short story that I was privileged to read on how your donation has impacted students, teachers and families all across America.
I have been teaching now for 13 years and in my 13 years I must say that home visits are the number one way to make connections with our students and families. It empowers everyone to work together, as a team. I also believe that it improves the student’s academic and behavioral performances in the classroom. This year has been a fabulous year for home visits, as I was able to meet up with at least 10 of my students before school started, and I have continued to meet with families throughout the school year. (Next school year, my goal is to meet ALL my students before the school year starts.) Home visits have been a great avenue to get to know your students beyond the classroom. This year I have one student whose home visit stands out in my mind. During conference time, I was unable to meet up with this particular family. I really wanted to meet up with his parents because his behavioral issues inside and outside of the classroom were increasing. Plus, in my opinion he wasn’t working up to his full potential academically. With the help of my school's parent advocate, we were able to get a time set up for the home visit. I had received a lot of previous information about the parents. I had heard rumors that the dad always believed his son never did anything wrong. When the boy was in 2nd grade the father was very threatening to his teacher. I was a little concerned about going over to their house, but I knew I needed to go. (I really should have gone before school started!) When we entered the house, the parent advocate broke the ice and dad seemed to be happy. We all sat down and I began commenting on all the good things I have witnessed about their son. Parents were really receptive to this. We were also able to ask the parent what they wanted and expected from their son (hope and dreams). With their information that they shared, I was able to start talking about the dreaded behavior issues I was having in the classroom. While the meeting was still positive, the child grew a little uncomfortable as the parents started questioning him on what was happening in the classroom. At this point the child realized that we (the parents, and school educators) were on same team and he had to join, by changing his behavior. He did this and has also started working up to his potential and made an increase of I believe 20% on ELA bench mark test. From that point on the parents have been more involved and checking in with me to see how their son is doing. When there is a behavior issue, it is much easier for me to call home because after that home visit I knew we were on the same team together. While the student still struggles with behavior and academics, he is improving. Home visits build a team that work together for the betterment of the students. In fact, we have one teacher who just recently had a line of parents trying to set up a time for her to come to their homes. I can’t stress enough how much it helps the communication for our school.
This story is just one example of how your donation to the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project has helped teachers to get trained and to continue to conduct home visits. Without your donation this work would not be possible in one state let alone 14 states. Please don't forget about us in the future; together we can make a positive impact for all students!