Teacher home visits cancelled

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A YEAR ago the Tri-Color Times reported about teacher home visits. It was following an initiative, the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project, that has been active for more than 15 years. It has taken hold in a dozen states and school districts. In finding out about this new approach for teachers understanding students better it had mixed views.

When the article was published, students were against the idea of teachers coming to their houses. However, there was some students who were OK with it.

“To be honest, it would feel different but it’s for a good cause. It would feel a little awkward and strange, since it isn’t normal, and it doesn’t happen as much. But I would lean toward a good side,” Giovanna Aguilar (17’).

While others were not. “Teachers visiting is weird. I think we have parent teacher conferences for a reason,” said Angela Montejo (12)

Now a year later the home visits idea seems to have stalled, but Mr. Beck is still optimistic.

“The program has a lot of potential, the few visits that took place last year were positive results. The family’s appreciated it and the teachers enjoyed it,” Mr. Beck, an assistant principal, said.

Yet, the program has hit a major obstacle. Unlike in the lower school system, such as junior high and elementary, High school teachers have after school engagements. Some coach teams, dance, cheer, or advise clubs.

In not continuing the program, it disappoints some administrators like Mr. Beck. “Yeah, I’m disappointed but it’s not from the lack of trying,” Mr. Beck said, “At the end of the day, teachers have a lot of things going on at a high school level. Teachers usually have after-school engagements like sports clubs and other extra-curriculars. That’s what we ran into.”

In a manner of strengthening the bridge of communication, some students are happy with the program failing. For instance, “I think that beats the purpose of assemblies. It’s like we have assemblies for reason or lectures in class. Connect to the student in the classroom not at home where they feel safe. If teachers want to connect, they can do it with clubs,” Thai Thammavongsa (12).

Although it seems that some of the students are against it, Mr. Beck saw the reaction of students as humorous. “The feedback  was probably more on the humorous side. I would hear, ‘I don’t wanna teacher coming to my house’ or ‘when are you coming to my house?’ ”

Despite these negative reactions, the administration isn’t deterred in trying to implement home visits in the next school year 2018-19. “We are open to it. If we did it in the month of August before school started, they’d visit freshmen or seniors to motivate them before the school year starts,” said Mr. Beck.

Although the naysayers seem to be against the teacher visits, they do bring up a decent option. “It’s kinda weird like why would they want a teacher at your house? Maybe if it was scheduled beforehand it would work out,” said Thammavongsa.

“Maybe if parents actually want to make appointments. Especially if parents want to meet with teachers they can do that,” said Montejo.

Doing so could most likely ease the teachers burden of visiting random students out of a population of about 3,300.