Allan V. Santiago
Fair or unfair, reality is that an educator’s responsibility does not end in the classroom. It is no
secret that being an educator entails more than just teaching curriculum in your content area and
grading papers. With more students entering schools dealing with issues such as homelessness
and hunger, as well as emotional and physical trauma, educators are expected to address those
social and emotional issues while carrying out their primary duties as academic facilitators.
Educators cannot possibly complete all their duties and responsibilities in the classroom given that face time with students is limited. Learning is often extended beyond the classroom and beyond the bell. In order to promote deeper levels of understanding as well as strengthen the home-school partnership, educators try to reach their students beyond the classroom. One method educators undertake is home visit.
While home visit may be an outdated strategy to engage families in the education of children, it is very effective as it brings parents and teachers together for a meaningful conversation outside the classroom. For example, during the visit each teacher and family member shares hopes and dreams, expectations, experiences, and tools concerning the child’s academic success. Once trust is built a partnership is formed and then they are empowered to make the necessary changes for a student to succeed.
As a public school teacher who conducts home visits as part of the school’s effort to make each learner feel important, I can say that teachers always benefit from learning more about their students’ interests and experiences and about parent’s goals for their children. All parents appreciate a teacher meeting them on their turf and taking the time to listen to their questions, concerns, hopes and dreams. I love doing home visits because they show families how much I care about their kids and remind me that every family wants the best for their child.