The Best Resources For Learning About Teacher Home Visits

I’m a big proponent of teachers making home visits, and I wrote a chapter about it in my book on parent engagement. I work closely with the Parent-Teacher Home Visit Project, which happens to be based in Sacramento.

I thought it might be useful if I brought together some of the related resources I’ve posted about over the past year.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Learning About Teacher Home Visits:

Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project is the title of an interview I did with Carrie Rose, the director of the Project.

Home Visits and Hope for the Future is a short article Carrie and I co-authored for ASCD.

Teacher Home Visits Are Important, But The Post’s Jay Mathews Misses The Point is a post I wrote.

I wrote about home visits for Teacher Magazine (free registration is required to access the entire article).

Starting At Home is a blog post written by Claus von Zastrow at the Public School Insights blog. It’s a commentary on my article in Teacher Magazine about teachers making home visits.

“Teachers increasingly use home visits to connect with students’ families” is a lengthy article that appeared in The Washington Post.

Before the First School Bell, Teachers in Bronx Make House Calls is a lengthy New York Times article — with an accompanying slideshow — about a school making summer home visits.

“Teachers make summer house calls” is the headline of an article in an Omaha newspaper.

Teachers, families making connections at kids’ homes is the headline of an article in the Denver Post. It tells about a home visiting program being done by parents with assistance from the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project.

The movie “Dangerous Minds” is engaging, but it’s one in a long line of nauseatingly paternalistic hero teacher films out there. However, it does have a great two minute clip of a teacher home visit that shows the importance of telling parents positive news about their children. It’s embedded below (unfortunately, it has been removed from YouTube by Disney):

There’s No Place Like Home…Visits is the title of an article in the National Education Association’s “NEA ” publication.

St. Paul teachers visit students’ homes in search of common ground is the headline of a good article in a Twin Cities newspaper.

More Districts Sending Teachers Into Students’ Homes is the title of a lengthy article in Education Week giving a national overview of parent teacher home visits.

Jason Renshaw found video, and I think it does a good job explaining the benefits that Hobbit teachers (and human ones) can gain from making home visits:

The Parent Teacher Home Visit Project was recently invited to Flint, Michigan to talk about their work. The local television station produced short news clip:

 

Making New Promises in Indian Country is an article from The Atlantic about teachers making home visits on a reservation.

Home Visits Yield Hope and Cooperation is from the NEA Priority Schools Campaign, and is a very good story on teachers making home visits with help from the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project.

Teachers To Visit Homes Of 7,000 Students — In One Day!

Teacher’s Union Convention Considers Support For Making Home Visits

Here’s a video Mai Xi Lee, one of our school’s Vice-Principals, made about our school’s home visiting project and Parent University. For what it’s worth, that’s me speaking after the text introduction….

D.C. Public Schools Reinvent The Home Visit is an article — with audio — from a radio station on a school’s program to make home visits to families.Here is how it begins:

In the past, interaction with parents was almost always one-way: teachers telling parents what they should know. Often the meeting was about bake sales, report cards or discipline.

Kristin Ehrgood is the founder of the Flamboyan Foundation, which is working with teachers in 20 D.C. schools. She says she envisioned a two-way exchange where teachers learn from parents. “What are your hopes and dreams for your child? What do I need to do so I can be a great teacher for your child? That in and of itself changes the dynamic radically.”

A few years ago, The Parent Teacher Home Visit Project made a great video explaining what it does. I recently discovered that they had put it on the web, and have embedded it below. For what it’s worth, two-thirds of the way through I’m show teaching one of my classes while our vice-principal tells about the home visits I made:

St. Paul teachers build parent engagement, trust through home visits is a great local newspaper article about teachers making home visits to parents.

Here’s an excerpt:

Since the project’s beginning with just eight trained teachers, to now with more than 250, the St. Paul Federation of Teachers has been instrumental in ensuring the program’s run. Though in addition to their assistance, trainers still go over guidelines and “nonnegotiables” with interested staff. Teacher-home visits are voluntary. If a teacher does decide to participate in the program, they must go with another teacher to both ensure safety and to be a second point of contact for families. Teachers are also required to attend training and after the visit, their experience. And again, they must be compensated for work done outside of the classroom.

year Faber says he’s encouraged teachers to recognize the importance of diversity. He says parents and the neighborhood take note when visits seem targeted at one type of family, or student.

“Then it starts to become not about building relationships, rather the community gets the notion that is about fixing them,” Faber said.

Making College Readiness Home Visits

Home visits help Sacramento families see college path is an extensive article in the Sacramento Bee that features the staff and families at our school.

District officials turn to home visits to boost schools is a lengthy article in The Washington Post about teachers making home visits.

Here’s an excerpt:

Hundreds of D.C. teachers will spend weekends and evenings fall visiting students and their parents at home, hoping to lift academic achievement by creating stronger partnerships between families and the schools. The push to visit students on their own turf is a shift for the District’s school system, which often has been accused of alienating the families it serves. Now, the aim is to help teachers and parents become allies instead of adversaries in the day-to-day work of educating the city’s children.

One of the few good things that have come out of year’s NBC Education Nation is a short segment on the work of the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project.

Here’s the video (you can find the transcript here):

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Home Visits for Relationships, Relevance, and Results is a thoughtful article in ASCD Educational Leadership. It’s by Julia Zigarelli , Rebecca Nilsen , Trise Moore , and Margery Ginsberg.

Teachers find home visits help in the classroom is a good article from the Associated Press.

Here’s an excerpt:

“We’ve figured out a way for people to sit down outside the regular school and have the most important conversation that needs to happen,” said Carrie Rose, executive director of the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project in the California capital.

The K-12 program began in 1999 as a faith-based community effort but quickly found support not only in the Sacramento school district but also with local teachers unions. The National Education Association has also endorsed teacher home visits, citing a “critical mass of research evidence” connecting high student achievement with involved parents.

No longer do parents only hear from teachers when there’s a problem, or during brief school conferences that leave little time to go beyond the surface.

Students won’t learn? Go visit their parents. is the terrible headline of a decent article in The Washington Post about teachers visiting families.

As the article points out, the purpose of the visits is to build positive relationships with families, not to punish students.

Teachers make house calls to improve performance is a nice article in Cabinet Report that give an overview of making home visits (plus, it describes what’s happening at our school!).

These Teachers Visit Every Student Before School Starts is a nice Ed Week article, including a number of links, about an annual home-visiting program by teachers in Kentucky.

You can read more about it here.

Meet 
the Family is a good article form Teaching Tolerance about teachers making home visits.

Here’s an excerpt:

The social, emotional and academic benefits of home visits are well documented and widely acknowledged. But although the number of teachers doing home visits across the country is steadily growing, the consistency with which these visits are conducted varies greatly, a fact that limits the scope of their impact. More administrators, however, are taking note of the importance of home visits and grappling with the scalability challenge: How can a school or district launch and maintain a successful home-visit program that benefits all students?

All in the Family: How Teacher Home Visits Can Lead to School Transformation is an excellent article in NEA Today.

Here’s an excerpt:

This isn’t “parent involvement,” in the form of Valentine’s Day parties, or “parent communication,” in the form of one-way emails. Rather, this is about identifying parents and teachers as “co-educators,” who share respective knowledge about that student. It’s about helping teachers become culturally aware and parents seriously involved in their child’s education.

Feedback is welcome.

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You might also want to explore the 780 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

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