Kindergarten Visits

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Bridiecakes, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Bridiecakes

    Bridiecakes Companion

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    Jul 21, 2008

    I was doing some searching of kindergarten information and came across a website where a teacher mentioned in her welcome letter that she visits each child at home before the first day of school and before orientation. I had mixed feelings about this. Would you want to visit each of your students' homes? I feel like it would take a lot of time. Just wondering if anyone else out there does this.
     
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  3. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Jul 21, 2008

    We used to do home visits at my school for new kids before they started. It WAS a lot of time and I just didn't have it in me. Fortunately our director changed the policy and we don't do them now. But, we do have a day where children come in and visit with the teacher 1:1 in the classroom in the spring so they know what to expect in the fall.

    There's a lot of benefit to doing home visits, but if you have a family and they expect them to get done on your own time, it's a lot lot lot lot lot lot of work.
     
  4. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    Jul 21, 2008

    I don't do home visits in kindergarten, but our PreK teachers are required to do them (PreK is funded by a grant and the grant requires the visits). They actually do 3 home visits a year - beginning, middle and end of year. Our distirct is low income and they say that it is very useful to actually see where some of these kids are coming from. Very eye opening!! They never go on the visits alone. They take their aide with them. Sometimes the guidance counselor or even the principal will go with them if they think it will be a tough situation.
     
  5. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jul 21, 2008

    We've had to do them in the past, as well. I also teach PreK. However, the neighborhood where my school is drawing kids from has broken down to the point where the powers-that-be have decided that it's not safe for us to go into the community. Now we can't. We do 1:1 in school visist, just like one other poster mentioned.
    Kim
     
  6. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Home Visits

    I used to work for Head Start and we were required to conduct "home visits". I also have very mixed feelings about them. On the one hand they are very powerful for making a connection with the student and the family. Ron Clark conducts home visits on his middle school students (The Essential 55 book and The Ron Clark Story movie).

    However, having conducted them myself I can't help but feel that they can be very dangerous. I conducted home visits in some of the most dangerous areas of the city (Boston area) and I can honestly say I feared for my own safety and the safety of the children I visited. I became so stressed out and depressed by those visits I eventually had to leave that job. This was before cell phones and I had to be escorted by police into some neighborhoods, sometimes I had to be in the homes of known felons or wanted fugitives! I was trained to identify drug paraphanalia and mandated to report it if I saw it or suspected it- which was almost every single time! The additional stress the home visits caused me were not worth it. If you do decide to do them and you work in a low SES area I would definitely read Ruby Payne's Understanding the Framework of Poverty before you go.
     
  7. princessa48

    princessa48 Companion

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    Jul 22, 2008

    I would feel very odd making home visits...I'd almost feel as if the parents would think I'm spying on them. Some of my children do come from low income, crime ridden neighborhoods. I know that I really would not feel comfortable going to these places. It breaks my heart to think of what some of my students live with...I don't want to see it first hand. I don't think I'd be able to sleep at night. I have only ever gone to one students home. The family had thrown a huge Halloween party for the entire class. Since we aren't allowed to celebrate Halloween in school, I was floored to get to see my kiddos in costume.
     
  8. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    Jul 23, 2008

    We had to do home visits at one time - now it's optional. I felt welcome in some homes and unwelcome and very uncomfortable in others. I would have to say more of the latter. Overall, I didn't like doing them and choose not to do them now. It does take a lot of time, and I would second the advice to never go alone. One teacher out of 16 pre-k classes in our district still does them.
    We have a parent/child orientation at school a few days before school begins and I like this much better.
     
  9. ashleylaurenstl

    ashleylaurenstl Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2008

    At my school home visits are optional. Typically I do home visit for the students whose families do not have the ability to get to school. Most of these families live in an area that is unfortunately dangerous. I still choose to do the home visit with my co-teacher because I couldn't image being a parent and never seeing my child's teacher. For these particular parents going this extra step means a lot.
     
  10. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jul 23, 2008

    I also was a Head Start teacher for 8 years and did home visits twice a year as required. We have an opportunity to do them if we wish but I opted out. I send a postcard to each child before school saying that I can't wait to meet them. Then we also have a meet and greet day before school starts where the students and parents can come visit the classroom and their teacher. Then the first day of school isn't so scary! :)
     
  11. AggieTchr2006

    AggieTchr2006 Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2008

    I agree with princessa, it can be embarassing for some families, especially in low SES areas. I usually try to call my new students the weekend/night before the first day of school just to introduce myself and let them know that I'm excited to have them in my class. Most of them don't get phone calls, so it makes it extra special.

    Remember though if you call from home to use *67 to block your number on caller ID if you don't want your home number passed around. :)
     

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