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Can Teachers Visiting Students at Home Change Education?

Can Teachers Visiting Students at Home Change Education?

Multiple factors play into a studentís educational potential. In St. Louis, parents and educators believe home visits by teachers is one of those factors. Modeled after similar programs in California and Texas, HOME WORKS! is the non-profit that administers this program across multiple school districts in Missouri.

A New Wave of Teacher Home Visits

While not a new idea, increases in teacher participation, encouraging results from students and positive feedback from parents motivate the continued expansion of home visit programs by HOME WORKS!. These programs were developed with the intention of diminishing the teacher-parent divide, leveraging transparency when it comes to instructional methods, and fostering parent accountability for their studentís learning.†Now, more than 30 schools in St. Louis annually send teachers out to studentís home to provide additional instruction.

The first teacher home visit sets the stage for following home visits. Teachers — who participate in home visits on a voluntary basis — focus on establishing a strong rapport with the studentís home environment, then emphasize academics in future meetings. While teachers must meet a 45 minute minimum, most surpass this amount to maximize the opportunity for students. The program does not target specific groups of students, either. Unlike other after-school programs which target truant or low-achieving students or emphasize early childhood education, HOME WORKS! focuses on addressing specific concerns that arise from all students when in the classroom.

Student Success After School

The extra meeting time may not happen everyday, but it gives parents, teachers, and students greater insight into the goals of the material. So far, the results have been positive. Preliminary research from the University of Missouri-St.Louis show that participation in home visits leads to better attendance, improved test scores, greater parental involvement and fewer suspensions and expulsions. External reports from a California home visit program cite similar results among its participants.

The outcome of home visits are not unlike the impact of traditional after-school programs offered across the nation. A study by Harvardís Graduate School of Education notes that the most successful programs focus on providing holistic enrichment activities in social development and personal wellness alongside academics efforts. In addition, quality staffing and sustained programming are key to ensuring students benefit from these programs.

Statewide Expansion and the Question of Accessibility

Currently, a growing number of school districts across the U.S. work with non-profits like HOME WORKS! to implement home visits by teachers. HOME WORKS! staff Missouri note that while their program is relatively small, with about 30 schools in participation, they believe home visits give students the direction they need outside of the classroom. Leaders have hopes of operating the non-profit’s programs statewide within the next few years. Plus, with Common Core Standards being implemented in 45 states, it may be even more helpful to students to have home visits as they transition to a modified curriculum.

With home visits and traditional after-school programs alike comes the question of accessibility. In short, not all students can partake in these programs, since not all parents or teachers can take the time out of their personal schedules to participate. What’s more, annual programming for HOME WORKS! costs elementary schools $10,000, while high schools dole out upwards of $20,000. Given that student funding varies within state and school district lines, it’s clear that not every school that could benefit from home visits would be able to adopt such services.

The success of HOME WORKS! and similar programs reiterate the importance staff developing positive relationships with students to create a healthy learning environment. Home visits have already been proven to play a positive part in student’s learning. While not every student will have access to this program, it reminds us of the ongoing reform occurring in U.S. education. Education can be adapted to meet a student’s various and complex needs, and this flexibility may be the key to ensuring that all students have equal access to opportunity from K-12.

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8:47AM PST on Jan 29, 2014

DEPENDS ... on the teacher's reason for this kind of involvement, the studen's motive to participate, the parents' personal investment and ongoing support.

A total package would indeed be a beautiful thing.

10:00PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

Thank you for the interesting article. mapmystudy.com is a platform for students where they get legitimate information about Study Abroadand its resources like Scholarship,accommodation, finance, Course search and much more. Through our online search mechanism, one can not only map their study & career but also search and apply to Overseas Education institutes according to their choice of study and country.

10:00PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

Thank you for the interesting article. mapmystudy.com is a platform for students where they get legitimate information about Study Abroadand its resources like Scholarship,accommodation, finance, Course search and much more. Through our online search mechanism, one can not only map their study & career but also search and apply to Overseas Education institutes according to their choice of study and country.

6:32PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

teachers are very over worked as it is, if they need to go to students houses to help them..it would get worse. I believe in after school help if they need it, I know I needed it but asking the teacher to go to their houses is bit much for shit pay they get everywhere.

2:45AM PST on Jan 26, 2014

IF THEY SPOOK ENGLISH ...THEY WOULD UNDERSTAND THE TEACHER BETTER AND THE ONES WHO DO SO WOULD HAVE MORE TIME WITH THE TEACHER...AT SCHOOL......

7:17PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

One-on-one extra help is always beneficial but I doubt teachers would have time for this. Private tutors are probably the answer but they can be expensive. Maybe subsidies are the answer.

9:18AM PST on Jan 25, 2014

I don't know about you ppl, but I would hate teachers to visit me at home- it's the only place you can get away from them! But I suppose I would like it if it was one of my favourite teachers, I would show off.

5:27PM PST on Jan 24, 2014

If the teachers are willing to, I guess, but I think that this is a job for tutorial. Many schools offer after school tutorial. I don't see how this is necessary.

9:04AM PST on Jan 24, 2014

thanks

7:47AM PST on Jan 24, 2014

And our overworked teachers are finding the time when?

They are already bring work home, taking time away from their own families.

What happened to the parents coming to school?

The ones that really care, that is.

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