Fewer behavior issues, more students showing up for class, better grades – these are just a few of the early results teachers have shared while being a part of the Parent Teacher Home Visit (PTHV) project.
PTHV gives teachers the chance to meet with students and their parents in the student’s home. The visits help teachers build trust with parents. They create a partnership that helps students achieve. Teachers plan two visits with each student per year. They use what they learn from the family to make the child’s classroom experience better. Parents learn about the chance to get involved at school.
For teachers in the Dallas area, this project is a game changer. “Although the data is qualitative in nature, we are hearing all the results we had hoped for,” says Stacy Hodge, Stand for Children’s Dallas director and point-person for PTHV in Texas.
Survey answers from teachers in the PTHV project brought a few key themes to light: empathy, compassion, feeling connected to the families, teachers showing more patience, increased two-way communication, and overall joy for teaching again.
“I am reinvigorated after reading through the reflections,” says Hodge. “I think we might be on to something around engaging parents in this way. I’m excited to think about how this can grow.”
Teachers across the country feel just as excited about PTHV. At the 2016 National Gathering this October, teachers met to network and share their insights.
Having a great teacher at the front of every classroom is part of Stand’s mission. The PTHV project builds a strong community of teachers and parents who care and are working together to reach an important goal – helping students succeed.
By Shannon Speshock
Parent Teacher Home Visits – High Impact Student, Teacher and Family Engagement
What if the most important adults in a child’s life were on the same page, working together toward the student’s success? Parent Teacher Home Visits build relationships, skills, and engagement for families, educators, and students from pre-K to 12th grade. We were started by parents, community organizers and teachers in order to stop the cycle of blame and catalyze real relationships between home and school — all in support of our common goal, our kids’ success.
Why Home Visits?
Parent Teacher Home Visits are a fast, inexpensive and replicable strategy for engaging families, educators and students as a team.
For years, research has shown that families are essential to student and school success. It seems simple – so why do schools have a hard time with effective family engagement?
First of all, experts agree that there’s more to family involvement than bake sales and back to school night. Effective family engagement builds relationships and capacity, and is linked to student learning.
Secondly, even schools that understand the importance of families run into complex barriers that get in the way of partnership:
- Everyone is short on money and time.
- There may be a historic lack of trust and communication between the school and the community.
- Cultural and socioeconomic differences, expectations and unconscious assumptions may get in the way of well-meaning adults working together effectively.
The PTHV model was developed by parents and teachers based upon community organizing principles of empowerment. Our home visits have a protocol which helps educators and families overcome the barriers listed above, and build trust, communication and common goals.
Once a teacher and the family of her student have done the home visit, they are mutually supportive and accountable to each other. The family is better able to support their child’s academics, and the teacher brings what she learns about the child to the classroom.
Home visits also provide a positive opportunity to meet federal and state mandates that families be meaningfully informed of their child’s academic standing. In fact, the PTHV model is recognized by the US Department of Education as a high-impact strategy for family engagement.