Friday, September 7, 2012

Finally Friday

This was a short week with Labor Day on Monday and then we had a district professional day on Tuesday so only had three student days, but for some reason this week felt exceptionally long.
I started home visits on Thursday and am so eager to go and visit all my students. Kindergarten home visits are not common in our district and in fact, I think that Walton may be the only school that they are done. They are an opportunity for me to get to know my little student one on one in their own element. I come over for a 30 minute "play date" and they get to "run the show." They show me how they ride their bike and where they sleep at night, I get to see where they keep their toys and I get to know so much about their personality in that short amount of time. That short period of time helps us form a bond that lasts for months and years to come. I have high school students that remember when I visited them in kindergarten. I learn so much from my home visits and couldn't imagine giving them up even though it does make September difficult for my family. It is truly a wonderful feeling after a long day, to pull up to a kindergarten students' home and see their little faces waiting at the door for me! I love my job!

So this weekend I will relax and recharge. Tonight we have home football, tomorrow I will work on homework and spend the day with my girls and Sunday, we are headed to the Kansas State Fair because our little girl is a state tractor pull qualifier (placing first twice in our county!) GO BROOKLYNN!!!


  1. I actually remember when my kindergarten teacher came to visit me. That was 35 years ago. I remember what I was wearing, our house and watching her pull into the driveway. Nothing else.
    So happy that you are giving that memory to some lucky students this month.

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

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  3. It's wonderful to hear that you enjoy the home visits! Your description of it (and the joy you conveyed) made my day in part because so many teachers are resistant to it and many schools discourage it. Does your school encourage it or do you do the visits on your own initiative? Either way, it has the potential to build relationships with students and their parents/guardians in ways that only interacting in the classroom cannot accomplish. I suspect, too, that older students and their parents would benefit from it as well. Would you still want to do them if you were to teach 4th or 5th grade?


  4. Melissa,
    I finally figured out why I was getting your comments to my email but they weren't showing up so I hope it is fixed. Now I am going to attempt to answer your questions and hope they post.
    Home visits were something I did as a student teacher with my veteran teacher. I enjoyed them so much that I decided it was definitely something I wanted to continue when I had my own classroom, so I have. The school has allowed me to do them, although it is on my own initiative. We were a one unit school until last year and now that we have two kindergarten classrooms the other kindergarten teacher is doing them now as well. I think that students (and teachers) in ANY grade would benefit from them. Students rarely have an adult all to themselves for a period of time to do simply as the child wants. We often dictate or direct their activities in some way and this is all on their terms. Yesterday, I climbed a tree! A TREE!!! It has been years and wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but the child could not have been happier and couldn't wait to tell everyone at school today. Older students, I imagine, would be equally as thrilled.

  5. I think this is the first time someone has shared about extending the home visit once a child is ready to begin their journey into the school system. I know this is a common practice with early childhood programs, but how exciting to know this is happening in a public school. What an ideal way to build a trusting/caring bond between incoming student, parent, teacher and school system. I know many primary teachers will send a personal post card to a child, but the home visit makes it so personal and individual for that child. It also says so much about the teacher's value system in forming personal relationships with her incoming students and families.
    This visit will set the tone for a lifetime. The above testimony from past students and their memories are tied directly to the relationship, trust and caring they felt from that teacher. I'm sure every child will treasure and remember the time that Mrs. Black spent that priceless 30 minutes getting to personally know each of her students.
    I'm excited that the newest kindergarten teacher in your school sees this as a positive and worth the time and effort to achieve this positive outcome.
    I finished my elem. career teaching fourth grade and I know ALL my students would love this individual attention, just a little unsure if my families would have been as open to the teacher visiting their home environment. I'm only speculating.
    Do you have your students come to your home as well so they can learn about you and your family?
    On an ending note...have you ever had any negative reaction from a parent about letting you into their home? Just curious.