One of the many challenges we face at my campus is the ever growing population of low SES students. It is the toughest hurdle my ladies face on a daily basis and it's not going away anytime soon. During a discussion yesterday with my leadership team, the topic of home visits came up. I was reminded of a school where each teacher was required to conduct a home visit on each student prior to school starting in August. They were simple, yet powerful meetings where the student and parents met the teacher. Most took place on the doorstep, others on the couch. Regardless it set the stage for a positive relationship.
The leadership team didn't dive too far into the topic. At at time where I'm extra conscious about what I ask of them to do, I didn't press the subject. But deep down, I knew these are the types of things we're going to have to do. Doing the same things over and over again expecting different results isn't how we're going to make an impact in these families' lives.
The whole topic was left tugging on my heart. Then my doorbell rang.
When I opened it, to my surprise I saw my son's music teacher and day care director. They were conducting a home visit to personally invite him to join the children's choir. I didn't receive a flier in his folder announcing the new activity. It wasn't posted on Facebook. It was personal. It was at our home and it struck me in the heart.
This is what we must do for our students. I've always believed we cannot control what happens beyond the doors of our school, but I'm starting to change my thoughts on that. We can control how we engage the parents...how we make them feel about our school...how we approach their students. Just like the first phone call home from the school shouldn't be about a discipline problem, it should be an introductory call - a happy phone conversation. Our first visit to the home shouldn't be because of tardy or truancy issues, but because we want to be there to invite them to join us on a journey of learning.