As a D.C. public schools teacher who conducts relationship-building home visits, as part of a partnership between my school and the Flamboyan Foundation, I was thrilled to see Kevin Sieff’s coverage of the efforts of teachers at Arlington’s Wakefield High and in the District to build more trusting, respectful relationships with families [“Building connections beyond the classroom,” front page, Oct. 10]. Mr. Sieff’s article highlighted teachers’ hard work to ensure that parents and educators are partnering to support learning.
I am concerned, however, that the article’s focus on turning “distant or unresponsive parents into allies and communicators” could leave the impression that home visits are a strategy for only hard-to-reach or disengaged families. They are not. Home visits are valuable for everyone.
Teachers always benefit from learning more about their students’ interests and experiences and about parents’ goals for their children. All parents appreciate a teacher meeting them on their turf and taking the time to listen to their questions, concerns, hopes and dreams. I love doing home visits because they show families how much I care about their kids and remind me that every family wants the best for their child.
Pam Ross, Washington