- Since I started this tradition 15 years ago, first day of school tears have been few and far between! My students remember me as "that nice lady who came to their house." We have a relationship before they enter the door on the first day.
- I really get to know my students. I can see where they play. They can show me what they hold dear. I can use this to connect when kids are stuck for ideas in writing, or to create math challenges they'll care about, or to understand why they may play a certain way on the playground.
- It gives me time to do research! If I don't know a favorite song or show, I'll look it up! One little guy even lent me a copy of his favorite movie...now it's one of my favorites, too.
- My visit sets the stage with parents. They know I'll go the extra mile for their children and that I'll take the time to listen to their concerns. Actions speak louder than words! It's one thing to share contact info, it's altogether another to make direct contact!
- It bridges that gap between home and school. At this visit, children see me talk with their parents. They understand that we are all adults who care about them very much.
- It's super fun!!! This year I jumped on a trampoline, checked out "camps" in the woods, inspected dead frogs, met kittens named Batman and Robin, entered into an agreement in which my student is Luke and I am Obi-wan, viewed the princess dress of an aspiring lobster fisherwoman, had a seven course dinner of the finest plastic food, and got more than a few hugs!
So, even if I have to get one less unit pre planned or leave a shelf un-labeld for another week, my home visits are absolutely worth every second and more!