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ShadowMan

USA
4158 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2005 :  8:39:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit ShadowMan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Middle schoolers had the following memo handed to them to deliver to their parents:

"Dear Parents

Union County Middle School is pleased to announce a new tradition! Beginning this year, UCMS teachers will begin making home visits. The purpose of these short 10-minute visits is to meet each parent to share information about the 2005-2006 school year. We are seeking to establish a partnership between the school and home. When parents and teachers have a strong partnership, the benefits for our childern will be greatly enhanced.

We want to meet every family; however, if you will not be available for a home visit, please indicate this at the bottom of the letter. If you are interested in participating in the home visits, please indicate whether a weekday or Saturday is more convenient. Weekday visits for 6th grade will be on August 25th, 7th grade will visit on August 26th, and 8th grade will visit on August 29th. The Saturday visits are planned for August 27th. The visits will begin at 9 AM.

We look forward to meeting you.

Sincerely,
Union County Middle School Faculty and Staff."

My libertarian hackles were raised slightly at the first reading of the letter. It sounds vaguely nefarious, as if the school system is peeking into the home environment of their students. But a quick review of school teacher home visits shows many teachers find it helps build the parent/teacher bond early on and helps cement crucial support the teacher needs to keep the student on track with their proscribed educational goals.

I was willing to sign and say say "Yes, come on out for a home visit". Until. Until one of my children related a comment their teacher had made. One which makes not only hackles get raised, but all systems on "red alert" (to add a Star Trek element here ). The teacher stated something to the effect of "if they put 'no', that must mean they have something to hide."

What? Because a family respects its privacy, they must have something to hide? All of a sudden, it doesn't seem like a relationship-building exercise and instead is a quasi-government-sanctioned instrusion into the privacy of an American home. What are the qualifications of these teachers to provide that type of value judgement? If the family they visit are Buddhists and the teachers are Southern Baptists, do they let their religious convictions taint their observations? Did they attend special training to help them make proper value judgements? How is objectivity maintained in a community where people knew each other as children, knew their parents, and may have married (or worse - divorced) a cousin (of one of the parents) or two?

I no longer believe that Union County Middle School is doing this exercise as a way of building a relationship with the parents of the child they're charged with educating. I now believe that this is a way for the Union County School System to snoop into the affairs of private citizens. To the Union County School System, I say shame on you! It's a communist attitude you're feeding, not freedom, and not American.

To the rest of you, I ask you also to say no if you get this memo. Attend parent/teacher conferences held at the school. Foster the parent/teacher relationship. I know my wife and I are both committed to that. But cast a vote against surreptitious snooping into private lives of citizens. Cast a vote against non-objective monitors making judgements against the way you run and live your household.

P.S. For the record, my family has nothing to hide. What it does have though is a strong sense of the rule of law, the pride in being part of a great republic, and the benefit of freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights incorporated into the Constitution.

Shadow


FWIW, JOMO. YMMV!

Edited by - ShadowMan on 08/21/2005 9:07:07 PM

puddin pop

USA
4628 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2005 :  8:52:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hmmmm....maybe we should start going to all the teachers' houses making some visits. Same difference.

Shadow I agree. What purpose really would making a home visit serve? Sounds like a lil nosiness to me.

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.Go to Top of Page

GrayEagle

USA
9966 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2005 :  9:08:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit GrayEagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wonder if this is something that the Sentinal might want to look at? Shadow, would you be interested in moving/coping this to the Sentinal thread?

GrayEagle
"I am an American! I am not a White-American, African-American, Cuban-American, or any other hyphenated-American!"

Edited by - GrayEagle on 08/21/2005 9:10:29 PMGo to Top of Page

justamom

USA
313 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2005 :  9:11:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I said no to, for totally different reasons. Several reasons really. I don't see any advantage over a meeting at the school. I think that no matter what a persons good intentions are, If a teacher would visit a student that lives in an enviroment that is perhaps not as advantaged as others, no matter what, that teacher will form some type of opinion or maybe not even expect as much from that student compared to a student they may visit that lives in a big new home with all the nice things etc. It's just human nature to judge or form an opinion. I know teachers would not want that to happen, it just does and students may be embarrassed of their home or family and they don't need that added pressure, especially in middle school where there is enough to worry about already.

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mad4martinis

USA
13730 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2005 :  10:28:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree with you, & I do hope you are a member of the PTO & will stand up & speak up. Maybe a letter to the editor too.

Shaken, dirty, 4 Olives.Go to Top of Page

nelly

USA
2816 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2005 :  07:12:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I DO believe that the idea of fostering a better relationship between parents and teachers is important to a child's academic career...and I DO believe that the THEORY behind home visits is good. Children of normal, average families get a thrill out of their teacher visiting their home....where I think the plan fails is in the individuals who carry out the mission. Personal beliefs, attitudes and assumptions will come into the equation, changing the theory into something less than successful. Each parent must weigh the decision to be made intelligently and decide what is best for their child's education.

Teachers are individuals, and in their teaching many will inadvertently convey their beliefs, attitudes and assumptions to their charges on a daily basis....even though that is a no-no in the school system. That is why it is so important for a parent to monitor a child's education and maintain open communication about that child's school experience. Shadow, by having that communication with your child, you have discovered a chink in your child's educational environment. You have the option of monitoring it. Parents have the right to audit their child's class....sit in on it...and watch what's going on. Very few parents do this. I do not know the rules and regulations in Union County regarding these audits but we did have to do this when my children were in school. It's very effective in determining what and how, exactly the children are being taught.

The majority of teachers, in my book, deserve kudos. Their job is difficult in not only dealing with the numerous children in their classes, but with the political system that supposedly governs their every move. But, again, each teacher is an individual and some are more deserving of those kudos than others.

Just my opinion.


A simple act of kindness.....pass it onGo to Top of Page

justamom

USA
313 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2005 :  07:47:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nelly, You are absolutly right about the monitoring and being an involved parent. I don't know if you have children in the middle school or not. I have been involved directly with my kids and the issues that have come up at school. Unfortunatly some of the staff and teachers are as into the "drama" as the students. I think home visits for some of those teachers would just fuel the gossip. In theory it's great, not so sure about the reality of it.

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samantha_blue


1193 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2005 :  12:37:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I checked no because during the week I work, and on Saturdays, I have 3 that play football so are at games all day long! I just don't feel home visits are necessary. I did home visits when I worked for the school system ( I won't specify which grade ) and even though we were there to discuss the student, I would be questioned about living conditions, etc. when I got in from the home visit. This is a free country and each of our homes are different, and what I consider normal living isn't always what another family feels is normal, but it doesn't mean that either family is living wrong!!

I agree with Shadow and Nelly both!

I just don't think it's a necessary process for a good parent/teacher bond.

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daughterofconfederate

USA
29728 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2005 :  5:09:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My question is, WHY DO THEY EXPECT THE TEACHERS TO BE WITH THESE KIDS ALL DAY AND THEN SPEND ALL EVENING TROMPSING UP AND DOWN THE ROAD WHEN THEY MAY HAVE A LIFE AND FAMILY TOO?

I dont care if they come to my house, heck Ill pull out a chair cause I have some thangs Id like to ask them that always gets rushed durin school conferences cause theres another mom waitin outside the door to conference.

I just think the teachers deserve the right to go home and be with their familys instead of doing what apparently the principles or counselors could do. Leave work at work? Not nowadays apparently.

Thats why I dont like to talk much about our work on here or to much. We deal with it all day and all evenin and I dont mind questions or whatever, I know yuns would get soo sick of hearing about our work work work all of the time. Im sure the teachers like the idea of leaving work as much as any one else. April is a teacher and shes gradin papers when her lil un goes to bed and she said that she gets lil done housework wise durin the week.


Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith.

Saint Francis of Assisi


Edited by - daughterofconfederate on 08/22/2005 5:40:15 PMGo to Top of Page

GrayEagle

USA
9966 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2005 :  6:45:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit GrayEagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:

My question is, WHY DO THEY EXPECT THE TEACHERS TO BE WITH THESE KIDS ALL DAY AND THEN SPEND ALL EVENING TROMPSING UP AND DOWN THE ROAD WHEN THEY MAY HAVE A LIFE AND FAMILY TOO?

I dont care if they come to my house, heck Ill pull out a chair cause I have some thangs Id like to ask them that always gets rushed durin school conferences cause theres another mom waitin outside the door to conference.

I just think the teachers deserve the right to go home and be with their familys instead of doing what apparently the principles or counselors could do. Leave work at work? Not nowadays apparently.

Thats why I dont like to talk much about our work on here or to much. We deal with it all day and all evenin and I dont mind questions or whatever, I know yuns would get soo sick of hearing about our work work work all of the time. Im sure the teachers like the idea of leaving work as much as any one else. April is a teacher and shes gradin papers when her lil un goes to bed and she said that she gets lil done housework wise durin the week.


Awwwww, come on, DoC, tell us how you really feel! LOL

GrayEagle
"I am an American! I am not a White-American, African-American, Cuban-American, or any other hyphenated-American!"Go to Top of Page

daughterofconfederate

USA
29728 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2005 :  7:04:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dad, Im serious! This is how I feel. LOL! I have some really good friends who are teachers and Ive always wanted to know all I can bout what my kids are doin and WHO is teachin them.

My first day in public school here, my teacher said "YUNS GET OUT CHUNS SPELLIN BOOKS." NO LIE! ARAGORN WAS IN THAT SAME CLASS. I was sittin there tryin to figure out what the heck she was a talkin about! Now look at me!LOL Sure did love her tho! She was a wonderful person!


Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith.

Saint Francis of Assisi
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daughterofconfederate

USA
29728 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2005 :  7:06:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
LOL AND DAD I COUGHT THAT! YOU KNOW I DONT LIKE BOASTIN AND WELL, THATS WHAT ID HAVE TO DO IF I WERE TALKIN BOUT DANGED OLE WORK WORK WORK ON HERE!


Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith.

Saint Francis of Assisi
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justamom

USA
313 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2005 :  8:27:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good point DOC, never thought about the teachers point of view! I'll bet by 3:30 they are more than ready to go home to their family. Free time is so precious these days.

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mad4martinis

USA
13730 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2005 :  8:47:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My kids haven't gotten to the middle school yet, but I'm thinking that if we had a teacher come here, I'll just offer them a glass of wine or a shot of tequila to take the edge off!


Shaken, dirty, 4 Olives.Go to Top of Page

samantha_blue


1193 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2005 :  10:18:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
LOL, MAD........I think I need to do a home visit at your house, LOL, and i'm not even a teacher after a few shots and a bottle of wine......who cares, lol!!

Edited by - samantha_blue on 08/22/2005 10:20:12 PMGo to Top of Page

Wu


1452 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2005 :  11:52:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hmm.....I'd don't think Big Bro is in the Union county school system just yet...hehe

Nelly really seems to have the handle on this.


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mad4martinis

USA
13730 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2005 :  2:14:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No, it's not big brother in union county, it's lil' bro from union county. Can you imagine the talk from the teachers who don't agree with a wine bottle or rack on your counter. They'll make an issue out of it & talk about it to everyone.


Shaken, dirty, 4 Olives.Go to Top of Page

mindeverburning

USA
107 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2005 :  3:06:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
ok i had a long and complicated response, but there was a problem somewhere and it disappeared, but here's what i think:
i think that a teacher won't learn anything about a child's home environment by coming into the home any more than if they'd guessed. if burndean were in school and such a thing arose as "in home visits" i'd do everything to impress and show a perfect home, even though i don't have anything to hide. i wouldn't be at ease, b.c i am a protective person, and i wouldn't want burndean to suffer or get second rate b.c they think that's what he deserves based on the way i keep my home. if i were a teacher and a parent came to "audit" my class, i'd be minding my p's and q's, set to impress, trying to appear to be of infinite patience and wisdom. moral of the story: either way, no one learns much of anything b.c everyone is trying to sell themselves as perfect, or dern near it. i don't know what the current set up is and this may seem too much like open house, but i think parent teacher conferences should occur once a quarter and they should be done banquet style: this way, no one is taking too much time out of a schedule away from family and kids, everyone gets fed. everyone could eat a meal, it could even be potluck if the county considers it to be out of budget. i'm sure it could be managed, rather than expecting overworked teachers to galavant across union county seeking out unmarked houses... after the meal, the children can go socialize and participate in activities supervised by either volunteering parents and/or extracurricular teachers/coaches. meanwhile, the parents can tour the classrooms (yes, more than once a year) and meet with teachers in the banquet area (library, gym, lunchroom) - everyone can play musical banquet tables and mix with teachers and parents. maybe even divide into grades, or classes. i know when i was in middle school, our parents had to follow our schedules to each classroom, meet teachers there, discussed curriculum, then dealt with individual questions while other parents socialized. the stress of the situation would be reduced, even though it might still take hours to complete. if a certain teacher feels the need to speak with a parent in particular about problems or difficulties they are having with a student (or vice versa), i think it should be done in writing so that there is a record anyway, so the "semipublic" setting wouldn't be a problem. i might not be attracted to such an idea later, but as the parent of a not yet school age child, this is just an idea that seems more comfortable to me.

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Admin

USA
1484 Posts
Blairsville.com Administrator

Posted - 08/23/2005 :  3:50:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We have a great relationship with my son's teachers (in Atlanta). In fact, we only live about 1/2 mile from one of his teachers. But I would never expect to be invited to her house, and I doubt she would be comfortable being invited to our house. We have met in the neighborhood a few times, and stopped to talk. But I feel school is like work. Its not the place to air all of your dirty laundry.

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Wildflower

USA
4528 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2005 :  1:53:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ah, you see Shadow, this shows how little you know about me (based on your opinions of me in the Iraq thread).

I totally agree with you on this.

It's been documented that teachers do tend to treat higher-income children better. They may not be conscious of it, but they do.

If they visit a child who seems to have less, they may unconsciously begin to expect less achievement.

This practice also unneccesarily puts added pressure on the child and the parents. Big Brother is watching you.

WildflowerGo to Top of Page

ShadowMan

USA
4158 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2005 :  7:07:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit ShadowMan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wildflower, I can agree completely that I know practically nothing about you. And I never would have thought that we disagreed on everything. Just that we have diametrically opposite viewpoints on the US war in Iraq.

Shadow


FWIW, JOMO. YMMV! Go to Top of Page

nativelady

USA
11126 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2005 :  08:55:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit nativelady's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well, let me first begin by saying, I am so glad I don't have to deal with the middle school anymore. But, of course, it's a 'have to' case for our children. I, for one, wouldn't give permission for them to come to my home because I KNOW who SOME and let me say that word again, SOME teachers like to 'single' out children due to this or that! And for some reason, and I don't know why, middle school has got to be the worse time for kids in school. The transition from adolescent to puberty is extremely stressful today to our kids, more so than we went through it. Do you think your child wants their teacher to come? Ask them! I would say the majority would say NO! Not because of embarrassment but think about it...When you leave work, do you want your boss to come to your house to "evaluate" your home and home life? I didn't think so! My theory is the school system here is a wonderful school system , no doubt, but if their going to seperate EVERYTHING else, then seperate home visits from schooling! Now let me say this, if one of the high school teacher's wanted to do home visits, I'd say Come on in! And gladly ask them if they preferr their coffee black or with cream! Maybe I proved my point. If not...Sorry! There is "differential" between students by teachers based on (X) amount of things! Heard all about it! Some for the good, Some for the bad. Maybe I shouldn't of made my opinion known, but after putting three kids through our middle school system, I think I have first hand experience to actually make a statement on that. There are only a handful of teacher's there I would WANT to come in my home! I am not bashing all teachers there, so before someone calls so and so and says "Read this!" But to say that there is a lot of "status" issues in that school, is stating a fact in my opinion. (But of course, that's still an opinion)

I live in my own little world. But it's OK. They know me here...
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