#PTHVP14: Parent Teacher Home Visit Conference (Part One)

Two days into the conference here are a few things that stuck out to me or the ones that I want to stick with me:

-There’s SO MUCH energy here!
-Just being around the teachers, administrators, parents, community organizers, and others has been really motivating and I am excited to get back and share this weekend with my colleagues and really make my home visits more meaningful.
-I am further convinced of the need of home visits to develop and maintain a positive connection between myself, my students, and their parents/guardians.
-I learned that my school has been doing some Social Emotional Learning practices (SEL) and I’m hoping to be more strategic in teaching my students specifically about SELF-AWARENESS because then they can actually move on to SELF-MANAGING.  (These are from the CASEL Core Competencies).  A really cool website that I got out of that session was a parent tool kit that gives parents an understanding of what their child is going through socially, emotionally, physically, etc. It breaks it down by grade. 

Thanks to Twitter #PTHVP14, I was able to get a glimpse into other sessions that I wasn’t able to visit and came across a great list of questions from a survey that I can use for a follow up or during the PTHV from the Harvard Family Research Project. The questions address the following:

Parental support— How much help are students getting at home?
Child behaviors—What habits have students developed that shape their success?
Parent engagement — How engaged are parents in their child’s schooling, and what potential barriers exist?
Parent self-efficacy—How confident are parents in supporting their child’s schooling?
School climate —How do parents view their school regarding academic and social standards?
Parent roles and responsibilities—How do parents view their roles as well as teachers’ roles in different aspects of their child’s schooling?
School program fit—How well do a school’s academic program, social climate, and organizational structure match a student’s needs?

The actual survey can be found here.

On discussing white organization speaking of racial justice, one of the panel speakers mentioned something that stuck with me,  She mentioned, (paraphrased)

One of the first tasks working with majority white organization involved with social justice is having them understand that they are white and what that essentially means so that we can move forward to have honest conversation.

It means amends, reparation, and not just apologize to make it right. 

While, I am not white this served as an important reminder for me as well:  it’s important for me to be self-aware of who I am and where I come from relative to my student so that I can then have an honest conversation with them and their families. My students deal with things which I cannot relate to therefore I can’t put on a front that I understand what they are going through, rather I need to understand where they are coming from, be empathetic and make an effort so that we can move the conversation and actions forward. 

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