Valerie Lovato teaches elementary school at Eagleton Elementary in Denver Colorado.  In her school district, it’s encouraged to conduct home visits with upcoming student’s families right around the start of the school year.

Lavato knows it’s one of those things that a teacher can procrastinate on, but she says, “once you start, you don’t want to stop.”

She’s been doing home visits for the past six years. Her goal is to build relationships with parents and to identify opportunities and challenges.

However, it’s not easy. It’s one thing for educators to talk about doing home visits, it’s another to accomplish the ambitious task. Lavato says that the hardest part is just getting started each year.

“That very first phone call, and telling families, I want to come to your house and visit you at your home, in your space. Making that first phone call I always get butterflies, even now,” says Lavato.

Sometimes parents aren’t thrilled about having visitors at their home, so Lavato always offers an alternative location, such as a park or McDonalds.

But she says that the children are always thrilled to see their teacher during the visit. “They are sometimes waiting out in the front yard for me,” says Lavato.

To learn more about beginning home visits with your class, listen to Episode 111 of the Class Dismissed Podcast on your favorite podcast app or on iTunes.

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