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Parents visiting the classroom


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teacher3 March 28, 2008


What do you feel about parents being allowed or not allowed to visit their child's classroom?  I know of a school that allows parents to visit and observe in their child's classroom without even notifying the teacher that they want to come in.  They are allowed to stay as long as they want and go to lunch with their child.  Yet, another school I know of does not allow the parents past the front door.  What is the policy at your school or what do you think it should be? 


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hockeymum March 28, 2008


Parents shouldn't be aloud to drop in unannounced. If a parent wants to sit in on the class, I think they should have prior permission and a discussion as to why they want to watch first. Common curtousy.

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michellea March 28, 2008


I have mixed feelings about this.

Absolutely, parents should be allowed to observe with prior permission. When my children were in younger grades, I was a classroom volunteer and this gave me important insight into how my son was doing compared to his peer group.

I've known parents that want to "drop by" unannounced to get the real feel for what is going on in the classroom. There are circumstances where this might be important, but I worry about disrupting the class and about safety issues.

I would be VERY concerned about a school that totally keeps parents out. I'd wonder what they are afraid of.

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1seremen March 28, 2008


I think parents should be allow to visit or observe a child in the school . At the same time, I understand that the school will make a decision based on their experience with parents and students. Sometimes, parents want to tell teachers how to do their job and some teachers may want to do less of their job. I visit my child's classroom with teacher's permission once per semester for less than 12 minutes. Talk to your child's teacher and I hope she or he works out something for you or you may visit during the holiday's party.

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2gr8lilgirls March 28, 2008


The classroom is a place of learning, and a good teacher is on a schedule and needs the undivided attention of her students and is the leader.

If parents want to be in the classroom, it should be in a way that is productive and as an assistant to the teacher. The mother of a student volunteers in my 4th grade daughter's class every Friday morning. She give the challenge spelling test to the students who qualify. This is done in a separate room from the majority of the class. Students are given dictation sentences, with the spelling words and bonus challenge words. They are graded on spelling and proper punctuation e.g. quotation marks, capitalization, comma, posessive.

She helps the class play various games the teacher has developed to reinforce the materials being taught.

She also does administrative tasks for the teacher, like copying, sorting, filing, etc.

Her presence helps the students focus on the lesson, and faciliates learning. it is a regular part of the routine and It does not in any way distract or draw attention away.

I occassionally drop in for lunch with my children, and would love to volunteer if my schedule allowed. However, I would not like an open door policy in my children's class rooms. It is also poses a risk, because those in contact with children should be subjected to background checks to ensure they are not criminals or abusers of any kind.

I don't think any of our employers would appreciate an open door policy regarding children in the work place; both from a matter of safety and productivity. They have you there to perform a task for profit or for the good of society if a government agency or not-for-profit entity.

Likewise, I send my child to school to learn, not to be a side show for on-looking adults who drop in at will.




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academic March 28, 2008


Yes, parents should be abel to attend a classroom. There are usually schedules. I as a parent of a third grade public elementary school in Del Mar California am not allowed to volunteer in his classroom. In second grade I volunteered one day a week, corrected homework and did special assignments for the teacher. I fine if you are not allowed to volunteer, your child will fall behind and not get the proper academic
education.

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2gr8lilgirls March 28, 2008


I agree parents should be allowed to volunteer, and even visit on ocassion, for a reasonable time. Arrangement should be made in advance in a manner to not be disruptive.

If I was prohibited, I too would wonder what they are trying to hide, and be uncomfortable.

I am very comfortable with what is going on in my children's school. There are parent in and out, volunteering all the time in virtually every classroom. Teachers and administrators recognize and know parents on a first name basis and interact very well.

I am finding out from this web site, many schools are not great places to be, and the rest of the world does not operate like our little corner.

I am flabergasted at the pressure put on standardized testing. We are aware of it, and make sure our children are rested to perform well, but our childrens days are filled with very fundamental teaching and activities and do very well on standard testing.

During a typical day:

Literature is taught and analyzed for purpose and style, each day includes 30 minutes of silent reading, language arts includes creative writing, grammar and usage rules, and proper spelling.

Our children learn traditional math skills and how to apply it to our everyday world. Science, history, and geography are taught on a rotation basis.

Our children have 1 hour a day of either Art, Music or PE, which are all taught by highly trained professionals who have prepared lessons and structure.

Each class has a 20 minute minimum for lunch, followed by 20 minutes of recess - kids are allowed to eat as slow as they want - but most are finished and run to get outside. We have plenty of food, and children are not refused service for unpaid accounts.

Through grade 3, each child has a second recess. 4th and 5th grade have a second recess as time allows and they have focused during class time; occasionally they stay in to prepare as a class for an upcoming test.

I know great things are happening by the papers that come home and in helping my children with reading and homework.

I can't imagine life any other way.

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MagnetMom March 28, 2008


I like an open door policy, rather than a revolving door policy.

Parents should be allowed to observe, and should be encouraged to observe simply to avoid misunderstandings. I have volunteered the last two years in my daughter's classrooms and had parents ask me the most bizarre questions regarding what would go on in the room. Usually it is something that the child said, taken WAY out of context. Since what goes on in the classroom is privileged, I highly recommend to the curious parents to volunteer their own time and see with their own eyes.

Both years, I have had the privilege to work with great teachers who valued my help. But I do hear from moms in the other classes that the teachers do not want any help. For those parents, a short observation period would be necessary to see what goes on.

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2gr8lilgirls March 28, 2008


Well stated. Parents must listen to their inner voice. If we keep our eyes and hearts open, we will know when we need to check it out.

Open door versus revolving door - beautifully stated.

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MagnetMom March 28, 2008


Thanks. I know there are always going to be the parents that use the law to try to get into the room as often as possible, and that would be horribly distracting.

At this point, when I arrive on Mondays it's about two seconds of celebration and then we go right into whatever we're doing because I'm part of the furniture.

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2gr8lilgirls March 28, 2008


This is exactly what I said in one of my earlier posts regarding my 4th grade daughter's class room.

The Friday parent helper is low keyed, pleasant and supports the teachers efforts. The classroom benefits from her presence. She is a wonderful asset.

I will really stir up some fire here, but I am not opposed to administrators eaves dropping on class rooms, by standing outside the door, or by electronic recording devices. Just like school buses, class rooms may be a better place if teachers knew their actions were being monitored. This would allow a parent to view what is going on, without distraction.

Not advocating this in my school, because we don't have a problem, they are open and wonderful; but it would let the state of Florida know whether or not teachers were teaching to the test or truly teaching the material, and letting the results speak for themselves.



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