October 31st, 2017: Sharing Our Story
This year, 4th grade teachers Mr. Replogle and Mrs. Maierhofer launched the Denver Public Schools Parent Teacher Home Visit Program at Bromwell. This program is a research based approach to increasing teacher and family relationships. Importantly, the data also shows it enhances student achievement and behavior.
Soon after school started, the teachers hit the road! They took time in the afternoons and evenings to visit with students outside the walls and halls of Bromwell. With 51 visits completed, Mr. R and Mrs. M reflect on what they’ve learned so far:
“Sometime in September, I began discussing the possibility of making home visits with my new teaching partner, Carrie Maierhofer. To be honest, I thought it was mostly for her benefit. After all, she was new to our school, and what better way to become familiar with our community than by visiting students at home? Of course, it quickly became apparent that I was learning important lessons, too. I was reminded that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been teaching at a school, because life always starts over with every school year. Indeed, I feel that I learned something important with every home we visited, not to mention a few times when we took kids to Starbucks. Fifty-one students and fifty-one visits! That’s a lot of lessons, so let me try to condense it a bit. Carrie and I were greeted with pleasant surprises, lovely artwork, interesting collections – and funny dogs and cats. A few turtles, too! We were always greeted with a welcoming and friendly spirit. That was a bit humbling, to be honest. I hope that I can be just as welcoming whenever parents visit my classroom! The best lesson of them all? We got to know each student a little bit more as real person. That has already made this year feel different and also, I must admit, quite new.”
“I was thrilled when Steve Replogle suggested we do home visits. As a new teacher to the school, what better way to get to know my new students and their amazing families? Little did I know that Steve’s drive paired with the amazing level of Bromwell family involvement would lead us to 51 visits! How incredible it was to have time away from school to chat with our students a see a different side of their personalities. It was inspiring to see the pride our students felt in their families, homes, pets, hobbies, and collections. The excitement we were greeted with at each home was heartwarming! The conversations we had with our students are invaluable and I’m so grateful that our 4th graders were willing to open up and share about their hopes and dreams. This little bit of extra insight into our students has been useful in the classroom. I can weave in their interests or call on a student with some sort of expertise to help in class. We also had an extensive talk about whose dog my new puppy might grow up to look like! Home visits were such an amazing experience and I am thankful to our 4th grade families for being so open and welcoming to our visits. ”
Many other teachers and families from all grade levels have expressed interest in this program and we are working to expand it in the future here at Bromwell. Thanks so much to Mr. R, Mrs. M and the 4th grade students and families for getting this great program started here at Bromwell!