Bronx teachers make house calls

Before school starts, teams of sixth-grade teachers at a public middle and high school meet new students and parents at home, reports the New York Times. Dressed in his new school uniform, Christopher Lopez signs a contract promising to be “respectful to everyone” and to “ask for help when I need it and offer help to others.”

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  1. tim-10-ber says:

    Wish more schools and teachers at all grades would do this. Get the administrators out in the neighborhoods, too. Parents need to be invited into their childrens’ schools and made to feel truly welcome…

  2. Michael E. Lopez says:

    That child is too young to sign a contract.

    It’s pointless to try to hold him to it (there’s probably no enforcement mechanism in it anyway) and allowing him to break it just teaches him to devalue contracts.

    “Learning contracts” are among the stupidest things I’ve ever seen. They teach all the wrong lessons.

    You don’t need a contract to enforce rules: just enforce them. Waving a piece of paper with the student’s signature from 5 months ago is just silly. Have them sign a statement saying that they have read and understand the rules. But for the love of God don’t make them PROMISE to follow the rules… that’s what the rules are for.

    Contracts should only be used if they have teeth (which is why international treaties are such a joke) and the only legitimate teeth for them to have in a classroom setting is for the teacher to withhold his or her instruction, which would be illegal under the current legal regime.

  3. Wonderful story! Yes, that’s the way to start the year….Help parents to be welcomed in schools and, I would add, tell them what their responsibility is–help with homework, feed the children, and put them to bed early enough.