By Swati Gupta,
Very few schools actually walk the ‘extra mile’ by going to the child’s home to understand her/his familial context. CMS Schools in Lucknow are one of those few who have been practicing the concept of ‘home visits’ and ‘guardian teacher’ for decades. The practice is viewed as an integral part of all CMS schools, defining the CMS way of providing education in a holistic way.
CMS teachers believe that home visits are vital to the classroom teaching. It enables them to reach out to every child and parent in order to understand her/his strengths and challenges. Every teacher acts as a guardian teacher for about 40 students for a period of one year. They visit every child personally at least once a year and some more often. The guardian teacher talks to other teachers to understand the student’s performance and then develops a comprehensive understanding of the same through home visits. The observations from home visit are further documented as well as shared with the other teachers at school, to finally develop a progress plan for the child.
Being approachable is one of the key strengths of CMS as shared by parents, students and school staff. With home visits, teachers are able to reach out to each child and her/his parents individually. Parents shared that in cases where the child needs additional support, these visits have helped them to work with the teacher and understand how they can help their child. Many shared that, as a result, their child has benefitted evidently. Children, who do not feel comfortable in reaching out to just any teacher, often approach their guardian teacher as they feel a sense of special bond with them after they have visited their homes.
Teachers fondly refer to the children who are assigned to them as ‘my children’. They say that after visiting each of them at their homes, they form a bond that is so special that children keep coming back to their ‘guardian teacher’ most often even after years of finishing school.