There was quite a variety of responses to the questions.
Some schools do not allow parents to visit while some schools welcome them
with open arms. I have posted all of the responses that I received.
We generally allow the parents to come in anytime they wish. We do prefer
advance contact with the teacher.
I have worked at allaying teacher concerns about this by ensuring them that
the parent is not their supervisor. The purpose of their visit is to watch
their child and their classroom and not make judgments about the
instruction of the trained professional. My teachers know I trust them, and
they have my support. (I have a great staff!) I would venture that this
attitude has built confidence in my staff, which actually makes the parents
feel more comfortable.
We have specific directions that parents are to enter quietly and sit at the
back of the room until the teacher may address them. They are not in anyway
to disrupt the instruction. We also inform the teacher by intercom or phone
that they have a visitor before we send them down.
The parents have also been informed that they must make an appointment for a
conference that is convenient for the teacher. They may not have an on
demand conference unless the teacher approves it.
Part of what makes this easier is that we have a number of volunteer parents
in our building everyday. Everyone is comfortable enough with their
presence. Though not always true, the more parent visitors we have, the
more they trust us and vis-à-vis. If you restrict the visits too tightly,
the parents tend to think that you may have something to hide. I think open
visits with clear boundaries makes a big difference in our school-family
No, No and Not allowed. The elementary, maybe on special days established
by the school. All other requests could become evaluative and are not
I have found when parents want to visit, they are unsure about the teacher:
whether it is a first year or reassigned teacher. It is only fair since
principals couldn't even walk in unannounced to observe without meeting
first with the teacher. I ask the parent to give 24 hour notice and limit
the visit (could be a disruption) to 30 min.
I usually accompany the parent, so we are on the same page, and there are no
surprises - this has been beneficial.
We have some handbook language welcoming parents to our classrooms. We
request that the teacher be notified 24 hours in advance. If it appears to
become disruptive, we bring the concern to the parent, and or teacher.
We like to have parents in so the school is seen as welcoming, but we do ask
that parents notify us in advance in case the class is taking a test or has
other different happenings on a particular day. We do let them know they are
to be silent visitors for other students attempting to learn that day;
I am going through this now. We do not have open visitation at this time.
Parents have to make prior arrangements with the teacher to visit.
In answer to your questions:
1) No. Parents must arrange a time with their child's teacher before a
visit. Parents may not come in to a classroom unannounced.
2) Aside from the above, parents shouldn't use visiting time for long talks
about issues concerning their child (i.e. grades, conduct). They should set
up a conference if they wish to do this
3) This hasn't come up. If it did, I'm sure I'd have a conversation with the
parent and try to point out tactfully that what they're doing isn't in their
child's best interest.
You're scaring me. Do you have a parent wanting to visit every day? For what
reason? Are they wanting to volunteer in the classroom? Is the child not
wanting to separate from mom? Does the parent not think the teacher is doing
a good job? What grade? I don't have a policy, but may need one before
something happens. Please share more info.
Does you board policy allow parents to visit classrooms at any time?
NO! See below:
What limits do you set on parents visiting?
Arrange for visit in advance and receive the approval of the principal.
Would you allow the parent to visit every day if they wanted to? What are
your criteria for parent visitations?
No - they would become a distraction to the learning environment for all the
Depends on the circumstances. Elementary, we allow liberally as long as they
are there to help or for short unobtrusive visits. If they are clearly there
for personal gain, to spy on other children or the teacher, or if they
intervene in the instruction, they are asked to leave. Interestingly, we
just had a situation occur in one of our high needs autism classrooms and
Mom was becoming a problem. Legal advice was that we can and should give
the boot. She has no basis to be there and is contemplating due process. She
is gone and so far, so good!
Most any time - I usually question motive - no taping or recording or
pictures - not during testing -
Daily? I had one I had to limit then fire - mom was nuts - munchousen proxy
disease -
I do NOT allow parents to visit classrooms unless the teacher has requested
it and/or is comfortable with the parent being there. I find no reason for a
parent to be in a classroom, especially all day, and definitely not every
day. If a parent wants to visit on a certain day (that has to be prearranged
with me), I also want to know that they have no judgments against them (such
as sex offender, etc). Without having time to research this, there is no
way I would place my students and my teacher in harms way having a parent
come in. I have two of my own children in class - as a parent, I sure don't
want some strange person standing over them, then going home and gossiping
about the abilities (or disabilities) of my child. I know other parents
would not appreciate this either. I think it is inappropriate to have
parents in classrooms, except with the "exceptions" I first wrote about.
In loco parentis - you agreed to drop your child off, now let us do our job.
I have always been able to dodge this bullet. I don't like the idea and try
to convince parents not to attend. I'm uncertain on my leverage.
When I was a principal, I had our Building Council draft language on this
topic and place it in the parent handbook. The BC had parent representation.
Basically, we limited the visits to 30 minutes, teacher had to approve the
date, and quiet, respectful observation was mandated.
Also, if a parent had questions after the visit, they needed to schedule an
appointment to meet with the teacher - they could not try to engage the
teacher at the end of the 30 minute visitation. We had language on failure
to follow these parameters as well. Out district has good policy concerning
parent misconduct on school grounds!
We allow anytime but if a parent is being a hindrance to the classroom or
teacher then I then limit access. It has only happened maybe twice in 13 years.