Many middle school teachers visit the homes of their students about a month or two into the new school year to meet with the students' parents. To be able to guide each student in the right direction, it is important to know as much as possible about him or her. There are limits to what teachers can perceive about each student in the classroom; by visiting the student's homes the teacher is able to gain an idea of the kind of home and community they grew up in and acquire new insights into the student's personality.
These visits also benefit the parents since they will gain a better idea of the kind of educational policy the school has. Through these meetings, closer cooperation between home and school can be achieved.
The visits are ordinarily made between April and June. In cases where the visits are made in June, one of the frequently discussed topics is the results of the midterm exams that had just been held.
It takes three to four days to visit the homes of all students. Students are let out after lunch on visiting days, allowing teachers to call on parents in the afternoon. When the day of the visit approaches, students get a little nervous, wondering what their teacher will say about them. They worry that they'll be scolded by their parents later, but in most cases, the visits do not produce admonishments.
At some schools, the calls are made only to the homes of first-year middle school students. At others, the homes of first- and second-year students are visited. Schools scheduling home visits for third-year students as well are now quite rare.
At some schools, teachers will meet with the parents of all their students, while at others they will call on only those parents who desire such a meeting. There are also some schools that have abolished the system of home visits by teachers altogether.