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Parental Engagement

I’m always asking people to blog for Nexus and always say how easy it is but this is my first blog- be kind!

We were invited into our daughter’s class to join in a lesson to encourage parental engagement. Here’s how it went…

A while ago, I saw something written by one of our regular Nexus bloggers, Nadine Finlay. She said she had held open lessons for parents to come and join in. Ever since I read that, I wished I could do that. I wondered what my girl was up to in school all day. She had just started in Year 1 and although she shared bits of information, it was all new and we were only finding out half of it.

Naturally, it took her a few weeks to learn all her new teacher’s and friend’s names as she was now with a new set of children, bar 3 girls she was in Reception with.

She was also getting used to a new class routine and was finding the jump from reception to a mixed Year 1/ Year 2 class a lot.  She was used to being top of the class in Reception and I think it was a shock having a lot more work to do and a lot less playtime. There were also older children in her class who had ‘done it all before’. For the first time since she started private nursery, she didn’t want to go to school. This was hard for us to hear because it was new, we had never had to make her go to school. She usually wanted to be there all the time, even in the holidays and played schools for half an hour in her bedroom before bed every night. She had even said many times she wanted to be a teacher. It was a hard few weeks as a parent because I never want my kids to worry about or not want to go to school. She is also quite like me and can get anxious. I often think how scary new things are for me so I try to support her and help her get through things.

Then one day she brought and invitation home to her class’ ‘Arty Party’. We were invited to come into her class and take part in a lesson with her. I couldn’t wait! We were going to see what she was doing and how she was settling in.

Miss Williams was very nice and although we had spoken to her on the yard a few times, she made an effort to go around and talk to everyone. She also spoke lots to my boy who will start school in September. This, I’m sure, will make him more comfortable when the time comes.  Oliver is a big boy and proceeded to eat as much snack and drink as much milk as he could find. Miss encouraged him and was extremely welcoming. We had a great time and got to talk to other parents too.

We made a family tree together and had fun as a family and saw that Naomi was at ease in her class. She went around and showed her brother all the things they had been doing. Miss then later shared some pictures on Seesaw, as she often does. It really helps us feel like we are involved in our daughter’s time at school.

We now have a much better understanding of what she is explaining when she gets home and I know I could go to her teacher and ask her any questions I had. Naomi now sits in her room every night with a lanyard and pretends to be Miss Williams.

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The author

With a degree in English from Chester University and a keen interest in teaching, Rhiannon heads up Nexus Education’s social media engagement and blogs. She is at the fore-front of Nexus’ efforts to connect teachers to each other enabling them to make a difference in the education sector. Having two young children entering school age also gives Rhiannon an added interest in making lives easier for teachers and therefore bettering our children’s futures.

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