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14 February 2020

posted 13 Feb 2020, 18:34 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 13 Feb 2020, 18:34 by Stephanie Williams ]
Nau mai, haere mai and welcome to an exciting new decade and the Year of the Rat! 

“Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.”
Sounds ideal, but hopefully we won’t find any real ones on the Peninsula!

Like at the beginning of all school years establishing effective relationships looms big. This includes child-child, child-teachers, parent-teachers, parent-child-teachers - the triangle!

A huge body of research shows that relationships in a child’s life are like roots of a tree. When the roots are strong, the children can grow, they can thrive and weather the storms that may come their way. It makes perfect sense but it’s not always straight forward for everyone. 

I came across a piece on 5 key elements for Parents by the Search Institute in the States which I thought useful to keep in mind as we start this new year…..
  1. Express Care - The goal isn’t to have a ‘nice’ relationship, it’s to have a ‘developmental relationship’.
  2. Challenge Growth - Keep pushing and allowing for children to grow.
  3. Provide Support - Support doesn’t mean becoming a helicopter parent and taking away all opportunity for children to attempt something on their own and fail. The independence to make mistakes is important and then there is the need to have an adult to talk it through with and discuss what they might do next.
  4. Sharing Power - It’s not relinquishing power. It’s about giving children voice and choice appropriate to their age and stage and situation.
  5. Expanding Possibilities - Exposing children to things outside of their limited world view - new places, new people, new concepts.
They also had researched what works for staff when building strong relationships with children which I also thought was a simple process for the start of the year which I’ll be encouraging the teachers to use:

The Four S's
  1. Sparks - find out what sparks them, their passions
  2. Strengths - what are they proud of, their abilities
  3. Struggles - the challenges, what they are worried about or find hard
  4. Supports -  the people and environments that make them feel they can be themselves.
I’m hoping that by investing time in building relationships with children and each other we can help our children build those strong roots that can withstand the worst Wellington storm!

With Goal Setting Meetings very soon on the horizon, we can pull all of this information together and support the children to set goals that make sense to them - not too easy, not too hard, just right! (Please make sure you have booked by visiting:  www.schoolinterviews.co.nz/ and entering the Worser Bay School Code:  fjzgu by midday on Monday 17 February.)

In terms of further relationship building opportunities come to:
  • The first Parent Workshop/Wananga of 2020 - Thursday 27 February, 6.30pm
  • The Pōwhiri - Friday 28 February, 9.15am
  • Autahi and Tautoru Parent Workshop - Worser Bay School - Tuesday 3 March, 6.15pm to 7.00pm