Reply To: Share your practices
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I think COVID-19 has been really influential on the way kura engage with whanau. I saw two things happen from 2020 onwards. On one level, parents were no longer encouraged to visit campus, and I think relationships suffered a bit from that. On another level, my relationships with parents actually flourished during lockdown as I was able to more personally engage with them and express concern on a home level towards them. As an early teacher I feel like lockdown stepped my relationship with whanau past academic check ins and towards shared caregiving.
My center is similarly hamstrung by COVID. Parents hover in the doorway but I’m sure they would love to enter the center and engage with the children.
Interestingly I have observed that parents who drop by later in the day, when there are fewer children, have much more developed relationships with staff than families who drop off and pick up during ‘busier’ hours. I found the reflection in the reading that staffing enough for a child pickup/dropoff is quite important. These children were also often the ones who might have more need for support – longer days and less ability to put on a ‘show’ – so perhaps it was the classic teacher focus issue.
I loved the depiction of team teaching where each member is supporting and emphasizing with the other. I wonder how I might fit in an contribute as a relief teacher tethered to a center. How can I be an excellent contributor who is empathetic too? The load on a team member when a reliever is in is very high.
I understand the center engages somewhat with Storypark and also uses Facebook. I haven’t seen what this engagement looks like but I haven’t seen much investment from teachers on the floor. I wonder if this is a relatively new initiative.
It’s too early to shift away from limiting parental access with COVID ripping through our staff and kids, and winter coming. I would love to see a major dip in cases in summer that might make whanau engagement safe enough to hold events.