Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Teaching is my passion, and learning is my obsession.

I find it so fulfilling to teach the children in my class and to be a part of their growth. It is exciting to see them learning new things and applying their knowledge to new areas. When a child has made noticeable progress I feel like shouting it to the world and having a party to celebrate.

Parents will know what I am talking about. You were there when your child said their first word, or took their first step. You know what it's like to feel truly proud of a child. You also see them learn new things and progress in their understanding of the world around them.

Parents and teachers don't always get the opportunity to come together - to celebrate learning and work in partnership. Too often teachers do the bit at school and parents do the bit at home, and both complain that the other one isn't doing their job well enough!

I'd love to see this partnership strengthened such that parents have a thorough understanding of what happens in the classroom even to the point of helping in class where possible; and teachers are aware of the background of the child and understand things that are important to his/her family.

Sometimes when I have had parent/teacher interviews, parents have asked me for some tips about how to help their child with his/her learning. On many of these ocassions I have been unable to provide what I feel is an adequate response. In the pressure of the moment, my mind comes up blank. So, I've decided to start a podcast, and this blog in attempt to provide the advice I never can in that moment!

I really need your feedback on this, as a chain isn't a chain at all if it consists of only one link! Just as I hope you can learn from my observations in the classroom, I hope to learn from your experiences in the home. I can offer suggestions of what I might try if I had kids, but you are the ones who will test it out. If my advice doesn't work, I'd like to know!

I look forward to writing many more posts for you, and attempting my first podcasts.



nicky said...

What an amazing idea! All the best Penny, I would be happy to help in any way I can.

Penny Ryder said...

Thanks Nicky. I'm sure I'll drag you into this with me at some point along the way. I've been working on the podcast this weekend, but it will probably be another week or so before I figure it all out. Baby steps... So is it okay for me to use your picture on my Teaching Challenges blogspot?

loonyhiker said...

I look foward to your posts and your podcasts. I've listened to your first podcast and enjoyed it! You seem so natural that I couldn't tell it was scripted.

Anonymous said...

Parents are amazing and I have learnt through working in special needs that the parents also deal with a lot coming to terms with their childs needs.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Penny!

As parent and teacher, I share your passion. I teach y9 to y13 by distance, in Science.

If there is one wish that I'd want to have granted for learning in the 21st century, it would be that this century be one for parent and child.

The rate of change - in everything - is too great for learning to be confined to the young. I believe that for humankind to flourish and to continue to do so, the relationship between parent and offspring has to take a major shift - perhaps one that restores what I believe used to exist in the days before technology created the so-called nuclear family.

To do this, parents need to be a part of learning - for themselves and their offspring. What we learnt about last century and this, is that learning in the child can be so much enhanced through parental support - nothing new here. I am convinced that the survival of our primitive ancestors relied on this same important relationship.

We now have quite different adversaries to those that existed in primitive times, but they are real and they are prevalent.

Ka kite
from Middle-earth