SNA Life: Families and Communication
SNAs and the Family, Communication is key!
Quite often, the first member of staff the children see every morning is the SNA on yard duty. We are out there in all weathers greeting the children, hearing about the match played the evening before or about that all-important visit of the tooth fairy!
For me personally, I find it a really enjoyable way to start the day. ! I think we can all agree that it’s extremely important for that first point of contact in the morning to reflect the positivity and enthusiasm of the school’s working environment. While the communication with parents is primarily the responsibility of the teacher, I would typically have a few kids who I would be looking out for and there’s always a parent or two asking me to remind their child that the note for their teacher is “in the front pocket of his school bag”.
Seeing the SNA and parents being able to have a friendly few words helps bridge the gap between home and school for many of our students. It’s often the time also where you get little tips about who might be sleepy because their baby brother had a restless night or who might find it hard to concentrate because their favourite aunt is coming home from abroad.
The parents themselves may not have the best memories of their own school days so sometimes that informal chat or even a brief wave can help reassure them that their child is entering a caring and supportive school community.
That transition from home to school in the morning can be vitally important in determining how the rest of the day proceeds for children under our care. There are a thousand and one reasons why a child might feel anxious coming to school in the morning and we are often the “touch-point” the child needs settle themselves into their school routine.
When needed, communication diaries can be a great link between the home and school to update either end about the child and it’s often the SNA will fill in these books. They can be a nice way to show the child that you “caught them” trying particularly hard at a subject or being especially kind to a peer. While we might say these things to the child at the time, seeing it written down and having it as a conversation point with those at home can help to reinforce the knowledge that the school and home are working together to help the child reach their full potential. Of course, it also can help to spark conversations at home to avoid the dreaded “Nothin” that some kids insist they did in school all day!
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