Each term the kindergartens on the Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training (FTTT) programme hold a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meeting. Members of the FTTT team also attend these meetings to support the head teachers and classroom teachers in explaining aspects of the programme to the parents in order to gain their support.
Last week members of the FTTT team and the Holy Child College of Education training team attended a PTA meeting at Holy Child Practice kindergarten. The team were particularly impressed with this PTA meeting because of the way in which the head teacher and his kindergarten teachers created practical experiences for the parents so that they could find out what being in a FTTT kindergarten feels like for their children.
Practical experiences included discovering how children register themselves when they arrive at school in the morning and what items children are provided to play with in the various centres around the classroom. The teachers also showed them the variety of work produced by children in their individual portfolios, such as drawings, letters, words and phrases.
The parents were thrilled with what they saw in the classrooms and concluded that the teachers at Holy Child Practice, through adopting the FTTT approach, are providing their children with richer learning experiences than the nearby private schools. They also agreed that they would now willingly contribute money towards stationary and maintenance costs, which showed that the school now has the full support of the parents.
The team were interested to find out if the parents had noted any changes in their children since the school had joined the FTTT programme. Some parents said that their children were now less timid at home, some had been inspired by the hairdressing centre in the classroom and always wanted to do hairstyling for family members at home. One parent said that her child can now easily identify colours, another said her child ‘cooks’ for her father and another automatically tidies up around the house without being asked to. This feedback shows that the children are all being spurred on by their growing curiosity and what is being learnt in the classroom is spilling over into home life.
This school has done an excellent job of sensitising parents at their PTA meeting and we look forward to seeing much more of this at other schools this term.