Teachers, students, parents hail workshop

Thursday, July 12, 2018

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SCORES of students, parents and teachers from across the island are now more prepared to take on the new school year having participated in Maverick Communications Limited's (MCL) second Parenting Workshop last weekend.

The workshop, which was held under the theme, 'Ready-up Children, Parents & Teachers: Transitioning from Primary to High School', had one objective: Allay fears and mixed negative attitudes related to moving onto secondary education.

According to a recent release, the feedback from participants — which included students who recently sat the Grade Six Achievement Test, grades six and seven teachers, as well as parents and caregivers — was favourable.

“I learned how to survive in high school,” said Amala Dixon, who attended Immaculate Preparatory School and will be joining first-formers at Campion College in September.

She, along with close to 30 others, expressed appreciation for the presentation done by Dr Patrece Charles, child counselling psychologist and CEO of the Phoenix Counselling Centre, who explained the high school landscape, how to traverse “big school” and how to be successful.

The release said teachers were also impressed with the workshop, and particularly by their facilitator Dr Leahcim Semaj, a transformation psychologist who spoke to the fact that students develop at different rates.

“It was exceptional. Dr Semaj was quite inspirational. He reminded us as teachers what it is that we need to do to get to the students and how we need to bring parents on board so that we can better empower the students and parents for a successful tomorrow,” he said.

Having staged a successful parenting workshop last October, MCL said in the release that it saw a need.

With the goal of enhancing parents' skills to better support their children, the workshop also sought to provide parents with the tools required to alleviate their children's anxiety. Actionable strategies were also provided for parents to survive the primary to secondary school transition, which not only speaks to moving onto high school, but puberty — a corresponding stage of physical development.

MCL said it is already understood that there are challenges associated with that phase of a child's development for which parents must be ready to shift their parenting styles.

Last weekend's session, held at the Rex Nettleford Multi-Purpose Room at The University of the West Indies, Mona, concluded with panel discussions with all the presenters, wherein even more insight and recommendations were given to the combined group.

“We are beyond proud to have put on this seminar and look forward to doing more engagements like these in the future,” said Melody Cammock-Gayle, CEO, MCL. “We are in full support of aiding both parents and child development through sessions like these, and are poised to help parents and teachers get involved in the lives of the nation's future leaders. We are thankful to our sponsors and all who came out to make this session a thrilling success for all.”

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