People of BAC: Enhanced Learning Teacher Jenene Parker on Learning Needs

Never bury your concerns—or do nothing and hope issues will vanish! Pray—and talk about your feelings. It takes a whole village to raise a child!
Jenene Parker, BAC EL Teacher

Jenene Parker enjoys teaching children at both ends of the learning spectrum: those who struggle and those who are academically gifted. She says that a particular type of teaching and learning may work for most students, but it doesn't mean it works for all students.

This is where Jenene can help. As a case manager and Enhanced Learning teacher, she designs educational strategies, services, and supports for children with additional learning needs.

She is not new to this field, although she is new to BAC this year! "God put it on my heart to apply for the role after over 20 years in the State system," she says.

There are several steps in Jenene's approach to her students.

1. Listen to and learn about the child

"I want to get to know my students—discover what they're interested in and good at. I listen, listen, and listen some more. I observe how they react in different situations because I want to see and understand them as a whole person. This helps a student feel respected, and I've discovered that students who feel respected are more likely to grasp new concepts faster and develop a joy of learning. Having fun is an important part of the process!"

2. Gather information for a holistic understanding of the child

"I glean as much information as possible from specialist and teacher reports and talk with parents. I also observe the child in and out of the classroom before moving forward with an individual education plan that takes an all-round approach to their support."

3. Partner with parents

Jenene likes to meet parents and caregivers. She's interested in their joys and fears, can help them interpret complex test results and specialists' reports, and is interested in what they observe about their child's behaviour at home and in other non-school environments.

4. Working together for the best outcomes

"I see the children I work with as God's children and I'd encourage parents not to bury their concerns or do nothing and hope it will vanish. Pray—and make sure you talk about your feelings," Jenene says. "It takes a whole village to raise a child!"

If you suspect your child has additional learning needs, please speak with your child's teacher, who may advise you to talk to your GP and consult with a specialist. Additionally, Jenene suggests researching resources and support and pursuing all your options.