“We are hardwired for connection, curiosity and engagement.”-Brene’ Brown
As students look to seek each of the three elements mentioned in the above quote, they don’t need to look too much further than our School Services Officers (SSOs). Often quietly entering and exiting classes while they move between working with students across the school, SSOs have ninja-like skills that support students in reaching their goals and potential all while never truly revealing their super powers!
At PNPS we have a team of SSOs that work in a range of roles supporting staff and students. These include:
- Speech and language sessions
- Stretch activities
- In-class support
- Maintaining and sourcing resources
- Emotional support
- Financial administration
- IT support
- Communication with families
- Scheduling and enrolment information, and
- Being a friendly voice on the other end of the phone when we have questions or concerns about any manner of things across the days and weeks throughout the year.
Just a few ways that the amazing team of SSOs help students with the three elements from the quote provided:
We have students look forward to visits from and sessions with SSOs each week whether it be individual, small group or whole class activities. This is due in large part to the strong connections that SSOs at PNPS have built with students over the years. This starts with our Starting School Program where SSOs are a huge part of welcoming new Receptions to school and forming lasting connections that support students in feeling safe, comfortable and welcome when they arrive for their first day of school. Our SSO team also provide break times activities and are an active presence in outdoor activities for students both during class time and break times. The kind and caring nature with which our SSO team approach each learning activity they are involved in, creates strong connections that lead to positive learning outcomes for many students across the school.
With strong connections comes the safety and space for students to be curious about their surroundings. The Student Support Officers at PNPS encourage this and also stay curious in teaching and learning situations. Prompting students by asking questions, thinking about different topics and different perspectives while listening to student’s thoughts and feelings about their learning and the world around them, provide SSO’s a wealth of opportunities to build and foster curiosity in our students.
This is an area that all SSO’s at PNPS use a range of strategies each and every day to ensure that those students they are working with are engaged and ready to learn. Working closely with classroom teachers, whether it be in the classroom, up in the office, in small groups in the Resource Centre, SSOs have a vast knowledge and understanding of the skills and strategies they can use with students to engage them in learning and support students to reach their goals.
Although SSOs at PNPS may move quietly and swiftly around our classes and work together with a collective aim much like that of the Ninja Turtles, it does not go unnoticed and we are so grateful for all of the amazing work they do with the staff and students at our school.
“The path that leads to what we truly desire is long and difficult, but only by following that path do we achieve our goal.”–Master Splinter
Master Splinter may be right but at PNPS we are so glad that we have our strong SSO team to help us along the way, provide support and understanding along the way and help make that journey just a little easier!