Turn on your radio, Nebraska

By NSEA President Jenni Benson


Twenty-four years ago, the NSEA began a partnership with the Nebraska Broadcasters Association to support and provide information to Nebraskans about our public schools. I am pleased to report that partnership is still going strong.

Over the past year, more than 100 radio and television stations across Nebraska aired NSEA’s messages more than 18,800 times.

I recently recorded a series of new radio messages that will air throughout the 2021-22 school year. The messages include back-to-school tips, parent-teacher conference information, and support for our students, parents, teachers, education support professionals and our great Nebraska public schools.

It is an honor to be able to reach thousands of Nebraskans each day with these messages and to let them know that our public schools are doing great things in all corners of the state. Here’s a taste of what you’ll hear when you turn on your radio and tune in.

Parents make a difference

Caring teachers and involved parents make the difference in a child’s learning. Our teachers and ESPs want every child to have a great public school.

Parent-teacher conferences are a key ingredient to your child’s academic achievement. Head into your conference with plenty of notes and questions. Share details with the teacher about your child and life at home. Ask about your child’s strengths and weaknesses in the classroom, how they interact with classmates and how you can be supportive.

Our public school teachers want every child to learn, grow and succeed. It’s key to build a partnership with your child’s teacher. Visit with them, and ask for an overview of your child’s strengths and areas for growth. Ask for recommendations for activities and opportunities so you can work with your child to harness their strengths and address their challenges.

Teachers continue to innovate

The past year and a half has been a challenge, but parents, students and our Nebraska public school educators adapted, innovated, and continued teaching and learning.

I taught for more than 35 years. Educators are used to the challenges of a typical school year, but the last year-plus was far from typical. Yet, everyone leaned in and found creative ways to adapt, innovate and persevere.

Behind each student were resourceful families and dedicated educators who reached out with open arms of support. Because of all the ways we worked together, our students continued to learn, grow and thrive.

Stay healthy so we can stay in school

We’ve been reminded of the importance of following health and safety guidance from medical experts. As teachers, our goal is to keep our schools open and our students in the classroom. Because we know in-person teaching and learning is best for our students.

We know the best learning for our kids happens when they are in classrooms, in person, with their classmates and teachers. To help keep our public schools open for in-person learning, please follow health and safety guidelines from medical experts.

Lay the foundation with good habits

It’s a new school year, time for parents and kids to establish habits that will encourage learning. Parents, you can help your child succeed in school by creating good study routines. Pick a time and a quiet place for homework, ask what happened in school, and establish bedtime routines so your child will be rested, ready to learn.

Turn off the TV and power down the video games. As a teacher, mom and grandmother, I know children need a quiet place to do homework. Designate an area in your home away from the TV and background noise. Good study habits start with a quiet learning environment at home.

Make time for reading every day

Your child’s most important school supply is free, and fits in a pocket. It’s their library card, and it’s important to use that card often. Your local library can unlock a whole new world for your child. Explore it together. The library is a great place to learn and spend time together.

There’s no better way to spark a child’s imagination than to get lost in the adventure of a good book. You can help by reading to your child, and let your child read to you. Encourage reading in your home, and make it a priority. Make reading fun and a time that you and your child look forward to spending together.