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In this episode with Saira Remtulla, we discuss the benefits of learning through play and music – from babies to adults and everyone in-between!
An Ontario Certified Teacher of 15 years with the Toronto District School Board, Saira is passionate and devoted to children and teaching. As the Founder of ConnectED Start, Saira has developed a fun-filled program tailored to children ages zero-months to 5 years, which provides them the foundational tools necessary to achieve success in their educational journey. Making ‘connections’ with their caregivers, their surroundings, and each other are the keys to success!
Saira has a beautiful energy and enthusiasm for setting your kiddos up for success in the early years through high impact connections with caregivers using music and rhyme.
In our conversation, Saira shares how personal connections and engaging learning experiences are critical to building the brain’s neural connections in these early years. As well, she talks about the importance of developing confidence in our kids and creating safe spaces to make mistakes – as this is where some of the greatest learning happens!
Listen in as we talk about:
- How ConnectED Start came to be. Saira shares the events that led to creating her company and programs.
- Why building strong, positive connections is so important. Saira talks about the importance of building those strong and positive connections and how it impacts children in a significant way.
- The power in setting high expectations for our kids. Do you have high expectations of your kids? Saira explains why that isn’t always a bad thing and how it can impact our kids in a positive way.
- The benefits of using rhymes, music and play for learners of all ages. Saira talks about how using a combination of these three learning techniques benefits kids, teens and adults alike in their learning journey.
Connect with Saira:
- Website: https://linktr.ee/connectedstart
- Instagram: @connectedstart
- Facebook: @connectedstart
- TikTok: @connectedstart
- YouTube: Saira Remtulla
Connect with Tiana:
- Website: https://tianafech.com
- LinkedIn: Tiana Fech https://www.linkedin.com/in/tianafech/
- Instagram: @tianafech https://www.instagram.com/tianafech/
- Facebook: @tianafech https://www.facebook.com/tianafech
- Book: Online Course Creation 101: A step-by-step guide to creating your first online course https://amzn.to/3BujR21
HOW CONNECTED START CAME TO BE
When Saira first began her new business after leaving her teacher job, she reached out to a mommy organization in the community and asked to run a music class for them.
To Saira’s excitement, they agreed, and that’s how ConnectED Start was born.
After its launch, the company continued to snowball and brought forth many new opportunities for learning, play and development.
WHY BUILDING STRONG, POSITIVE CONNECTIONS IS SO IMPORTANT
“We have to feel comfortable being uncomfortable because that’s when we’re growing the most.”
Making connections and building a strong, positive connection is crucial right from the get-go, right from birth. In Saira’s opinion, it’s important for caregivers and parents to build strong connections with their babies.
She suggests doing this through music, through play, answering when they try to talk to you, etc. This leads to a positive wellbeing and strong mental health, even in adulthood.
Research shows that when you build that positive connection, you create a feeling of safety and comfort. Then, kids are more likely to make mistakes and feel confident that they can resolve them. This eventually leads to building confidence and resilience as an adult navigating life’s challenges.
THE POWER IN SETTING HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR OUR KIDS
It’s important to set high expectations for our kids because they can actually do the things you’re wanting them to do.
Setting high expectations allows new connections within the brain pathways, and builds that relationship between brain cells.
Saira believes that setting those high expectations will only lead to success for your children, better language and reading skills, and more.
Giving your kids the opportunity to learn on a deeper level will benefit them as they grow older.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE
Being a parent is a tough job. We provide support and guidance to our kids but at the end of the day, it is their journey. Saira says that to be successful, to be happy, and to have joy in life you need to love what you do. You don’t want to just wake up in the morning to go to a job. You want to wake up in the morning to do what you love.
As parents and educators, we can support our children and students to reach for the stars by encouraging them to have high expectations for themselves and to pursue the things that they love.
THE BENEFITS OF USING RHYMES, MUSIC AND PLAY FOR LEARNERS OF ALL AGES
Music, movement, and play are engaging for our little ones. It’s about choosing the activities that will set our kids up for success.
We learn through our senses when we’re little. And so giving children the opportunity to feel things, to hear things, is so important.
Teaching our kids how to repeat songs, sing out loud, dance or enjoy themselves builds upon that confidence piece, as well as their creativity and innovation. As we grow older, these are the skills that we continue to build upon as we evolve and mature.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
What is something that you would love to learn about or something that you would love to learn how to do? Play the piano
What is a place that is at the top of your travel bucket list? Somewhere hot and with a beach
What is a book, podcast, or TV show that you have enjoyed recently? TV Show: Shark Tank
If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone that you would love to learn from, who would it be? Maria Montessori
1:00 Meet Saira
2:35 Saira’s story
8:40 Saira talks about the importance of building strong positive connections with younger kiddos
14:20 Saira discusses the importance of setting high expectations for our kiddos
27:00 Saira shares the benefits of using rhymes, music, and play with babies and toddlers and how these strategies also benefit older children and adults with their learning
39:10 Saira reflects on her favourite teacher (her guidance counselor)
43:20 What Saira is most proud of looking back on her journey so far
45:20 Saira answers some rapid fire questions
47:45 Saira’s words of wisdom