They had to book her fifteen months in advance, but parenting expert and the ‘Queen of Common Sense’ Maggie Dent finally spoke in Tumut this week to rapt audiences.
Her Wednesday night talk, attended by about 65 people, was aimed at educators, while her Thursday night talk, pre-booked by approximately 100 people, was aimed at parents.
The events were organised by Barb McKimmie and Krystal Telford from the Birthing and Babies Support group (BaBS), and Ms McKimmie said it was everything they were hoping for and more.
“It was amazing; it was really, really good,” she said.
“It was really inspiring, and a bit emotional even! We’re so lucky to have her here, she’s travelling around Australia and she’s booked out for the whole year next year.”
Maggie’s Wednesday night talk covered a range of topics, including how to connect with students of all ages; how to engage kids in learning by using what they themselves are interested in as an entry point; and the importance of free and imaginary play rather than endless reporting and testing.
“She had lots of wonderful stories of kids that she’d taught and how if you can instil a sense of wonder in kids they can learn so much, even if they’re young,” said Ms McKimmie.
“Maggie is from the country as well so she understands us. She was so nice and she had us all laughing throughout – she related to us as well as being a professional and really knowing her stuff.”
The Birthing and Babies Support group is a volunteer-run initiative to connect pregnant women, new mums, and mums with young kids to help navigate the challenges of parenthood.
They get together once a fortnight with social outings, professional presentations, and guest speakers, and can be contacted at www.tumutbabs.com/contact-us.html.