Tuesday, 1 March 2016


"When someone is drowning it is not the time to give swimming lessons".
(From book "Children are People Too" Louise Porter, 2001)

This book is an extremely valuable read.  It will make you reflect carefully on how we reward children and school reward systems.  Dr Louise Porter is an Australian child psychologist and has written many books.  She has a website at http://www.louiseporter.com.au

Following from my post yesterday on trauma and learning and reflecting on Dr Porter's quote "When someone is drowning it is not the time to give swimming lessons" I feel it is important for teachers to  always be sensitive and caring towards their students.  Often we don't know why or how regarding their behaviour but being able to be calm will be a critical factor for working with students with challenging behaviours.

It can be difficult at times when a student is violent, verbally abusive or difficult but getting out of control isn't the answer.  Teachers who argue or scream at the student will only escalate the problem.  As they say "slow and steady wins the race".

Always being positive and letting the student know that you care about them is paramount.  Teachers can do this  in so many ways, simply by smiling at them, greeting them personally and telling them that you are glad they are there today.  This will slowly shift even the most difficult student. Developing a genuine relationship that is honest, friendly and comforting is crucial.

We need to remember that for some students school is there only refuge and school is where they feel safe.

Have you had a student with difficult behaviour and how have you handled the situation?

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