Thursday 15 December 2011

Respectful Teaching

For a long time I've spouted about the negative impact one poor teacher or teaching assistant can have on a child with behavioural difficulties. I've witnessed professionals talk to children in a demeaning manner and then be surprised when they receive nothing but back chat and a lack of respect in return. You could spend months ironing out the creases in a child's behaviour, giving them the tools they need to successfully interact and the methods to use in times of stress, but it can be undone in the blink of an eye, by one interaction with a teacher or assistant, who is incapable of displaying the respect a child needs to be shown in order to develop respect for those around them.

It is no surprise to me that children with behavioural difficulties are 9/10, capable of displaying perfectly acceptable behaviour for one adult yet not for another. These children should be treated with a blank page, not just every day but every lesson. To hold a child responsible for a name they called you yesterday is a pointless and petty action. These children need to develop a sense of pride in their behaviour, and they are not going to achieve that when they receive more attention for the negative behaviour they display then the positive.

Staff at The Real School in Falmouth, have adopted a hands off approach to teaching.  Physical intervention and restraint techniques will only be used if the child is posing a danger to themselves or others. They are actively encouraging the children to take responsibility for their own actions. An example given in an article on the Disability Scoop website says "Instead of being held down, a student who's bolting is more likely to be offered their coat to keep warm outdoors." Here it seems, is a school full of teachers after my own heart. I'm willing to bet, here is a place, you will not find a lack of respect between teacher and pupil (and vice versa!).

Some children shrink back when spoken down to, others bite back, I was one of those children.

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