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Fighting Talk!

Teachers To Get Mental Health Training

This is a good start but it falls short of bringing about purposeful change. Sending teachers on 1-2 day training courses, stinks of a tick box exercise.

We have to fundamentally change the way teachers are trained and what’s included in that training.

There are hundreds of outstanding teachers out there, yet far too many who can’t see past the end of their nose. No insight, no compassion, no empathy, and total lack of understanding of the variety of behaviours within their class. A read of Can You Hear It?! could be helpful here.

The constant knee jerk reaction of the ‘behaviour is bad so move the child on’. This ‘teacher behaviour’ and attitude can start as early as Reception. Teachers across the years, lording it over parents, not listening to the parents, demeaning them and implying that…

‘We know your children better than you!’

How can a teacher honestly know a child better? They may have insight within the school day but unless they listen, they will never know or understand what might just be going on at home or in the world of that child. This, in turn, starts a very slippery slope of children and families being failed.

Having been involved directly with education for 10 yrs, added to that, the years my children attended school, I’ve seen it all and heard enough. This week alone, I’m having to hear yet more stories of children and families being failed, just because the educator knows best!!

If I hear another SENCO state, “The child can’t be Autistic because they give eye contact” or “Their behaviour is fine at school, so it must be bad parenting at home” or a Head Teacher totally dismissive of parent and child…Well, it’s time to do something about it.

We need to call out these attitudes, we need to highlight the behaviour of educators from the lowest to the highest!

I’m finally letting out my huge concerns and I know this is fighting talk but it needs to be said and acted upon!

We have to understand that, it has nothing to do with resources or funding. It’s about educators looking outside their own perceptions, their lack of knowledge and a huge need for far too many teachers to get over themselves. 

Thankfully there are many outstanding teachers, creating a thriving platform for learning, at any level. We need to be celebrating and shine a very bright light on these members of staff within the education system. Learn and have personal attitudes challenged.

Oh and there’s another thing, the use of the phrase ‘low-level achiever’! What is that saying to that child?! The words are even too obvious to put them in here.
Ask any adult and we all have stories of the nightmare teacher and sadly more than one for many.

There’s presently an advert on television about teachers shaping the future. Every Lesson Shapes a Life.  Doesn’t it just, and sadly far too often it’s one of failure, stupidity, overlooked, restricted, squashed… the list goes on. I cringe every time, knowing full well the other side of that statement. Yet live in hope that all educators would live with a positive attitude, to do just that.

To raise the standard and achievement of each and every child in their care. To celebrate and encourage every single talent sat before them in the classroom.

The psychological mental strain of this on children and young adults is beyond desperate. Too many children suffering from anxiety and depression and then desperately, way too many stories of suicide. And yes, it has a lot to do with the adult at the front of the class or at the top of the school.

We have to make a stand and not only change the system but to qualify the right people to teach in our schools.

Calling out this abuse has to be done. The emotional and verbal abuse that our children suffer at the hands of educators, and an outdated system, need to come to an end. We are so quick to condemn the Coach, the Priest, the TV personality but children are being emotionally and verbally abused in our schools on a daily basis.

So, my soapbox is at the ready and my praise for outstanding teachers is high. #bethatteacher but…

We need to stand up for the children, give voice back to the parent, create Teacher Training courses that go beyond the subject matter and call to account those that use, abuse and fail to be the educator that children rightly deserve!

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The author

Lynda Taverner, is owner and founder of Double Award winning Raindancers Child and Family Mentoring. Lynda, delights in raising awareness in schools, both Primary and Secondary, of the difficulties that many children face within the education system and works with and for schools to achieve this. She is passionate about setting children and families free, so they can live a life that is full of purpose and joy and not one of worry, fear and anxiety, whether that be in the home or at school. Lynda is an experienced mentor with Ofsted Outstanding, for work in school, along with over 34 years demonstrated history of working within education, social services, children and families, and relevant agencies. Specialising in : Tailored Sessions|Individual Support and Advice| Children with Additional Needs |Foundational Parenting |School Awareness| Public Speaking

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