Have you got a ‘perfect pupil’; ‘class clown’ or ‘class nightmare’? We’ve spoken a lot about teacher well-being but obviously we also need to keep an eye out for our students. Here, Lynda shows us what can really be going on inside that student’s head.
Here it is again … just like Christmas and Birthdays!
Sadly though, not with the same joy and expectation but anxiety, worry and stress!
It’s the end of term, reports are written, and the last bell of the year has sounded. Yet my heart breaks when I see how this year has pushed yet more children to the limit, through a system, highly expecting of abilities that just maybe, be beyond their means without the right understanding, input and support. In turn, causing and aggravating the instability of healthy mental health of the students in our care?
In our role as Educator, should we be taking some of the responsibility for the stress and anxiety are charges face? Is it even our responsibility? Are we just there to deliver the curriculum with our needs being superior to that of this generation of pupils? Has the need for Ofsted reports, targets and assessments robbed us of the ability to see beyond the paperwork? Food for thought don’t you think?!
The summer break is a valuable time to examine this past school year and question;
‘How have we looked after the pupils in our care?’
What needs to change?
I’m painfully aware as I work in schools, that still, too many children are being processed, pushed and pulled through a system were frontline staff don’t have the knowledge and skill set to fully understand the levels of stress and anxiety their pupils find themselves in and all too often, I’m there picking up the pieces.
Healthy, Mental Health is something not often embraced but I thank the Lord for those in education that do! And if that’s you …THANK YOU!
If you are one that is overwhelmed and lost in the sea of paperwork, then let me help by refreshing your thinking….
Another 190 school days have passed, with that being said, there is much to be learnt, change and renew.
One of those areas is the potential level of anxiety and stress that rears its ugly head in every classroom and playground in the land and how that plays out in the ‘world of school’.
Parents entrust their children into our care for 52.0547945205% of the year. What can we as entrusted adults do to help alleviate this epidemic that blights so many of the children in our charge?
What might we be missing as we spend each day in the classroom?
Educational staff, who being on the front line of these children’s lives, are all too frequently missing what’s right under their noses, only seeing behaviour as ‘bad’ or ‘unimportant’.
So, let me ask a question or two…
Let’s stop for a minute and think about the child that comes across as the…
Quiet, diligent, amenable and a perfectionist in their work.
Are they really okay?
When was the last time you listened to the parent, that is desperately trying to tell you, that things at home, with this same child, are not good?
The child is angry, defiant, obstructive, controlling and hard to be with!!
Surely not the same child I hear you say… all too often I’m working with children where this is exactly the case.
Digging deeper into how the child feels at school we can find that her anxiety levels are through the roof!!
Did you spot it?
Did you listen?
What about the Class-Clown?
Full of smiles and jokes, banter extraordinaire, staff pleasing and generally makes good effort with his work… but when it comes to tests and exams the results are far from promising and pleasing!
Did you see it?
Did you hear the action?
Did you realise that he can’t cope with assessments and exams? He has processing issues which result in stress, anxiety and worst of all the inability to comprehend the words and numbers on the page!
Then there’s the Class Nightmare? You know the one I’m talking about!
Pushing your ever button, making your day harder than it already is. Answering back, verbally abusive, the odd low flying item across the classroom floor. I know there’s nothing for it are the voices from on high but to exclude this child. Beyond help and a nuisance to society, well at least within the school walls. Ignored, punished and pushed out!! Yet inside she cries for attention and help, for recognition and support. Home life is fine, but she just can’t make sense of her studies or the people around her!
Did you hear it?
Did you see beyond your assumptions?
All too frequently I’m receiving phone calls from parents that are desperate for help, telling me that their child’s school doesn’t get it, let alone even try to understand. I’m working with more and children, some as young as 5 years of age. Despondent, demoralised and questioning with ‘why bother?’ Others are just so full of stress and anxiety that this in turn is making them physically unwell. headaches, stomach pains, loss or increase in appetite, panic attacks and so the list goes on.
Yet another inappropriate ‘parenting course’ just because of social skills, or the lack thereof, that are just being blamed on poor parenting or behaviour… another one missed and made to conform!! What about the myriad of spectrum disorders?
Did you spot it?
Did you sort it?
Be that educator that brings about change!
Be that educator that changes the way you do things!
Be that educator that changes the way you SEE and HEAR the children in the class!
Be that educator that changes a child’s future for the good!
BE THAT EDUCATOR THAT HEARS ‘THE VOICE IN THE ACTION’.