Donna Cross – Getting more for less: whole school actions to improve learning and reduce bullying


What I’d like to show you
is a snapshot of a synthesis of that research that
suggests ways, first of all, that you can think about how
to integrate this content into the work that you’re
doing in your schools, but also to highlight
the things that appear to make the most
difference in this session and of course in the
other sessions I’m doing over the week. But before I do anything
I’d like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, and I’m very grateful that
we are able to meet on this and pay my respects to
elders, past, present, and those in the future
who we’re supporting. Now as part of worrying about
whether you’re asleep or not, I’m gonna ask a series of
questions and as I ask them, if this relates to you could you stand? Now nothing will happen
to you once you stand except you get a moment
for that blood flow to return to your legs, but I’d like to share some
of the most recent evidence that we have in our work with you, while at the same time
getting a little bit of movement out of the group. So first up, if you’re a
principal, could you stand please? Could we give these people
a round of applause, and you’ll hear why in a moment. You have to stay standing
if you don’t mind. We do a lot of intervention based research and the most significant variance
that we see within schools is predicted by who is the principal. The difference that you make and the fact that you’ve been willing to
give two days of your time, which just means all that
work that you would have done in these two days, and everyone else of course, as well, it’s gonna be crushed
into the rest of the week. Thank you for valuing this so much that you would come along
here and support your staff. If you wouldn’t mind sitting please. Huge amount of variance
from that group, yes. If you’re an early years
educator or have ever been, could you stand please? A few of the same people are standing up. I think you just wanna
get a bit of exercise. Now we could go on
applauding but the evidence that we have in our research
shows that what we do, and you heard from Michel
Boivin this morning, when you talked about what
we do in those early years, transcends a child’s life,
not just their school life, and the importance of us
addressing early aggression, helping children to build
those relationships. The importance of play
so that children learn to negotiate and cooperate
is absolutely fundamental to that process. So can we give a round of applause to the early years educator? Thank you, if ever you’ve
taught in the transition years, as children move from primary
school to secondary school, could you stand please? A lot of people get to stretch. Now you guys, what do you
do that’s so important over the life course of the school? Well, we know and it’s a little counter to the evidence that
Michel’s longitudinal studies have shown, but we see
a hiccup in Australia in our longitudinal studies, as children move from primary school and secondary school and no
matter what age they are, we see the hiccup. So in states like Western
Australia, and Queensland, who had children in year
seven in primary school, when we could compare what those
children’s reported levels, self reported levels of bullying were, compared to children during
year seven in high school, what we found was that
it was 20% higher if they were in a secondary
school environment. Which makes the work that we
do around supporting children through that transition, so all the energy that
you’ve put in over the years, to help those children move from their primary school environment, to their secondary school environment, the energy you put into camps,
after school activities, co curricular activities, to help children make new friends, because we muck up their social groups, that’s one of the main
predictors that we’ve found in our evidence. All that work really sets the opportunity for the school climate in
the secondary environment to be established well but also to reduce the likelihood of bullying continuing. Could we please give a round of applause to our transition folks? Thank you, last one, I promise. If you’ve ever taught
10 year old children, could you stand please? Again in our Australian data, this is from the Australian
Covert Bullying Prevalent study, which was a cross sectional study, we found that more
children bully at age 10 than any other age across the school year. And more children are bullied at age 10 than any other stage in their career. So what does that mean for our practice? It means that all those
people who are sitting down, who teach in those year groups
before children turn 10, so let’s say before year four, again, we need to see the
importance of them addressing social relationships,
improving children’s ability to get along with each other. Social emotional learning
being absolutely fundamental so that we can support
children though that hump. So we have two humps, age
10, and another hump when we move children into a new environment where we mess up their social groups. Thanks everyone, oh, round of applause for that group please. You’ve got a tough job. So as we reflect on that evidence and prevalence issues as we know it, I’d like to point out that
I get to stand up here and provide the world royal we, this is my amazing team who I work, who’ve done a huge amount of the work that I about to share with you today. Now when we think about the prevalence of bullying
in Australia, it’s huge, and as you will see here, that there are about nearly
four million children who attend Australian
schools, and of that, nearly a million of those students report that they are victimised and this is through a variety of studies, and you just sort of throw
those numbers around. A million children, pretty extraordinary. And 1/2 of those children
are willing to admit in self report surveys that
they bully other children. An extraordinary large number of students. And when you extrapolate that
to how many bully incidents are typically occurring in schools, you can see these data. These have being collected
as part of an economic review that we were doing, looking
at bullying in Australia. That’s a lot of incidents, that teaches me to manage in a school environment, no wonder you’re tired and
you don’t get time for lunch. So when we look at the
economic costs of bullying, if we can’t convince the
government that they need to invest deeply into this issue, when you look at the economic costs, and its estimate, as all
economists will tell you, we make lots of assumptions
when we’re looking at the impact of anything over time, it’s an extraordinary
large amount of money that’s invested in addressing this issue, and doing it well. Which again harks strongly for why wouldn’t you support schools? This is a lifetime cost. You hear people talking
this morning who said that when children are bullied, it doesn’t just effect
them in the short term, it effects them over their entire life, and similarly when children perpetrate, that behaviour typically
carries on into adulthood, where they’re more likely to be engaged in domestic violence, they’re more likely to not
be in a happy relationship. This is an issue we need to address well, and if you could look
at that estimate there, this is estimated over the course of a student’s schooling career, and 20 years after school’s completed, so going into their work
place and work choice, and this is estimated at 2.3 billion for each school year group, so that’s for kindergarten,
for pre primary, I’m saying in Western
Australia I know you don’t go in that order in New South Wales, grade one, grade two, and so on. This is worthy of your energy and time, and so worthy and can I
congratulate New South Wales, Department of Education,
Independent Schools, and Catholic Ed, for making
this such an important focus for this conference. Now when we look at bullying behaviour, we even heard, I think
Patrick this morning, in our student panel, made the comment, and thanks for saying it Patrick, we need to be careful that
we don’t label children, and that we don’t use
that term because once we start labelling children
so they see themselves in that role, and sadly reputation bias, strongly predicts a child
continuing to engage in the behaviour that they
have been labelled as, and as we would in anything
in school environments, we need to separate the
child from the behaviour. So we talk about a child who bullies, rather than a bully. And as you can see here
that bullying is a behaviour the student is using,
it’s not their identity. And we need to do more than
just try and push it out. We need to deal with it as best we can. And in fact I’d like to
argue that we need to treat it as a behavioural mistake. When children have
learning errors at school, we treat them with scaffolding and we find ways to help
them behave differently. If you were teaching reading, and one of the students in
your class was reading badly, would you make them go
and stand in a corner and think about better ways to read? And as ridiculous as that sounds, in some schools, in some
approaches to addressing bullying, and it’s getting rare, thank
goodness, that’s the approach, the children are excluded
and given time to think about how to behave better, but often these children
don’t have the literacy, they don’t have the skills to
know what they should be doing to address this, so there’s much that we need to do, to think about schools as
a learning environment, this is a learning error
that children need help with. It’s a skills lag, they need support in building
the skills to deal with this. So of course I have to
quote one of the most famous people in Australia if you
happen to follow football, which is Guru Bob, and his quote, which I think is incredibly
relevant here as we think about how we approach
bullying with young people, and that’s You can’t pull your socks up if you don’t know what your socks are. So for many children who bully, we need to be teaching them
how to behave differently, if their goal or their motivation for bullying is to be popular, there are lots of other
ways that we can be popular without choosing to bully. So giving children alternative pathways, treating this as a learning issue, that we can deeply embed
in all of our processes, I trained as a maths teacher, in my maths classroom
I have a responsibility for teaching children how they get along well with each other, ’cause then I learn better. And of course, when we start the think
about what we’re doing at a school level to address bullying, you might feel sometimes, in
some of these presentations that oh my goodness,
we’re not doing enough, we’re not addressing bullying
the way that we should. Can I say that the most important fighting that we synthesised
from all of those years of Friendly Schools research was that the most important thing
that you need to be doing, within your school if
this is all you can do, as you walk away from this conference, is to convince your staff
that when they’re out on duty, their job is to meet a couple of students that they don’t know, learn their name, know
something about them, and bank some credit with those children. And use their name as often as possible, to acknowledge them, so that they feel like a
school environment is a place they wanna belong in. And when that teacher
perhaps is interacting with a student who’s not behaving
as well as they should be, you can draw on that credit, because they know you, and you know their name, and
you know stuff about them. So you can build expectations around it. And if that’s all we did, I’m saying that’s very low bar, but it’s an incredibly
important low bar that we create the impramada amongst our staff, to say this is probably one
of the most important things. Know every student in your school. And know them as deeply as you can. If you can remember their name, fabulous. If you can remember stuff that they do, and that they’re proud of, fabulous. If you know little things that they do that they’re proud of,
that’s even more fabulous, because that shows that
you’ve really taken an interest in them. And of course it’s the
children who are the hardest for us to make relationships with who need that most of all. So we can’t just go to the nice kids, and build these relationships. We have to put a concerted
effort to talk the kids that we wouldn’t normally talk to or perhaps are a little
aversive to talking to us. So when you rate your school, and as I put this to you, so how is your school going in terms of its approach to bullying? If you’re doing that, if you’re investing in the relationships, you don’t need to worry about
all the intricate details. It would be nice if you
could do all that other stuff as well but that would be a
really important starting point so I hope that you would rate
yourself reasonably highly or see ways that even
your staff that might be disenchanted and feeling exhausted, that that’s something they could do. They have to be out on duty anyway. Why not do something nice
while you’re out there, rather than just maybe waiting
for children to behave badly? Now I know you need a
cup of coffee for this but I have to show it to you, ‘case I’ve got to show you some science, otherwise my science colleagues
will really get tired of me. So all you need to do is
focus on that red box. Self determination theory says
that there are three things that children need most of all that would really help them
be successful in their lives. They need some sense of confidence. They need some sneeze of autonomy, and they need to feel like they being. So if we can get all
children to that red box, including the children
who are perpetrators, we reduce the likelihood
of this behaviour happening in the first place. We can put all our eggs in
the basket of supporting those children who are victimised, but we’re only doing 1/2 our job, because if we just help some
of those children who’ve been victimised but the same
children are still bullying, they’ve just chosen a
different target or intensified their target on the child
who is already present, then we haven’t really helped
anything in the school. In fact we’ve probably made
it worse for some students, if they haven’t been able to escape that bullying
in the first place. So that should be our goal of our bullying prevention programmes, or our social emotional
learning programmes, which is ultimately what a programme such as Friendly Schools is about. So this very complex diagram
that you don’t need to worry abut too much of what’s on there, for those of you who can read it, says what best predicts
the likelihood of getting to that red box? I’m a parent to and I care deeply that my daughter and son
can get to that red box, so what is it that we need to do? You’re all busy so what
this chart says is these are the best predictors, so this is similar to the work
that Michel Boivin presented this morning, a longitudinal study, the best quality studies,
’cause you can see causality. What happened over time
so that we can look back and say well, what should
we doing differently? And as you can see here, there are a whole bunch of predictors that enable and as part
of the story help children get to that box. But just notice two of
them, in particular, that relate to relationships. The relationships that
children have with adults and obviously with their peers, and the amount of
variance that’s predicted so the amount of explanation that comes from understanding the
quality of these relationships and the likelihood of children
getting to that red box is considerable, so again, a very complex diagram to send home, the importance of relationships
in your school environment and of course self regulations, supporting children
self regulation as well. So if bullying is a
social relationship issue, it’s best addressed within
a wellbeing approach, and I think as you go away and think, well, I need to be addressing bullying, where do it fit? It fits within your wellbeing approach. And I now that’s obvious for all of you. I guess I just needed to say it out loud. So when you look at your
well-being approach at a system level, you have an extraordinary
programme in New South wales, in each of the systems
that you might work in have put together to address wellbeing in a comprehensive way, giving it the status it deserves. And it has needed for a while. But often when we think about wellbeing in a school context, and we ask schools, how’s the well-being of your school going, it’s kind of, they judge
it based on a vibe. Yeah, it feels pretty good, it looks all right. We’ve got reasonable climate. Can you imagine teaching the
areas that you haven’t taught in in the past or currently teaching, based on the vibe? If I was to walk into my maths classroom, it feels pretty good today, I think I’ll teach blah. Of course we need data, we need to know and understand, we need to benchmark, we need to monitor, we need to look at how our
children are forming so that we can target our
limited resources really well. So I’d like to argue we can’t
run on the vibe any more. That we do need good information and data. And you’ve got it in your schools already, and I’d like to show you quickly, in less than 14 minutes that I’ve got left, how we could go about
doing that and I just, I guess I want you to
trust without showing you all of those studies that we’ve done, the work that I’m about
to describe is based on the Friendly Schools
Research that you know, some of you know that
our team has been doing for a very long time. We’ve had 15 major research studies, all randomised controlled trials, very large studies, minimum
sample size in those studies is 2000, the largest sample
in our study is 10,000 and our most recent study called PAVE, had 70 schools in New
South Wales who were part of the study, so any of you participated
in the PAVE study, preventing anxiety and victimisation, could you raise your hand please? Thank you, it’s your work that allows us to be able to talk about this data, and I know we are an inconvenience
when we’re in the school collecting data but we
are really grateful, so thank you so much. So we’ve done a lot of different studies, examining little components
of what you might include in an overall programme and
we’ve looked at lots of issues, if you focus on that
yellow box we’ve looked at specific target groups, for example, aboriginal students, Dr. Julie. Professor Julie Coffin,
who’s presenting tomorrow and who you may have come in contact with, she led a seven year project called, Solid Kids, Solid Schools, looking at ways we can
support Aboriginal children and support their rights
and responsibilities as it relates to their social
emotional development. So lots of studies and
hopefully some of those might have been useful to you as we go on. But the study that I wanna focus on, which I’ll show you in the
last part of my presentation, what we learned was one that was led by Dr. Natasha Pierce,
who’s in the audience. I can’t see you Tash,
but I know you’re there. So this is a five year study and the biggest question
we wanted to ask here was, we’ve spent a lot of
time understanding what are the bits that we should be doing in a school environment, that makes up Friendly Schools, but how can we help schools
to implement it well? How can they cope with
taking on an initiative and putting it in place? And the findings that I’m
about to show you have come from this study. So it’s all about doing more with less. So you’ve only got limited resources. A limited amount of time. How can you make sure that all the ideas that you’re gathering and the things that you are thinking about
should make a difference? Now for the global learners here, there are six stages and
I’m gonna go through. For the analytical learners, I’m gonna go one stage at a time, and I’ll do it very quickly, I promise. Jenny and to Christina, I’ll be quick. Here are the two more. Now I’ll tell you about each of them in, one bit at a time. So one of the most important steps, when you go back to your school, is to make sure that you
bring your community along. In our research, one of
the most important findings is your parents don’t know the amazing work that you’re doing. You don’t promote it enough. They need to hear about the initiative. They need to hear that you’ve been here, and they need to hear what
you’re going to be doing. I think we’re not good
communicators of the great work that’s going on. And I know engagement with the community is hard work, but there is some easy ways to do it, I’m gonna show you in just a second, some quick ways that’s not
gonna take a huge amount of your evenings and weekends to try and engage with them. So first of all your
community is your students. So opportunities for student
voice as much as possible. Now today, obviously, we
had this grand opportunity to have six wonderful young people here, to talk about their
perspectives on bullying, you have wonderful young
people in your school, who need more than tokenistic roles, who can be give
responsibility and take it on, with greater autonomy, recognise that we’re, we
wanna hit the red box, they need autonomy and support. In addition to that you
can collect information in really simple ways, where’s a thoroughfare in your school that parents walk past every
day as they’re coming in? Put up some butcher’s
paper, ask a question and leave pens there. It’s amazing what they’ll give you in a very short period of time and you can prompt different
questions each day, and really simple questions, like how’s the canteen food? Whatever you might wanna ask, through to other more
more pertinent issues. And you may have things
that you can pull out. And people, after all,
their graffiti wall will be quiet and then people
will see that others are using it and there’ll
be a huge normative shifts, I can guarantee, we’ve
used it quite a lot. Photo stories are amazing. Young people have got their
cameras with them all the time, as do your staff. Take pictures of stuff that’s
going on in your school, and ask your students
to put together stories about stuff that’s going on. And particularly, obviously,
focusing on strengths, so good things that are going
on in a school environment, so that you can capture those and show them to parents
and show them to your staff, ’cause sometimes it’s hard
when we’re always focusing on the stuff the kid’s
doing that’s not good. So we wanna shift the norms. We want a normative expectation and a social norm in
our school that there’s great stuff happening. There is always, there
will always be other stuff, in a small percentage
of students engaging it, but most students need
to see that it’s a safe, it’s a great school, so we need to promote
it as much as possible and it’s easy if we set year eights, it’s your job this month
to create a photo story about blah, and then collating that, ask a couple of year
eights, who’d like to do it. They’re pretty darn good at it, and they’ll come up
with some amazing things that you could be using
in the wider community. And you also get their
perspective on what they think is important in their environment. Of course the one second streak, I know the young people
in the room will know what I’m talking about here, but that’s typically one second of stuff that’s going on around anywhere, and putting it together into a story and no it’s doesn’t take long to watch it, but you can capture a lot
of information in one second that you can show over time. Again, a great way to
involve the community and to also understand what’s going on. Have a data party. Now you might say only a
researcher would suggest a data party. Well they can be fun. You have to bring a big pizza
or something more healthy, to engage the group. But you have something
going on in your school, maybe you’ve collected
some information like the graffiti wall, have a data party to talk about it. What does this all mean? Tell me more about it. I’ve got your feedback, but I want to understand this
a little bit more deeply, so maybe it’s a lunch. Maybe it’s some gathering. So it’s a quick way, you don’t need to pay
expensive people to come into your school to collect information, you can get a deeper understanding if it comes from your team, and also is reviewed accordingly. And of course, part of that is related to skill building across the school. Doing more with less, great way to get those messages out. Second step, hey you are exhausted, and the fact that you’re
here says that you are the best class who cares
in your school environment, so you’re more resourceful
than everyone else in the room, because those people who
focus just on curriculum gotta reasonably defined full load always, but a reasonably defined job, but your job just keeps
morphing and stretching now based on issues that
are going on around you. So a deep investment in staff wellbeing increases your staff’s
commitment to wanting to address other elements of wellbeing. And of course, again, this can
take time but little things. In one school that we’re working in, when we ask the staff, what are some things
that would just improve, small things that could
improve their lot at school, in one school, the junior school staff said, look, I’m too busy to get up
to the main staff room during the break time, and at the main staff room, there’s always a big bowl
of fruit and biscuits and we’ve got none, and we don’t know, by the time you’ve run up there
we’ve got to watch the kids, and a simple thing was
just to put some fruit and some biscuits in the
junior school classroom. So you might go, well, that doesn’t sound much like wellbeing, but what it says is we care, and we’re listening to you. So anything you can do in
your school environment, maybe your coffee’s lousy
in your school environment, maybe a new coffee machine
might just say to the staff, we respect how busy you are and how much you rely
on coffee to keep you up during the day, that might be a way that
you could demonstrate that. It’s not my nana, I promise. So in our Strong School, Safe Kids work, and other work that we’ve
done, our programme, we talked a lot about what should be done, and there was a lot of emphasis within it about building staff capacity and getting them to trainings and so on, but a really important
part was you know what, they care about us, too. We’re exhausted, it’s
an intense profession. No one gets sicker over a 10
week period than teachers do, to get well over a two week holiday, ready to come back to school again. I mean, your immune systems take a belting and we need to respect that and create an environment that enables you to be as strong as you can. So, a great way to
increase staff wellbeing is to improve their
relationship with students because what effects your
wellbeing is when you have difficulties with students. Because you worry about them, your emotional regulation, your cortisol, that’s
ripping through your body as a result of some dreadful
thing that’s going on. This is important and an investment, not just for the students, or for the school climate,
but actually for your staff. So a very worthy contribution. And if I go through every
single one of these, I won’t finish in five minutes. So I’ll just pause so you can scan them. And by now I’m sure you’ve scanned them. I can’t read while someone’s talking, I don’t know if you feel the same. But the fourth point there, defined levels of responsibility. One of the most important findings in one of our studies, was being really clear
about whose job it is, and many schools talked about the escalation in pastoral care, that if there’s an issue, that often goes to the year head before the tutor teacher or
whatever the equivalent is, your form teacher, whatever
you might call that, has the opportunity to
deal with this issue. So being clear about triage, who’s responsible for what, what happens next is another way to improve teachers wellbeing because everybody knows what’s expected and perhaps there isn’t
a group of teachers who are carrying even more burden
in your school environment than others doing more with less. Third, obviously, the vibe
that I talked about before, my maths classroom, I need to know where my
math students are at so that I can then target my
teaching and their learning so that I can get the best
possible outcomes for them. So how do we get information
about our students wellbeing, so that we can in turn can
target our interventions? Otherwise we just keep giving
this kind of cookie cutter or the next bright shiny
programme that comes along that we’re tired to say no, and that’s being put in place. But everybody’s getting the
same thing all the time, and we’re probably not using
our resources very well. And we’re not targeting to
those children who need it more. Michel Boivin this morning, talked about universal proportionalism. That means everybody gets stuff, but some people get a
bit more than others. So they get a chance to catch up. So similarly here we need to find out who are those children who
need a little bit more. In one of our studies
where we measured using a AEDC and some other measures, we found that when children enter school, 46% of the children are
developmentally enabled, meaning they have the
ability to just do well with just light touches from the system. So they’ll continue to do well, particularly over their school life span. But that means that 54% of children aren’t and that they need help and there are sub groups within there, such as the subgroups that
we’ve called overwhelmed. Another subgroup called the working poor, and both of those groups are about 10% of the student population. Those children, if they don’t
get extra stuff at the start, particularly the working poor group, they are up to nine months behind, from the start of school, to
the end of their first year. ‘Cause they can’t benefit
from what’s going on. So understanding wellbeing
needs is really important. And for us to be thinking
about those wellbeing needs, as a skills lag in the same
way that we thing about other skills that children are engaged in, so we need to create places where children can build those skills. A breath easy room, when children are behaving badly. Just having a space, it’s not a time out. It’s not a place to be grounded. There’s a staff member
in there, some beanbags. Maybe some music, but
just a place to chill. And regroup and then go back
out to the big world again. I’m not suggested that’s
a be all, end all, but just an example of a way
that we can identify first who are the kids that are going into this, so there’s a nice little self
selection that’s occurring, and at the same time, being able to deliver in a
very positive environment, that’s named something
that children find engaging that’s really helpful. A ready to learn room. You might come up with your own name of what kinds of rooms
that you would provide but obviously all really important. In our Strong Schools, Safe Kids work, the quotes from school
leaders, for example, who are part of that but
really advocated strongly. And I know yesterday we had a think tank, and one of the most important findings about what we should be
doing to support schools, is to help you to get access to good data, and know how to use it in
ways that’s helpful to you. And of course there are simple ways to get that information. I have one and 1/2 minutes and
you think I’m talking fast? Wait ’til you see me finish. So, we need to make sure
that we’re involving and getting the voice
as you’ve already heard. Let’s look at the data
you’re already holding. And talk to your maths teachers. They’re pretty good at
doing some quick analysis of the data that you’ve got already. Talk to your system to see
what sorts of information you can have and of course, draw out the information
using the graffiti walls, and other things that
I’ve already talked about to get quick information. So what would we do next? So let’s reflect on what we’ve done. We’ve got the community on board. We’ve got our staff feeling a little bit better about themselves. We’ve reviewed student
well-being outcomes, so we’ve got a bit of an idea
of what might be some issues or who the students are
that we should be helping. Now we need to look at
what sorts of resources are we allocating. When have you had the chance
to mete all the activities that you have going on in
your school environment to address wellbeing? You probably don’t want to because you’d be even
tireder than you are now. I’m sure there are many of them. Do you have parity? Are your year nines getting
as much as your year eights, in terms of pastoral care delivery? Do you have some students
who might call themselves the lost students in your school, because they know great
stuff happens the year before and the year after, but this year there’s no stuff going on. So looking for that
parity and understanding what your delivery of
pastoral care looks like, in the school. A really nice review, it
doesn’t take very long. Just a few minutes reflecting on that. And obviously coming up with some sort of a strategic framework, such as I talked about before. A wellbeing framework as it
comes out of our programme. So your goal here of course, is to find a sweet spot, what’s needed, what’s feasible, ’cause I’ve only got so many
resources and so much time, and what do we do well at our school, because that’s gonna help us a lot. And it’s that sweet spot
that we want to be hitting in terms of our overall
well-being delivery programme, over time, yep. I’ll be really quick with the two more. With my one minute that’s left. We need also to encourage our staff in the same way that I talked
about when they’re out on duty thinking about ways that they can be interacting with students to also think about their
classroom management. If we want to help children cope better, we need to model really good stuff. So shouting in a classroom, no matter how much noise
students are making, is really not good for them. Shouting obviously,
particularly for children who’ve experienced trauma, is probably one of the worst things. So as a staff, reminding ourselves of those really important
teaching management skills, like how do we bring a
class back together again, if they’re really noisy? Raise a hand, have a small sound that’s
used within the room. Using those techniques as
much as possible so that we don’t contribute to any adverse outcomes that students in our care
are already experiencing. So how we interact with students in providing that kind of support. For example, students say
they’re most likely to learn when teacher’s not gonna take more time just smile, say hello, talk to me, show they’re proud of me,
or expect me to be proud of what I’m doing, and show an interest in what I do. And then a little bit more work but not as powerful as those, that first list, as a teacher, when can I enhance learning? Also if I do some other stuff, like a bit of humour, make it interesting, that helps a lot, too. And of course I’ve
already talked about that. And I’m going to stop here, and leave you in suspense. But I’d like to argue that
if you don’t like a student, keep trying until you do, because those who need
you to try the hardest, are the ones who need you most, every contact is a pastoral care contact.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *