More than a teacher…

In this second article Sonia Blandford looks at the six things every teacher needs (and needs to do) to ensure they can do the job they love in the way they want.
Teacher high-fiving primary pupil

I was talking with an A Level student recently who in the run up to her GCSEs felt her world was falling apart. Lauren (not her real name) was self-harming, secretly, and not really understanding why. Her teacher noticed that something was not quite right – her progress wasn’t quite in keeping with her usual work – and asked if she wanted to talk, or if there was anything she could do to help. And, when Lauren did approach her a few days later, the same teacher immediately enlisted the support of a colleague as a key worker for Lauren, to monitor and mentor her. The same teacher sat down with the leadership team, Lauren’s mum, and the medical professionals that had been called in to help so they had a better understanding of the support Lauren needed. Then Lauren was given a pass which she could use to take a break from class whenever she felt anxious, and told she could sit down with her key worker whenever she needed to. “Sometimes she would just hold my hand and let me talk,” says Lauren. “Sometimes we’d draw or read together or just have a cup of tea. She helped me untangle what was going on.”

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