REACH – for School Staff
New and Creative Perspectives on Working with Challenges in the Classroom and in the Wider School Context.
Developing awareness, new habits and techniques for positive relationships.
In this INSET aimed at all school staff, our central ethos focuses on the development and maintenance of strategies for self-awareness to employ when faced with challenging situations. Through non-judgemental dialogue/discussion and acknowledgement of the momentous task teachers have; we aim to create a supportive and enjoyable environment to examine the frustrations of difficult encounters with pupils and colleagues. It is our belief that if staff can strengthen their inner resources, they will be better equipped to generate shifts in difficult relationships and find fresh approaches to the challenges they face at work and beyond each day.
What the workshops might look like/include.
We tailor workshops to the specific needs and requirements of each school, but a basic outline is as follows:
This has been successfully run for a whole-staff Inset or can run be for smaller groups of staff.
Workshops are usually 2 -3 hours long and comprise elements of structured group discussion, presentations from the facilitator and experiential learning in the form of games and exercises tailored to bring out transferable skills.
Common topics/themes for discussion
• Discussion and experiential work around common classroom struggles and helpful/unhelpful ways
of coping with them
• Learning our own ”triggers”
• Developing coping strategies and shared supportive techniques
• Dispelling myths and “monsters” – why does a child behave aggressively/undesirably? What are
• Learning our own limits (finding compassion for ourselves and hopefully for others!)
Transference and Counter Transference
We will explore at a very basic level a therapeutic dynamic that is commonplace in every classroom and in fact present in every relationship/encounter we have daily. Transference/ Counter transference. We will unpick the implications of pupils projecting outside familial relationships onto you as a teacher and share ideas of supportive ways to promote positive relationships and lines of communication between staff and children
Techniques for Awareness.
We offer simple techniques throughout the workshop for participants to take away and practice in order to develop their resilience and self-awareness in daily life and in challenging situations
The power of play.
The next part of our session focuses on the power of play/creativity on the teaching relationship. Studies have shown that when a child sees their teacher in various roles other than that of teacher/pupil it can bring about a closer more fruitful relationship. Taking into consideration the time constraints in a teacher’s schedule and mindful not to add more to this, we offer realistic suggestions of games, exercises and ideas which can contribute to a happy and trusting classroom.
“A joyful, playful and thoughtful workshop for school to end the term. We will look forward to having Jess back to work with us again next term”. Perdy Buchanan-Barrow, Head of Alexandra School, Harrow