“The sessions have had an immediate impact on my day to day encounter with both staff and students and I feel I am much more mindful of my approach to certain situations and find myself thinking about the whole child rather than the student taking part in my lesson. Your course is a must do for any teacher and I will most certainly be recommending it to anyone I meet”.
Vicky (Advanced Skills Teacher and Head of Professional Devt)
There are some psychodynamic concepts that you need to get your head around if you really want to improve the learning environment for you and your pupils.
When I see a policeman, I see several things. One of the things I see is a person in a uniform. However, the main feelings I have when I see a policeman is guilt and I have never committed a crime in my life. When I see a Doctor on TV I think ‘Hero’, I feel as though they are making important life and death decisions and are somehow imbued with a life-saving gene. When I see a teacher I now think of all of the teachers I have known and I feel a sense of courageousness and have a feeling that teachers are almost undercover heroes. The feelings are ones of warmth and admiration.
The point is, how much of how I feel about these people is actually to do with the person and how much is to do with what I bring to the perception of them, either through personal or cultural experience of them. What is clear is that there I seem to make a judgement about them that is mostly to do with preconceptions rather than the reality of the moment.
So…how do students see YOU or which YOU do they see and respond to. As a teacher you probably represent all teachers they have ever seen or known, possibly including some poor ones. As an authority figure, you probably also represent all authority figures in their lives; Dad, Mum etc.
Conversely, what are YOU bringing to the classroom? What do these pupils represent for you? What do they ‘hold’ for you emotionally that you may not want to think about? Do you like them? Do you fear them? Are they a gang that are out to get you? Are they the great class that you always have before lunch on Thursdays? Are they blessed? Are they ‘evil’? What are your preconceptions?
If you are not clear about these preconceptions, if you do not have strategies to deal with the non-verbal communications, both yours and theirs, you could be in for a very miserable time in the class room.