Best Practice

The therapeutic teacher

Continuing her regular series, expert Shahana Knight advises schools on supporting the emotional and mental health of children and staff, offering easy-to-implement and cost-effective activities. Here she focuses on therapeutic teaching skills

Mental health is hot on the agenda at the moment with many recognising that it is something their school needs to improve. There is a common worry that budgets are not large enough to accommodate external help and some are concerned that they will be unable to make the changes they want.

However, there are so many small, low-cost changes you can begin to implement that will make a big impact on children’s wellbeing and the overall ethos of the school. One such change is your teaching skill-set, by which I mean the way you listen, respond and approach children and situations. I believe we are now in the age of the “therapeutic teacher”, where a teacher’s role goes beyond that of a facilitator of learning and is evolving into a role of nurture, safety and self-awareness.

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