Last week I talked about a ten year old boy whose fear of getting things wrong was stopping him even trying to do things, in this case it was his fear of writing in his class book. I suggested the teacher offer him paper to write on, explaining that this may make it easier for him and acknowledging there was plenty of paper so he could have as much as he needed. This week the teacher came to see me and reported that he had in fact been writing more, he had started the week working through the pile of paper quite quickly, but this had reduced after the first day and by Friday he agreed to choose one piece of work to put in his book. His teacher is delighted as it is the longest piece of writing this child has produced. The teacher acknowledging and supporting the child with his fear of making mistakes enabled the child to take a risk and achieve success.
For me, an essential role played by teaching staff is the ability to acknowledge and hold the child’s feeling thus leaving space for the child to engage with their learning. This is another example of this in practice.