Adults working in school need to feel valued and supported in their work in order to be productive, and the morale of the staff can impact on the children in a positive or negative way. All adults working in school have a responsibility to create a happy and relaxed atmosphere for children, or to decide what they can do to change it. Working in schools can be a demanding and exhausting but rewarding and enjoyable job. In order for staff to work most effectively and give their best to the children they need to feel happy, supported and fulfilled. It is important they feel they are making a difference and that they are an essential cog in the wheel of school life. The school needs to be emotionally safe for staff in order to be emotionally safe for children.
When school staff are confronted with challenging and disruptive behaviour from children, it can be difficult to remain calm, to stay focused on the child and not to feel upset and angry. There may be pressure to demonstrate they are able to manage the child’s behaviour either by the expectations they put on themselves or real and imagined expectations from other members of staff. It is essential that staff support and encourage each other with this in order that the person dealing with the behaviour doesn’t feel helpless and inadequate. When children feel hurt and upset and are unable to deal with their feelings, they may target the person they are close to and feel safe with such as a teaching assistant or support worker. If this happens it is essential that staff feel they have support and guidance from other members of staff, along with space and time to think about the child and their needs. This can enable them to develop resilience so they are able to reflect on the situation without taking things personally and react appropriately in the best interests of the child.