I was in a school this week and was walking past the hall while a year 4 class were doing PE. I noticed a line of children, about eight of them sat on a bench watching the lesson. Some of them looked uncomfortable, anxious, upset and others were restless, fidgety and messing about. I asked the teacher after the lesson why they were sat there and he told me they had all forgottten their PE kits.
I have worked with this teacher for a couple of years and he is usually very nurturing to the children. I approached him at lunchtime and talked about how the kids may feel about sitting on a bench and whether he could think of another approach to use with children who forget their PE kits, e.g have spare kits in school, give them some colouring or drawing to do, far more therapeutic and mindful than just sitting there.etc.
I suggested some of the feelings the kids may experience may be a sense of failure, not being good enough and ashamed and they may carry these feelings withthem into the next lesson and possibly the rest of the day, impacting on their ability to fully engage with and enjoy their learning and to feel good about themselves. This situation made me think of how many other times we may unconsciously activate these feelings in children in school. These children are aged 8 or 9 years old and i feel it is not their responsibility to remember their PE kits.
So please lets all try and be more aware of situations in school when children may experience these negative feelings about themselves and try and think of alternatives that we could provide that will increase the likelihood of them having more positive feelings .