Building Strong Child-Adult Relationships
Every year teachers need to create new relationships with the students in their class. With some students, this is easy to do. With others it can be more challenging. Here are some suggestions that may make this easier for all and allow for a wonderful start to the new school year.
The Intervention Continuum is a set of classroom prevention and intervention strategies, which keep in mind child development.
These approaches were inspired by the following theoretical framework:
Neufeld Attachment-based Developmental Paradigm
Understanding the Effects of Chronic Stress or Trauma
Intervention continuum in the classroom
Intervention continuum during transitions
A Nurturing Support Centre is for those students whose behaviour puts them at risk of school failure by creating a support team, an environment and an intervention plan to meet their needs so they can continue to attend regular classes. Shortened class time, options for dealing with challenging situations, organizational support and adult guidance are provided to students who have a hard time behaving appropriately both in class and during unstructured time.
Nurturing Support Centres are used successfully in both elementary and high school settings.
The following documents describe in detail the set-up of such a room:
- Nurturing Support Centre: Elementary
Nurturing support centre - Elementary
* Nurturing Support Centre: Secondary - DOCUMENT COMING SOON!
Schools are struggling with students who have frequent, intense explosions. Rewards, consequences, time outs, and anger management seem ineffective and can make the situation worse. Using the attachment-based integrated developmental paradigm of Dr. Gordon Neufeld and the neuroscientific research on the effects of trauma on the developing brain, rooms have been established to help students in distress deal with intense emotional states.
Emotion Rooms are specifically designed to allow children to express their emotions in the presence of a caring adult. Experience with these rooms is promising. Students, once they trust that all of their emotions have permission to exist, use the room willingly. A decrease in the frequency and intensity of eruptions has been noted. Students do come to find more responsible ways to share and deal with their intense emotions. The adults help them find their tears and ultimately to increase their resilience.
BLUEPRINT FOR CREATING A SAFE AND CARING SCHOOL CLIMATE
This Blueprint is an organized checklist of activities which have been shown through a search of "best practices" to be the most effective in creating a school environment in which students feel safe and which in turn discourages negative school behaviours, such as violence and bullying. Research studies have also shown that when students feel safe and secure, academic performance improves measurably.
The Blueprint encourages schools to become conscious of how each activity they engage in contributes to and enhances a safe and caring school climate. The Blueprint’s format allows schools to quickly identify their areas of strength. It also permits a school staff to note gaps or areas of weakness.
Although not all schools will be able to carry out all of the activities suggested, most already are engaged in a good array of these and they are encouraged to look to see where the gaps are. Schools are encouraged to understand why they are doing what they are doing so that worthwhile activities are not dropped just because people are tired of doing them. A resource list is provided so schools can enhance their repertoire for becoming safe havens.
Blueprint for creating a safe and caring school climate
A Nurturing Class is a special class designed for students with significant behavioural challenges using a developmental attachment-based approach and trauma-informed practices. The Nurturing class creates an environment in which students who are immature and over-reactive can thrive, both developmentally and academically.
Classrooms have been set up in both elementary schools and high schools and have operated successfully without the traditional behavioural interventions.
This concept has now been adopted by a whole school for students with behavioural challenges. The administration, staff and school psychologist have received extensive and on-going training. They have noticed a significant change in both the students’ behaviour and in staff job satisfaction.
To download a more complete description of how to set-up of such a room: