I believe that the role of a teacher is important. Even more so, is the counsellor.

I believe that the role of a teacher is important. But a counsellor’s role is even more imperative. Students are given proper guidance on how to deal with psychological problems which can badly impact their performance and confidence in schools. One other perspective is that teachers must also undertake some form of training as counsellors. There is no closer person in the classroom who fosters more care and has the ability to reach out to the students than the teacher.

Childhood is an important landmark in every person’s life. Anything that happens in that stage has a direct impact on how they behave later in adulthood. I have seen parents walking into my English tuition centre with bright smiles of encouragement and their children’s faces shone with love and pride for themselves. I have also seem parents who are discouraging, with disparaging remarks for their children and the teachers. The quality of the child’s relationship with their significant adults, the environment in which they are growing; greatly affect their cognitive, emotional and social development. We, adults are part of that.

What if your child displays problems that arise from the way they were educated at home when they were younger? There is a rise in the awareness of mental health issues affecting children and adolescents, yet it is underestimated (and unknown) the impact that some adverse conditions and experiences have in children’s everyday life and future.

Children can be exposed to many issues from academic and social pressure, family breakdown; to more severe life experiences, such as bullying, dysfunctional families, poverty, violence and inappropriate care. In the long run, this is very likely to cause emotional, physical and mental health problems which can influence the way they behave as parents one day too.

From time to time, all children will display challenging and defiant behaviours. However, some children present abnormal and extreme challenging behaviour which are not age-appropriate. Although this is so, we should avoid labelling them as bullies or rebels. Such labels often cast the children into the deeper end – the most severe treatment might be used to correct their behaviour when it is possible to help them with empathy through counselling.

Some children can understand their own feelings, verbalise how they feel and find ways to manage them. They develop the ability to understand the emotional state of others. However, others fail or find more difficult to learn this; as such, for these children it is more difficult to self-regulate their emotions and behaviours. They might present themselves, more anxious and aggressive than their peers. This further cause the inability to develop social skills which are important in building friendships and meaningful relationship. A limitation that often is protracted into adulthood.

If we, teachers, know child therapy, there will be an opportunity for the child to learn to regulate their emotions and understand the connection between their feelings and behaviour in order to have more control over the them. As a teacher, you can promote:

  • Increase in self-esteem and confidence
  • Decrease of anxiety and depression.
  • Development of a healthy sense of self
  • Increase of social competencies

During an English lesson, for instance, you can build a relationship of trust with the child, which is essential. Allowing the child to freely express themselves and gain awareness and understanding of the inner-self. In the therapeutic space the child or adolescent can feel safe, comfortable and understood, making it easier for them to not only respond to your lesson well, but also feel less alone. Whether or not you involve parents at this phase is not important. However, it will be necessary to give timely reports to parents so that they can be aware that certain intervention has been done outside the house, and this may make them more sensitive towards the way the child is handled at home.

As an educator, you have the best experience to be very creative in delivering the intervention, as creativity is the medium children use the most to communicate. As such creative writing, reading, playing, drawing, colouring, building are ways to explore feelings and solve problems with the teacher. It is one of the best ways to impact the child’s development, and a very meaningful one too.

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