Our teaching colleagues have a massive job. Every day and almost for every hour of every day they face rooms full of young people. Managing their classwork and making it interesting are full-time jobs. However, seated at each desk is a young person making her or his way through the teenage years. It's a time of growth, exploration and many anxieties. It is helpful to remind teachers now and again about the turbulence that can be going on beneath the surface in their classrooms. It is also important for our colleagues to realise that we as guidance counsellors deal with a lot of these issues in our counselling sessions. This too should be one of the ways we publicise our role. The attached exercise is one I designed for use mainly with staff but it could also be used with a parent group. After such a session a typical and understandable question is, "what can we do?"
Here are some possible answers:
- Be sensitive to the more hidden lives of your students.
- Watch out for those who are going through a rough time.
- Changes in behaviour are often the first signs that something is amiss.
- Present yourself as someone they could talk to if necessary.
- Know how to refer students to the guidance counsellor.