Creating schools that are secure, safe, and peaceful is crucial if all pupils are going to benefit from their education. This is especially important for those who might be vulnerable, traumatised and unable to settle into normal school routine. Key to this whole process, though, are our teachers. Unless teachers feel secure, valued and peaceful in their classrooms, they will not be in a position to extend these key qualities to those they teach.
But over the last couple of decades, the well-being of teachers - and all support staff engaged in relating to pupils - has been compromised in a number of ways: multiple changes of curriculum, new school structures, changes in conditions of service and pensions, school management styles that reflect anxiety over forthcoming outcomes, results and inspections. The pressures are relentless, and hardly allow any breathing space.
In School as a Secure Base, Kevin Street argues that only when staff can find their own security and value, will any efforts to improve pupils' education succeed. Drawing on day-to-day classroom experience, the author provides evidenced ways through which teaching professionals can start to experience internal peace, and so extend this into their classrooms and schools, regardless of external pressures, expectations and demands. He also provides techniques to use with pupils, based on a sound understanding of what can overcome the factors that impede learning. The pupils' learning outcomes will reflect the feelings of attachment, peace and relaxation that these techniques create.
Supported by the practical, tried-and-tested techniques the author describes, teachers will be able to find their joy in teaching again, and achieve a healthy and more peaceful balance in their lives, with the result that their schools can become beacons of emotional stability and learning excellence.
Who Should Read It? All teachers and support staff who are engaged in the daily process of classroom work throughout all Key Stages. Additionally, head teachers, governors, and local authority advisors will benefit from the insights shared in this book.