The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Gareth D Morewood

How can teachers meet the needs of pupils with attachment difficulties?

When looking to improve engagement, teachers mustn't overlook the needs of their emotionally complex and vulnerable young learners.

In every school, there are many students who are unable to access learning, to engage and achieve, and to move on into adulthood with confidence.

Children whose low self-esteem can negatively affect their emotional and cognitive development.

In terms of social competence, curiosity, effective play and sympathy towards others, a secure enough start prepares the child to become the student.

To meet the needs of children with attachment difficulties, teachers need to have a good sense of their emotions and surroundings.

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind.

  • Create win-win situations, so that either ‘choice’ made by the student is a good one.
  • Set clear, consistent guidelines and boundaries.
  • Be honest and sensitive to the young person’s feelings.
  • Give calm, measured responses when in confrontation.
  • Always let them know that their behaviour that isn’t liked, not them.
  • Remember that students can communicate in more ways than just verbally.
  • Remember that the adult is responsible for helping young people make positive attachments.
  • Give them a safe, secure environment to express their innermost feelings.
  • Help them plan for a positive adult life.

Teachers are exposed to all the challenges and unpleasantness a classroom may bring. But it's important to remember that behind every child who misbehaves or underperforms in school, there is a story. 

You may be the only people who can make a difference to a child’s life, and you have the skills and resources to make it happen.

'One size doesn't fit all'

For more, read Nicola Marshall's guide to supporting young people with insecure attachment difficulties: what to watch for, and how to help.

Attachment difficulties: why you shouldn't treat all children the same

 

Updated date: 
Friday, May 5, 2017

Similar Posts

John Viner

Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best: what impact could Brexit have on schools?

No one knows what a disorderly Brexit could mean for education, but we need to be prepared. How should schools respond to the potential disruption which may follow? The local authority officer looked across the room. “We are,” he said, “preparing for the worst, but rather hoping it won’t be as bad...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

Teaching hungry children: the impact of food insecurity

With 4.5 million children in the UK living in poverty, many are going to school hungry. What impact does this have on our pupils, and what foods do schools need to be providing to support their learning? In November 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme povery and human rights visited the UK...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

Working together to improve outcomes for our most vulnerable young people

Reflections on #CoPro19: Gareth D Morewood highlights key themes and important points to consider in working towards co-production. Prior to our third conference a few weeks ago, I wrote about our journey in developing #CoPro19 ; a conference about families and professionals working together and...
Read more...