I’m a teacher who can’t be arsed... AIBU?
EffYouSeeKaye · 06/05/2021 19:53
... with all the Emotional Well-Being shenanigans these days. Honestly, it’s overkill. Can I just TEACH please? With the usual (already massively time consuming) actual pastoral care included but not this whole new level of FAFF.
They don’t want it. They don’t need it. They don’t want to think about it all. the. time.
They need the normality of lessons. Learning. Keeping their brains positively occupied with acquiring useful skills and knowledge.
They don’t need an overload of (often crap and patronising) storybooks and colouring activities.
Pleeeeease???!? Enough now.
Am I being unreasonable?AIBU
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SonnyWinds · 06/05/2021 20:06
I'm a teacher and sort of agree. My school is having a major crisis with mental health at the moment but my school made all students take the afternoon off lessons to read a book in silence for two hours. The book was selected for them and they HATED it. Multiple students openly stated forcing them to do it was making their mental health worse.
Mental health is bad right now because they can't see their friends and can't form normal relationships. The vast majority will bounce back immediately when they can and, let's be honest, there's been a mental health nightmare going on for years with teens so we can handle it without making them stressed about being stressed.
Brightbluebell · 06/05/2021 20:10
I suppose it depends on your school. The children at my school need some extra emotional care and time doing more relaxed and fun activities. We have found that many of the younger children are struggling to interact positively with their peers. I feel time spent now on emotional and social well-being will be time well spent in the long run and we can do that whilst still having routine and academic learning.
jgw1 · 06/05/2021 20:11
But what else should one do in geography lessons?
EffYouSeeKaye · 06/05/2021 20:13
@BlairWarner Ah sorry Blair. I’m specifically referring to the current state of affairs in UK Primary schools, from a professional point of view, following current government / local and possibly institution-specific initiatives in relation to the COVID pandemic. Also from the perspective of the mum of both Primary and Secondary age groups (admittedly less colouring in for the latter).
@Whatelsecouldibecalled Hi!!! Next time let’s bring chocolate along with us? Can only help. That’s my EWB right there.
Dontstepinthecowpat · 06/05/2021 20:13
My DS is 13 and utterly fed up of hearing about mental health. Our school had a really awful pupil suicide and I wondered if they were so focused on mental health as a result of the tragic death but it seems it’s across the board?
He genuinely feels that he is missing out on chances to learn as so many lessons cover mental health now rather than just PSE. They have done short courses, so much mindfulness but most of his peers just want to not think about it.
Very difficult balance.
Lougle · 06/05/2021 20:15
It's the thoughtlessness of it that grates with me. "We're doing three well-being and mental health days" - Dragon's Den day: Create a business idea and pitch it to the 'Dragons'. Well, DD2 is so introverted and shy (with ASD) that they can't even get her to tell them when she has a problem. What good is it to ask her to stand up in front of other people and pitch a business idea?
"YOGA!" - DD2 has flatly refused to contort her body in front of a group of kids she doesn't even get along with. Her friends won't be allowed to do it with her, they'll be separated by tutor group.
What about recognising that the whole world is not extroverted and they don't want to have to stand up in front of others and speak?
itsgettingwierd · 06/05/2021 20:19
This "pastoral care" has created problems.
Each child given 1:1 with a TA weekly and asked all sorts of questions. 1 decided to ask lots of questions and out ideas into a child's head that an arrangement they've had for years and years is actually detrimental to them, would they like to change it and blamed covid for it
MH is definitely a thing for some children. My own ds had a MH crisis a number of years ago.
But too much encouragement of "this must be affecting you" makes them think they must say it's affecting them.
Too much telling students their whole futures are ruined due to the pandemic.
What happened to "this is tough. You can overcome this by ..... you just need to put in the effort"
lavenderlou · 06/05/2021 20:21
I'm a primary school teacher. I think emotional well-being is really important, but it frustrates me that SLT spent most of the first half of the year saying that pupils' mental health and emotional well-being is paramount,then suddenly we're back to data, progress, target children etc, and emotional well-being is forgotten.
Nectarines · 06/05/2021 20:21
I’m a primary DHT and teach y5. My class were desperate to return to normal lessons, normal expectations and normal learning after the latest closure. They know that I’m always available for them if they are struggling in any way, but the children and I agreed that we all wanted to return to our normal timetable of lessons, with extra PE. So that’s what we did.
Frlrlrubert · 06/05/2021 20:22
Last year we had a whole series of twilights on Autism awareness, and then they brought in mandatory 'mental health' coffee mornings where we had to start 15 minutes early to stand in a room making small talk with our colleagues. Seems they missed that some of the things we learned in those twilights might apply to staff as well as students. Seriously did not help my mental health issues.
Some kids don't want to talk about their feelings.
Some kids find mindful silence really stressful.
Lots would rather crack on with learning.
There should be services for those who need them, but they need to be tailored to the individual.
I'm all for tackling mental health, but I don't think the one size fits all approach is working.
itsgettingwierd · 06/05/2021 20:23
They crave normality not being told their lives are ruined by this and focussing on that.
Most teachers I know are so good their students already know they can go to them if they have an issue.
They don't want to be told they must have issues and so won't be doing maths today!
Msmcc1212 · 06/05/2021 20:24
I think the problem is that you can’t ‘teach’ wellbeing. It’s experiential and relational. Home life apart, It’s the whole school ethos and atmosphere that make a difference and how issues are dealt with. Mindful colouring won’t make much difference if there is a whole load of bullying going on under the radar. If you know your pupils well, build a good relationship with them and the school context is right, you shouldn’t need much else. But... teachers need to be given the time to build relationships and get to know pupils. That’s the thing that needs to change IMO. Smaller class sizes.
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