We are always learning and having the boundaries consistently applied in school is vital to children feeling safe in their environment. So how do we apply relational solutions in busy classroom environments?
In my article about creating a reliable container, I presented the idea of the container in the form of a child friendly behaviour chart. The idea of ‘time in’, comes from the idea that if a child is full of overwhelming emotions without the necessary skills to regulate yourself, this could stop any learning of new methods. So, keeping the child in the room with you (Dan Hughes and Louise Bomber) can mitigate a lot of damage and increase the likelihood of true reflection as the brain will not necessarily enter into fight, flight, freeze or flop responses. Of course, if the behaviour continues, time away from the classroom could be of use. But this again should not be alone which is why I suggest a neighbouring class with a senior teacher. Of course, this approach could be disruptive to both the class teacher and the one receiving the child which is why I developed a ‘stop and think’ form (this particular version is for our youngest members of the community).
This way, the child gets to calm themselves, think about how they could do something differently as well as communicate their feelings which can be talked about further in the restorative conversation which follows in a suitable break. These forms are kept in every classroom and allow me to track behaviours which children are struggling with which can highlight underlying issues whereby I can think about providing suitable interventions to help them.