Main guidelines for the member(s) of staff delivering the programme are:
- Try to keep the same member(s) of staff every week for the duration of the programme, as well as the same room if possible.
- Follow the programme content in sequential order. Each lesson refers back to and builds upon the previous week’s learning.
- You’ll need a designated display board in the classroom for the duration of the programme, to be used for the weekly “Mental Health Check-in Board” and as a working wall for various visual aids.
- Allocate Talking Partners carefully; the same partner for each unit will probably work best.
- Be compassionate and try to be non-judgmental (avoid “should”s and “should not”s about students’ thoughts, emotions and actions – and your own). For example, instead of saying, “You should have….” try to replace it with, “I wish you had….”
- Validate students’ emotions (and your own!), for example, “I can understand why you might feel that way” – even if you don’t like or agree with the action/behaviour resulting from it. Separate the emotion from the action/behaviour. Validating our own and other people’s emotions in this way can really help to defuse them and lower the emotional intensity.
- Keep students’ worksheets and completed homeworks in an individual folder, book or electronic folder, as these will be useful for students to refer back to.
- REMEMBER: Your mental health is just as important as that of the children in your care! As well as completing our Staff Mental Health & Wellbeing Programme, we recommend you sign up for our Free Weekly Mental Health Tips for Teachers if you haven’t already, and you can also gain further advice about staff mental health via our Online Community Forum.
- If in doubt on anything at all, you can find guidance and support in our Community Forum. Alternatively, feel free to send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org