Boundaries when working with children
“That’s the only rule we have today: think of yourselves, but think of others as well.” Mrs Kay, Our Day Out, Willy Russell
For those that haven’t read or had the pleasure of watching “Our Day Out” by Willy Russell – do. For me, as a young teacher, this play had one of the most transformational effects on the way I viewed teachers and teaching. It gave me a purpose and drive: to challenge the stereotypes about children, to give each and every one a rigorous, academic education and to engender in them a sense of confidence in themselves and a belief and hope for their future.
Mrs. Kay, the kindly, motherly figure that Tish references at the start of her podcast, can be heard saying: “You won’t educate them because no one wants them educating…There’s nothing for them to do, any of them; most of them were born for factory fodder but the factories have closed down.” There are no aspirations for these children, no boundaries and ultimately she is failing them as a teacher. Mr. Briggs, the archetypal strict teacher appears as the “baddie” at the start of the play, but emerges as the hero.
In Tish’s podcast this week she explores why we need to give young people clear boundaries when we work with them, and how these boundaries allow them to thrive and excel. Something to think about over your half term….
Takeaways for the classroom
- Set boundaries around behaviour and routines and stick to them
- Be consistent with your sanctions around boundaries
- Ensure all adults in a classroom are working as a team
Relevant Teacher Standards
TS1: Set high expectations, which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils
TS7: Manage behaviour effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teach-Like-Champion-Techniques-Students/dp/0470550473 (The whole book is brilliant, but particularly relevant here is Chapter 1 on setting routines in the classroom)
https://pragmaticreform.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/bootcamp/ (A great post detailing how Michaela Community School, Brent, induct their Year 7 pupils – teaching them kindness as well as the value of education)
Over half term if you have the chance – watch it!