Counselling and Education

Counselling   and Education

Richard Nelson-Jones describes the core conditions of relationship counselling to be:

‘..empathic understanding, respect for clients’ potentials to lead their own lives and congruence or genuineness. Terms like ‘active listening’ and ‘rewarding listening’ are other ways of expressing the central skills of basic helping relationships.’
(Nelson-Jones, 1997, p5)

The Person-Centred approach is particularly relevant in the way, in which I try to create a safe growth environment. I teach PSHE/Citizenship and Music throughout the school and always begin the year by establishing; even with the youngest children in the school, a form of ‘contract’ in a similar way an initial counselling session may be started. This is a common approach in most primary schools when establishing general class rules and gives pupils a sense of ownership, sets boundaries and the ethos of the classroom. I then use a variety of ‘Circle Time’ activities on a regular basis to encourage and build trust between myself and my pupils as well as between pupils themselves.

Participation in the Counselling module, has made me reflect on the unique position I have in my current role, and the possible impact I could have on my pupil’s personal growth and learning. As the teacher who covers the class teachers PPA time (non contact time), I teach all pupils every week from their entry into reception until they leave in Year6. This means my pupils are in my care once a week for 7yrs. It is only now that I have really begun to consider this as quite a privileged position in terms of relationship building.

Central to my own beliefs in my role as a teacher is in the development of ‘lifelong’ learners. Having the freedom to ‘make mistakes’ is critical to the learning process and only when a climate of ‘trust’ has been created, will children feel confident to ‘have a go’ without fear of retribution? In doing so pupils will become more able to understand their own...