Webinar Either He or I! Talk with teachers about difficult students.
10 October 2011 saw the third airing of EDUkIT TV, a unique platform for obtaining new knowledge, professional communication and experience exchange in the field of education technologies. Formally, the on-line seminar was dedicated to recommendations on how to deal with difficult children.
Anna Kravtsova took part in the webinar. She is a child psychologist, director of the children’s section of Kharkov Society of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, vice president of the Charitable Foundation Early Intervention Institute for children with development disorders. Anna helps solve various problems connected with child rearing. Her books, which can be found on bookstore shelves throughout all CIS countries, are based on profound knowledge of child psychology and examples from real life.
Why should teachers think about the early development of small children if they have grown up and are old enough to go to school?
During this seminar, we discussed school problems and spoke a lot about child early development crises. It may seem strange to teachers who come up with problems of children aged at least 6 or 7. Why should they really discuss development problems of one-, two- and three-year old babies? However, the matter is that school problems rarely appear by themselves, separate from the rest of the child’s experience. Most often, school problems are a child’s anxious account of what is left unsolved from the previous stages of development before entering the first serious adult social institute – a primary school.
What do ‘bad behaviour’ and ‘inability to study’ mean?
When a child fights, creates disturbance during classes, doesn’t do his homework, plays truant, swears or steals, one thing most adults want is for him to stop doing it. However, this bad behaviour shows that a child still hopes that adults will solve all his problems. Because it is mostly before adults’ eyes that children misbehave without breaking down, not afraid of punishment, demanding constant attention, as if trying to say: ‘Try and catch me now!’ This means that bad behaviour is just a means of communicating something important to adults, and children won’t calm down until adults understand them and help or… until children lose faith in adults, but these are already very sad cases.
Stages and crises of child development.
In every stage from birth until 4-5, a child has to solve a specific psychological problem in a specific way, appropriate for his age. People around him may know and understand his problems and support him in overcoming these difficulties. However, they may also fail to understand or feel (be too concerned with their own life, busy or tired). Then it is hard for a child to solve the problems of one stage and move emotionally into another. This kind of child will remain “little” in terms of his way of solving problems: he will yell, fight, run around, bossing everyone about instead of speaking, thinking, working in a team, which is expected from him at school. Let’s sort out what problems a small child is faced with, and which of them he has to finish off solving at school…
What can a teacher do to help a child cope with development crises?
The teacher who knows what a child’s psychological problem is can become, as psychologists say, a ‘new developing object’ for him, i.e. someone who will help a child cope with the emotional problem left unsolved from the pre-school period. Once they have solved it, they will grow up and, grateful, move on to the next stage.
Who will help a teacher help a child?
All that has been said before is both easy and difficult. It is easy because when you know what the matter is, you know what to do. It is difficult because communication with a person causes great worries, especially with a child, who wants to be taken care of and helped. A teacher can be worked up, enraged and desperate. Teachers need a place and time to discuss difficulties and feelings connected with communication with students (psychological seminars, supervisor groups), where adults could support each other to cope with difficult work of supporting and developing children. This is the hope of a child (even the meanest, the most difficult and unyielding): ‘Adults are strong, intelligent and dependable – they will be able to calm me down and guide me! Try and catch me now!’
You can send your impressions and suggestions (including those on the topics of future programmes of EDUkIT TV) to the organisers of the webinar at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (057) 78-01-911.
See you in the near future!