The thought of spending two days in training was enough to send my brain into over drive. Just to add some context, I work as an administrator in a SEN School. To many people’s disbelief, I do not enjoy staring at dull presentations and sitting in an awkward silence for 6 hours. However, the two days spent at Releasing Potential was far from the above (endless tea and biscuits were appreciated). You may ask why I decided to enrol myself to participate in a Level 3 Management of Challenging Behaviour course, here is why:
- To understand the environment that I work in.
Everyday I am engaging in conversation with the tutors and students at the school, not really understanding the connection between conversations and the importance of communication. Around 2:30pm tutors bounce into the office beaming with pride, having dealt with a challenging situation successfully and although I will congratulate them, I am unable to fully appreciate the process. I wanted the course to teach me to appreciate the work that happens within the school and be able to understand how to communicate with students when they are having a bad day.
2. To engage my brain.
I believe that you should always keep your mind occupied with something other than your daily to-do list. I am also a firm believer in upskilling yourself and be knowledgeable of relevant practice. Not only am I learning through the delivery of the course but I have also learnt a lot from other people’s experiences and situations that they have encountered. It was wonderful to meet a group of likeminded people and have genuine conversations with people that are all working towards the same goal.
3. To understand the behaviours of our students
Not only does this apply to students at the school I work in, but anyone with SEN in general. From an outsider’s point of view the student’s behaviour at the school is extreme and their actions cannot be justified. When you learn about that students background you begin to empathise and understand the reasoning behind behaviour but not always the severity. Drs Gray and Brennan describe the ‘Quality World view’ model so well and naturally that my mind set instantly changed. The ‘Quality World view’ model prompts you to put yourself in the student’s shoes and imagine what their world view is, this could include: people, places, activities and ambitions.
Everyone’s world view is different, this is affected by childhood, past experiences and current goals. You might not be in your student’s world view if you are having a disagreement, but you can engage through something that is i.e. taking them to their place of safety.
A disruption in the Quality World View of someone with SEN can be detrimental to their mind set. By understanding what is in their world view you can risk-assess and predict any situations that could affect their behaviour and also identify ways to help them engage and make them feel safe.
I am now writing up my notes and loading any pictures of materials onto my computer ready to start the assigned tasks before the next session. Although I have not been to the final 2 sessions or completed the course, my mind-set has been transformed and others have noticed my improved ability to engage with the students. I can honestly recommend this course to anyone working with students with SEN, not only has it changed my outlook but I have also learnt about my own behaviours and what it is I can bring to a situation (good and bad).