A teacher can help a child who behaves negatively at school in several ways.
Group Work: The Psychotherapy of Poorly Adapted Children
Proper educational procedures will help it to cope better, to treat learning, teachers and friends in a more positive way. If there is something a little bigger to object to the child, a good teacher will always do it in private. Instead of various administrative measures, they will use the group work method.
For this you can use the so-called class lesson, where one can discuss shortcomings in interpersonal relationships or attitudes toward school. Instead of acting in an authoritative way, it will do better to get students to interpret their behavior among themselves, to find motives, to analyze them, and to take an objective critical attitude toward them.
At the same time, the teacher will encourage discussion, occasionally give his / her expert opinion and thus help the students to better understand themselves. Such group work is actually a covert psychotherapy of poorly adapted children.
By getting to know the real motives of their own and other people’s behavior, children mature emotionally, get rid of various internal conflicts, settle down mentally, and this is then manifested in the spontaneous improvement of their behavior. In this way, reprimands and other disciplinary measures become unnecessary, and painful investigations during any misconduct are avoided.
The Teacher as a Friends and Collaborator
The teacher must be careful to act as an investigator, judge, or moral preacher in the classroom. They should be a friend and collaborator to their students. If they do not behave properly, they will not be hurriedly condemned, they will not break their solidarity when they protect the culprit of a crime, they will not extort confessions from anyone. Instead, they will seek to help students settle emotionally through well-meaning conversations.
Teachers’ Role in Understanding Students’ Behavior
Teachers cannot solve major problems in students’ behavior on their own. Close cooperation from the parents is needed as well. This can be done through individual conversations with the parents or group work in parent meetings.
An authoritative performance of teachers is not required here either. Instead of scolding parents for their children’s shortcomings, instead of blaming them for educational mistakes, teachers should help them better understand their child, to see the real motives for its bad behavior or failure in school. They should be advised how to act in order for their children to change their behavior in a positive way.
The Mental Health of Children and Youth: The Need for Cooperation between the School and Other Professional Organizations
There are cases of mental disorders that the teacher cannot solve either alone or in cooperation with the parents. Then it is necessary to turn for help to a specialized service that deals with the protection of the mental health of children and youth. These are counseling centers, i.e. dispensaries for psychohygiene at public health centers.
There, the child will be examined by a team of experts – a child psychiatrist, psychologist, special educator – who will shed light on the essence of the mental disorders of the maladapted child, and will subject it to psychotherapy, and advise the parents and teachers on how to deal with it.
Such cooperation of the school with other professions and services – with health and social institutions, with various social organizations dealing with children’s problems – could contribute much to the more successful prevention of mental disorders in children and youth.