IntroductionThe first time I walked into a classroom setting was 4 years ago. I was introduced to the art of teaching by working in a juvenile setting with adjudicated youth ranging from 14-21 years of age.
I was told by the principal who appointed me that if I could work 2 years in this “setting”, I would be able to teach in any environment. He went on to say that the students that you will be teaching in this problematic “setting” are from all walks of life and have made some poor choices; however, they are no different than any other youth or student that you will teach. His final thoughts were: Be patient, non-judgmental, and passionate about teaching, have compassion and understanding, and listen to your students and respect them. The purpose of this assignment is to critically look at the different stages and phases in the helping process to ensure mental health of all stakeholders within the school environment as well as the community, realise the importance of a healthy school and to communicate to parents in a trustworthy manner to meet the needs of the learner.Different stages and phases in the helping process to ensure mental health to all stakeholders and to improve the school environmentThroughout our careers as human service professionals and educators we are often reminded of the complexity of human beings as individuals and as part of a diverse group and community. The following stages in the helping process should be taken in consideration to meet the needs of the specific stakeholder. The following phases will help an individual or group to meet their goals and needs whenever problems arise.
Relationship buildingThe first stage in the helping process is to build a relationship with the particular learner or stakeholder. The purpose of relationship building with the learner or stakeholders is so that they can address issues that affects them directly. The first interview with the learner/stakeholder is very important because they will get a direct feeling of whether you are there to help them and to help built trust between the two of you. They should feel comfortable talking to you and there should be a sense of mutual respect. CITATION Fox13 l 7177 (Fox, 2013) A relationship is where a learner/stakeholder will feel safe and will allow you as educator to get to know them in such a way that you will mutually find areas of strength and areas that are in need of improvement. (Skovholt, 2005.) It will relax them in such a way that they will open up to you making it easier to find solutions to the problems and for you as educator to accept the learner/stakeholders wants and needs.
Problem assessmentThe second stage of the helping process is when the educator collects and classifies the information in such a way that when the learner is done with the session he/she will fee relieved, hopeful and motivated. It is very important for the educator to be sensitive during the helping interview and prevent the learner from feeling anxious, vulnerable and evaluated.Goal settingGoal setting respond to the educator and learner/stakeholder to know where they are heading in this helping process. It is very important to design an action plan together to make sure that both of you are heading in the same direction. Goals have motivational, evaluation and educational functions if it is said to be measurable.
CITATION Alb08 l 7177 (Albanese, M.A., Mejicano, G.
, Mullan, P., Kokotailo, P. and Gruppen,, 2008) Goals should be set in such a way that it motivates the learner in such a wat that they will grow. It should also be realistic and consistent with the mission and health policy of the school to ensure mental health for both learner as well as educator.InterventionFor the educator to select the most appropriate intervention plan it must be reflected on the theoretical orientation.
The theoretical plan must be planned according to the needs of the learner as well as the educator’s own preferences. That will enable the educator to consider the learners’ learnings style and the characteristics of the problem as well as your own experiences and comfort level. The main theoretical orientations in the intervention stage is: Affective, which allows the learner or stakeholder to focus on his/her emotions. Cognitive: which will change the way they think about situations and Behavioural, that will help to change maladaptive behaviour in a more acceptable behaviour.Termination and follow-up sessionsTermination can be considered when both the educator and learner/stakeholder agree to come to an end. Termination will also only take place when the educator feels that the learner/stakeholder can cope on his/her own and that specific goals have been met. Referral to an external body and follow up sessions should be planned, but at the same time the relationship between the educator and learner should come to an end. 1.
1.6 Improved school environmentFor a learner or stakeholder to improve their setting and environment they must allow certain changes within the school environment. The environment will only improve when provision is made for a safe learning environment for both learners and staff such as policies that are there to protect both the learner, educator and stakeholder. The school must also serve as an entry part for location and promotion for health interventions where government and non-government bodies come to address certain health issues that we are presently dealing with, to the learners. That will make the learners more aware and informed of health in general and personal health.
Curriculums must also allow children and adolescents to learn the critical aspects of health in Life Skills to broaden their knowledge on health-related issues. Trustworthy communication between parents and educatorsEffective communication is essential to create strong teacher-parent partnerships and to increase parental involvement. Just as teachers are skilled in the art of teaching, they also require knowledge and skills to effectively communicate with their parent community.Lerato was only 6 years old when she saw how her mother burned to death in what seemed to be an accidental fire. Her father got remarried shortly after the incident and passed her on to go and live with her uncle.
She never received any sort of counselling after the incidents and was left behind with a low self-esteem. During those crucial developmental years Lerato developed a cognitive barrier and was never really educated on morals and values because of the absenteeism of a parental figure who was responsible for teaching her the difference between doing ‘wrong’ and ‘right’. Later in her life she began developing behavioural problems which had a huge effect on her academic performance. So much that she had to move to a LSEN school at the age of 14.At school the teachers realised that she was rude, disrespectful, negative, aggressive and depressed.
They also got complaints that Lerato was one of the school’s biggest bullies among the younger learners, stealing their money and food.When Lerato was addressed by an educator she would always swear at them, ignore them and just walk away. She is very provocative in the classroom environment causing fights wherever she goes.
Because of that unacceptable behaviour I decided to arrange a meeting with her caregivers, and her father, not only, to observe the family dynamics and identify clues that might explain her behaviour, but also to recruit the caregivers assistance in the educational process so that we can assist Lerato and help her to identify her needs and create an action plan that will enable her to change for the better. For a trustworthy relationship to develop between me, as the educator, and the parents of Lerato I must ensure that I am persistent and on time for the meeting, show confidence and be well prepared. Lerato’s caregivers, and herself, must feel welcome and have the feeling that they are sitting in a safe and supportive atmosphere which will make it easier for them to talk about the learner’s background including the painful and traumatic events that happened in her past which will give me a broad idea on why she is behaving the way that she is. As an educator I must ensure the parents that the meeting will be respected with confidentiality and that I am actively listening with empathy, without any judgement towards them and the learner.By being warm and empathetic towards them we must agree on an intervention plan to meet the needs of Lerato, without making her feel judged or evaluated.
She must realise the consequences of being a bully and having unacceptable behaviour in such a way that she will want to make the change herself. That’s why for her to be personally involved in the meeting can be beneficial for both her, her caregivers and me as the educator to come to a mutual understanding on where she is currently on a cognitive, emotional, social and moral level and to identify the areas where intervention and referrals are needed. This intervention meeting gave Lerato and her caregivers the opportunity to learn.
Not only to gain knowledge, but also to reflect back on themselves which enabled them to change their attitude towards the school, educators and themselves and to change her behaviour towards her peers, caregivers and educators. That was put into effect immediately.I have concluded that strong relationships between parents and teachers lead to better communication. Once you’ve developed trusting relationships with the parents, you’ll be in a better place to address issues and concerns where intervention is needed.
2. Well-being and the nature of a healthy school2.1 Different types of well-being This report proposes a uniform definition of wellness and well-being that refers to wellness as a multidimensional state of being, describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of wellbeing. Several important characteristics included in this definition are: wellness is multidimensional; wellness is a state of being described as positive health; wellness is part of health; wellness is possessed by the individual; quality of life and well-being are the descriptors of wellness (Corbin, 2011). Well-being comprises different domains of the individual and focusing as a whole. Well-being consist out of the following dimensions such as social wellness, emotional wellness, spiritual wellness, environmental wellness, occupational wellness, intellectual wellness and physical wellness that all contributes to the quality of our lives.
2.1.1 Social wellnessSocial wellness is our ability to connect and relate to other people or groups within our community. Our social wellness also enables us to build healthy relationships with family, peers and friends.
It also enables us to create a healthy balance between our academic lives and social interactions, whether it is romantic or platonic relationships.2.1.2 Emotional wellnessEmotional wellness allows you to accept how you are feeling. Once you accept your feelings, you can begin to understand why you are feeling that way, and decide how you would like to act in response to those feelings. Being emotionally well grants you the power to express feelings without any constraints. In turn, you will be able to enjoy emotional expression and be capable of forming supportive and interdependent relationships with others.
Emotional wellness is the ability that we consist of to understand ourselves and to help us deal and cope with the challenges that life brings. It also enables us to acknowledge and share emotions such as joy, anger, love, hope etc. 2.
1.3 Spiritual wellnessSpiritual wellness allows us to be in tune with our spiritual selves. This domain of wellness lets us find meaning in life events and define our individual purpose. Spiritual wellness can be defined through various factors including religious faith, values, ethics and morals. Regardless of whether you believe in a religious faith, there is always something to be learned about how you see yourself in the world. It also develops congruency between our values and actions.2.
1.4 Environmental wellnessEnvironmental wellness inspires us to live a lifestyle that is respectful of our surroundings. This domain encourages us to live in harmony with the Earth by taking action to protect it. Environmental well-being promotes interaction with nature and your personal environment. It is our responsibility to protect our recourses and assure the quality of it so that it can be enjoyed by everyone.2.
1.5 Occupational wellnessOccupational wellness inspires us to prepare for work in which we will gain personal satisfaction and fulfilment in our life. Our attitude about work is a crucial influence for occupational development. Occupational wellness allows us to explore various career options and encourages us to pursue the opportunities we enjoy the most. This dimension of wellness recognizes the importance of satisfaction, enrichment and meaning through work while still maintaining balance in our lives.
2.1.6 Intellectual wellnessIntellectual wellness opens our mind to new ideas and encourages learning. It is important to explore new ideas and understandings in order to become more mindful and knowledgeable. Having an optimal level of intellectual wellness inspires exploration.
Intellectual wellness also stimulates curiosity. Curiosity is important because it motivates you to try new things and develop an understanding of how you see the relationship between yourself, others and the environment.2.1.
7 Physical wellnessPhysical wellness promotes proper care of our bodies for optimal health and functioning it also relates to a healthy quality life that allows us to complete our daily activities without getting exhausted or physically stressed. There are many elements of physical wellness that all must be cared for together. Overall physical wellness encourages the balance of physical activity, nutrition and mental well-being to keep our body in top condition. Obtaining an optimal level of physical wellness allows us to nurture personal responsibility for our own health. As we become conscious of our physical health, we are able to identify elements we are successful in as well as barriers that needs to be improved.For us to be “healthy” all the above-mentioned domains must work optimally and function as a whole.
Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth.2.2 A healthy school and what it focuses onA healthy school be seen as one that is constantly strengthening its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working (WHO, 1998). It is a place where all members of the school community work, live, learn and play together to promote the general health and wellbeing of learners, educators, parents and the wider community.
A Healthy school promotes wellbeing of learners and educators by addressing key health and social barriers to learning to promote effective teaching and learning.A school that promotes health also increases their knowledge and awareness of health promoting behaviours and develop systems for mainstreaming of care and support for teaching and learning. They organise NGO’s to come an address social and health issues with the learners in order to inform them about current issues. The school strives to provide a healthy school environment, school health education and school health services along with the school/community projects and outreaches. They also provide food safety programs and allow opportunities for physical education to help improve the learners mental, physical and social state. The school also have policies and practices in place that ensure respect for an individual’s well-being and dignity.
They provide multiple opportunities for success and acknowledge good intensions and efforts as well as personal achievements.