Home' Teacher : June-July 2011 Contents 12 teac her june/july 2011
Positive relationships improve
Haran was walking up the steps on his way
to the front of the school to report in late.
He was preoccupied and didn’t see the deputy
head teacher until he was almost upon him.
‘Not only are you late, young man, you
are not in proper uniform. Where’s your tie?’
Haran shrugged. He’d forgotten it. The dep-
uty put his hand on the boy’s arm.
‘And look at me when I’m speaking to you.’
Haran looked up, brushed the teacher’s
hand away with some force, sneered and
swore vehemently. He then turned around
and walked out of the school gates ignoring
demands to return.
All hell broke loose. Meetings were held
in which Haran’s ‘poor attitude’ to school,
‘aggression towards teachers,’ ‘unacceptable
language’ and ‘major attendance problems’
were all cited as reasons for his eventual
exclusion. He ended up as a student in a pupil
referral unit where he was invariably polite
and well-behaved – though still frequently late
Haran was a very mature looking 13-year-
old: a big lad with a shadow of a moustache
on his upper lip. He was the eldest male in
his household as his father had gone missing
before the family fled to the United Kingdom
as asylum seekers three years earlier. His
mother spoke very little English and Haran
spent much of his time translating for her with
various agencies. That morning he had gone
with her to the doctor’s where it had become
clear that not only was she physically unwell,
she was also very depressed. Haran’s school
tie had been the last thing on his mind.
Extracted from Dr Sue Roffey’s new book,
Changing Behaviour in School: Promoting
positive relationships and wellbeing.
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