Gentle Teaching - The Approach

Gentle Teaching does not focus on compliance or obedience but focuses on teaching individuals to feel safe with others.

In order for this to happen our staff assess the four tools they use i.e.

  • our hands
  • our eyes
  • our words
  • our peaceful and kind presence

These tools facilitate an understanding of safety with those children & young people we support. We use our tools to convey that we can be trusted in good times and in times of distress. We learn best when we feel safe. If the individuals we work with do not feel safe and loved, the learning environment is non-existent. Shared activities and moments are used to teach and build relationships of reciprocity and fairness.

Four Elements of Successful Teaching/Nurturing

Gentle Teaching espouses: “we change for those we care about and trust”. It provides a framework for learning and growth by having clear goals, creating a plan and setting up an organised environment without losing the relationship focus. Within this context challenging moments are better anticipated, prevented and refocused.  

Consistently integrating the following elements can experientially establish trust:

  • Environmental arrangement – safety, minimise distraction, learning style
  • Flow of Activity to include a fair balance of choices and have to activities – balance of routine and change, high demand with low demand activities
  • Adequate information/Communication to include goals, closures and time keeping (visual, verbal, gestural, physical)
  • Sustaining the relationship in personalised ways (value & encouragement)
  • identifying and responding to early indicators of feeling unsafe: notice, listen deeply and adjusting our support strategies

Organising the four elements begins with the reflective practice of asking: “What is this person communicating and how do they interpret information?”.

This creates a dialogue where the individual feels listened to and is more willing to communicate in ways that are less ”hurtful, disruptive, controlling and obsessive”.

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