Welcome to Psychology in the Classroom, the podcast for teachers who want to apply the latest psychological research and thinking to their classroom practice. Find out about more about me, Lucinda Powell, and why this podcast is so important to me, as well as why this first season will be focused on Mental Health and Wellbeing in the classroom.
It is a real pleasure to talk with Professor Cathy Creswell, Professor of Developmental Clinical Psychology at Oxford University, who has been researching the effects of Covid-19 and Lockdown on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people from the beginning. Her findings are fascinating and not what you might expect. Here she shares her research and lots of practical advice for teachers and parents as we all prepare for the return to school.
In this second episode I dive into what it means to take a 'Whole School' approach to mental health and wellbeing. Moving beyond the token gestures so that Wellbeing is something that runs like a thread through everything your school does - every day, every interaction, every decision holds the wellbeing of the whole community in mind.
More information about the webinars can be found on my social media, my website or by signing up to my newsletter.
Maff Potts from Camerados joins me to discuss everything from why we don't need to fix people, the power of failure and the importance of tea. Although he is not a psychologist his expertise in supporting people through tough times demonstrates that we don't need training and qualifications to sit alongside someone when they are struggling.
Presenteeism and absenteeism due to mental health issues costs schools £1697 per year per employee. It underlines why there is a clear business case to look after teachers. However, it is clear that teachers who are struggling will not be as effective and this will impact the students in their classrooms. This podcast considers a few simple things schools and teachers can do to improve mental health and wellbeing.
If you want access to the Mood Journal and 5 Ways to Wellbeing infographic click here.
Classroom atmosphere is so important in improving wellbeing and making the classroom a safe place to learn is paramount. But how can teachers do this? In this podcast we look at 4 variables that can help to create a safe classroom:
There are lots of ideas of how you can build relationships, create a sense of belonging, be fair and focus on the learning process. If you want to know more about the Cook et al. Establish-Maintain-Restore model click here.
As teachers we often underestimate how much of our behaviour our students pick up on and model. In this podcast I consider why teachers are such important role models and 5 key things they need to role model to improve mental health and wellbeing:
Around 30 percent of 15 year olds report experiencing bullying. In this interview Professor Lucy Bowes from Oxford University, talks about the long term impacts this can have on mental health, who is at risk of being a bully and being a victim and why we should understand the whole picture. It really is everybody's problem and schools need to address if from a whole school stand point. If you want to find out more about Lucy's research and the KiVa project click here
Have you ever wanted to share a problem and the person you are talking to just keeps jumping with their solutions or tells you about a similar incident in their life and you just don't feel like they 'get it'. Often our responses when someone opens up to us are an attempt to show empathy but often make the person feel they haven't really been heard. Listening is a real skill and needs practice. This podcast delves into what it means to be a good listener.
Teachers are often seen as being at the frontline of those who can identify and support young people who are struggling with their mental health. It is daunting, but it shouldn't be. Schools have clear referral systems that you can access but what should you be looking out for? This short podcast gives you simple guide to the signs of low mood, depression and anxiety and what to do if you are concerned.
Teacher recruitment and retention is often linked to wellbeing. In this episode I talk to Jack Worth, Lead Economist at the National Foundation for Educational Research about his work into recruitment and retention. We discuss the key factors that cause teachers to leave the profession, the impact of Covid-19 on the teaching workforce and what schools can do to encourage teachers to stay in the profession. From flexible working to professional goals this interview offers a fascinating insight into the importance of job satisfaction in teaching.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a much misunderstood condition affecting around 2% of young people. Dr Georgina Krebs, MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow at King’s College London,talks about her work as a clinical psychologist specialising in OCD and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) in this episode. We cover what defines OCD, the signs and symptoms, and how teachers can best support young people with OCD. If you are concerned about a young person in your care or about yourself and would like further advice or support you can visit ocduk.org or ocdaction.org.uk
By teaching effective study skills we give students coping strategies to deal with the stress and pressure of exams. Although many schools teach these students often need support to implement and maintain behavioural change around study. Once positive routines are established students feel more in control and have more resilience to cope with the challenges of school work and exams. This podcast considers key skills and how they should be embedded in school practice.
As a teenager I knew plenty of girls at school with eating disorders. As a new teacher I was really worried about how to support any young person who might disclose they had an eating disorder. In this podcast I ask Dr Paul Jenkins from Reading University, all the questions I wish I had been able to ask 20 years ago about different types of eating disorders, signs, supporting suffers and the misunderstanding that surrounds them.
Further support/resources can be found here:
National Eating Disorders Risk factors
With smartphones and 24/7 connection to the internet teenagers are growing up in a different world to their parents. Many people are quick to blame screens and social media for the poor mental health in young people but how accurate is this accusation? This podcast considers what the research says and how certain we can be about the effects of screens on teens.
What do colonoscopies have in common with optimism? Understanding what parts of an event we remember can help us ensure that any experience can be made more positive, even school. Psychology around mental health often focuses on the negatives but there are ways that we can work with everyone everyday to help them reframe the way the see the world from 'glass half empty' to 'glass half full'. Teaching positive thinking habits can benefit not only students but teachers as well. This episode is full of ideas on what this might look like in the classroom.
You can down load the question list here.
This live Q&A panel was recorded on 2nd December and was hosted by Opogo.com. I was joined by Delyth Lynch from Wellington College, Rob Vaughan from Launchpad Alternative Provision and Zelia Munnik and Andrea Davies from Chertsey High School all of whom are part of the School Mental Health Award. It is a lively discussion covering engaging parents, working with external agencies and the role of governors amongst other things.