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Thread: A hug from teacher

  1. #1
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default A hug from teacher

    Careful, a bit of sense creeping in here...... ;)

    Teacher hugs get the greenlight
    26 September 2006

    A comforting hug has been deemed acceptable contact between teachers and students, under new guidelines launched today. The new guidelines for physical contact between teachers and children were outlined at the annual meeting of the New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa this morning.

    They cover NZEI's 45,000 members who educate around 860,000 children, from infants to adults at pre-schools and schools. The guidelines call for teachers to use "common sense" in situations that require physical contact with children.

    Comforting an upset or injured child, a congratulatory pat on the back or helping with toileting were all situations where contact may be appropriate. The new guidelines replaced the stringent 1998 Code of Conduct, which was adopted after the high-profile child abuse conviction of Christchurch creche worker Peter Ellis in the early 90s.

    Raetihi Primary School principal Brian Laing said the code came out of a context of social concern about male teachers. It was time for a more realistic approach, he said at the launch.

    Somerfield School teacher Chris Eccersall-Panther, who teaches year one and two students, said the new guidelines reflected what was actually happening in schools. He did not anticipate many changes at his school, he told NZPA.

    "I feel the change perhaps will be more in the mind set of the teachers and hopefully a mind shift in our community of what it is happening." The best thing about the guidelines was they would encourage more awareness and discussion within the school and the wider community, Mr Eccersall-Panther said.

    Massey University early childhood development facilitator Hayley Whitaker said the guidelines were more in line with cultural and social New Zealand. ?The new guidelines are all-encompassing and I think that is a good thing, to bring us back toreview the policies that we already had in place."

    It was imperative for teachers to have physical contact with small children, but precautions were important, Ms Whitaker, a former pre-school teacher said. "We need to be really aware of being on our own, especially in changing rooms and sleeping rooms. You should have viewing windows so anybody can see you."

    Shunning physical contact with small children could even be damaging to the child's well-being, she said. "Some of these kids, as young as four weeks old, are with us for up to 50 hours a week. You need to pick up a child and give them a cuddle when they're upset."

    Ms Whitaker frequently visited pre-schools from Gisbourne to Manawatu and said she would discuss with them how they were using the guidelines.
    - NZPA
    Mother Bear

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    Glenda's Avatar
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    Default Re: A hug from teacher

    As you say, MB, a bit of sense creeping in.

    There was a bit on the news here in NZ, day before yesterday I think, that discussions are underway whether photos and filming should be taken of kids at school. (Sounds familiar. [smiley=120.gif] )
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

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    Taffy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A hug from teacher

    It's a good thing that kiwi kids will be allowed to grow up knowing what emotion is, but if you were a teacher, would you risk it? If it was me, I'd be too concerned that even though you've got the 'green light' for 'appropriate contact' as they call it, your neck would still be on the block.

    Really speaking, it should never have gone this far in the first place. It's always single events that trigger mass hysteria, so everyone gets punished for one idiots actions. All they really had to do was string the filthy SOB up by the family jewels in the centre of town and let the public punish him as they see fit.

    But, thats the problem with most crime these days, no real deterrent.
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Re: A hug from teacher

    Children need to be taught warmth, comfort and pride as well as the 3 R?s or how else can they pass it on to their children? ?They may not always experience these emotions at home, so school is the next best place. ?The majority is being punished for the deeds of the minority in all areas of life these days, so it's good to see a leaning back to pre-nanny state days. ?It's a start. ?

    Teachers welcome relaxed rules
    27 September 2006
    By ARWEN HANN

    [smiley=056.gif]

    Teachers and education experts are welcoming new guidelines which allow them to have physical contact with children when providing emotional support and encouraging learning.

    The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) has published new guidelines for physical contact between teachers and children that relax the previous code of practice, which advocated no contact.

    The code was drawn up in 1998 when public anxiety about child sex abuse was high in the wake of cases like that of Peter Ellis, who was accused of sexually abusing children at the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre. Ellis is still battling to clear his name, arguing he was wrongfully convicted.

    New guidelines tell teachers and early childhood educators that interactions "are important for building caring, inclusive and cohesive learning communities", and warn that staff who withdraw from physical contact could be negative role models.

    Staff have been given the go-ahead to hug children to provide emotional support and to pat them on the back to congratulate them. Physical contact to help after an accident, when the child goes to the toilet or to lift or move a child is also now deemed appropriate.

    Barry Brooker, the director of the school of primary teacher education at the Christchurch College of Education, hoped the change would encourage more people into teaching.

    "I hope one of the positive things that will come out of this will be that more people ? particularly male ? will come to teaching," he said. "Although it is not quite such an issue now, there is still an anxiety there about abuse and I think these guidelines, which seem to be based on common sense, could play a positive role in reducing that."

    Cary Mohlmann, from AngelCare preschool in Christchurch, said teachers knew what was appropriate. "You get a lot of it in training both at college and when you start the job, so you know what's right and wrong," she said. "There are safeguards here at the centre, so I feel OK having contact with the children. It is good the guidelines allow physical contact. The children really benefit from it, especially here at the pre-school where it is almost an extension of their home."

    The guidelines have also been welcomed by groups representing parents. "We are really pleased they (NZEI) have looked into this issue and welcome the new guidelines," Margaret Mooney, deputy president of the Parent Teacher Association, said. "Parents know teachers have common sense and I think they will welcome this move."
    - The Press
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

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