What do students & teachers really want? Students just want teachers to listen to them & to consider their needs, & teachers want students to take responsibility for their learning & behaviour.

Teachers also want to work in schools where the policies & way of governance fosters respectful interactions within the school community & supports the delivery and integration of learning. They want to be heard, the way their students want to be heard.

In Sura Hart & Victoria Hodson’s book “The Compassionate Classroom”, they suggest placing relationships at the centre of any classroom. In a “relationship based” classroom, safety, trust, student & teacher needs & modes of communication are as equally important as history, maths & social sciences.

Creating a compassionate classroom is a key to supporting the emotional & learning needs of a child.  Addressing how we communicate with each other, sharing the skills of wearing “giraffe ears” and mediation & being clear about what processes need to be set up so children feel safe to be who they are & be heard, are fundamental to a caring, nurturing & harmonious environment.

NVC expands our understanding of needs. In schools we hear, “special needs” or a child is “needy”, when in fact, all needs are special and we are all “needy” – having needs that long to be met. Needs extend further than just learning needs. They address needs for fun, play, friends, belonging, autonomy, competence, to be seen & valued, to be heard … etc! When these needs are realised & met learning becomes easier as children feel safe & valued.