Further, the teacher remarked that the classroom had become a place where students noticed other students’ needs and sought adult support so that these would be met for them. This was a dramatic change from an environment where students had previously aggressively competed with each other to have their needs met.
"When you consider the fragmentation of the classroom environment prior to this classroom intervention, their growth in a matter of a few months to become more cohesive is remarkable!"
~ School Social Worker
"As the school social worker I had fewer requests from administration and the classroom teacher to deal with student conflict situations. There were less office referrals and no school suspensions."
Feedback from 20 stakeholders at the end of June (social worker, teacher, and students) indicated a significant increase in target behaviours, and decrease in required Social Work and Administrative interventions.
Most significantly, the students responded that their classroom became a fun place where students were more respectful of each other, where students felt comfortable and happy, where they could ask for help, and others would be helpful to them. Further, they indicated that the environment generally became more calm, polite, kind, and cooperative. The teacher added that the classroom became a much more compassionate place, with major improvements in learning behaviours.
One month after the last session, these 20 stakeholders expressed observations of growth in the following target areas:
Specific student responses to survey questions:
1. What did you most want to see change in your classroom?
What I wanted most was to see students cooperate with each other.
I most wanted to change the bad behaviour and people yelling and screaming.
People being mean
People being rude to others
No more lying.
Listening. People would never be quiet.
I wanted to change the level of helpfulness in the class.
My learning (Spelling and ELA)
I wanted people to be more polite.
Stop acting like 5 year olds
People helping out.
What I wanted most was sharing.
I wanted more caring and more respect.
I wanted people to help out more.
2. How do you feel now coming to school?
It makes me feel real happy and safe going to school.
It feels good because more people are being nice.
It feels better because it feels more safe. Lots of students are having a better time now.
It feels really nice to see our classroom grow and I’m proud to be part of this class.
It feels more comfortable seeing students maturing and being calmer.
Students are more cooperative.
I feel safe and comfortable coming to school.
It feels like I could trust anyone.
It feels more comfortable and fun.
Caring, people are included.
Very happy because student are working a lot.
Great! People are being nice.
I see in my class that people feel safe.
It feels awesome and great. Ever since we started growing, it was great.
At the beginning, people got mad easy, now not so much.
People are playing games and more energetic.
3. Did it help the thing you most wanted to change?
Yes – 13
Maybe – 2
Don’t know – 1
Not really - 1
No – 1
Contact for details on BodyTalk session themes.
School Support Data
A Social Worker from a Winnipeg school requested 4.5 hours of engagement time to support a grade 5/6 classroom. It was described as a highly stressful classroom and learning environment, with a number of students presenting with intense social, emotional and behavioural issues, and being directed by a brand new teacher.
The intervention process involved 3 visits over 3 months. At each visit, a classroom Sharing Circle was conducted, followed by a BodyTalk session on the teacher to support the class' intentions.
Fun - 15
Respect for Each Other – 15
Happy – 14
Asking for Help – 14
Listening to the Teacher – 10
Politeness - 11
Feeling Safe – 10
Listening to Each Other – 12
Comfortable – 15
Physically Healthy - 7
Helpful – 13
Caring (inclusive) – 8
Sharing – 10
Calmer – 12
Core Practice (mindfulness) – 13
Cooperation – 12
Kindness – 11
Calm Tone of Voice – 4
Respect for the Teacher – 10
Smiling - 9