Ginny writes articles for a number of publications including TES. These embody her passion as a SENCO and the pivotal role empathy, kindness and trust play in everyday life. Readers say she writes from the heart and shows great authenticity.

How I learned to stop worrying and love the Zoom calls

Lockdown happened, Zoom happened…They seemed to be seamlessly interwoven as a buy-one-get-one-free deal. At first, my stubborn streak kicked in. In my defence, it was born out of fear. Fear of looking silly or not being able to connect to the internet or use the microphone, or generally make a mess of it.

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We're all teachers of all years now. Let's embrace it

Covid has brought many challenges for teachers. One of the greatest has been working with children from different ages groups, in different environments, with different colleagues. During lockdown, I visited our MAT hub on a number of occasions to teach the children of key workers.

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Why trust is more important than ever for Sendcos

When I think of what it means to be trustworthy as a Sendco I think it comes back to three things: reliability, honesty and transparency. This has very much been the case in the past few weeks. As soon as it was announced that schools would be closing my mother hen attitude seemed to kick in with regard to the families I work alongside.

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The empathy approach: comfort, don't confront

When a child comes into your life or your classroom with many acknowledged difficulties and needs there is a human part of us that wants to shield them, make everything right and not rock the boat. This world can have so many potholes, so many barriers and so much sadnessthat we can forgive things in them that we might not necessarily forgive in others.

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2 ways to teach empathy that work - and why it matters

The role of empathy within the school setting is so important. It is something we need to teach children as a life skill for them to use throughout their lives. But in my experience this can be quite difficult. We come across children who, through previous life experiences, have got templates which mean that they find the concept of empathy very difficult to understand, never mind impart to others on a daily basis.

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Flexible working: Why a jobshare is like a marriage

The more I job share, the more I come to an inevitable conclusion: job sharing is like being married, but to a partner you can’t be entirely honest with. Having to think constantly before you speak is the main part of job sharing, and it is at times exhausting. I have job shared as a headteacher and as a class teacher. They have their positive points and their difficulties. Sharing, after all, takes compromise. You must remember that you are sharing the role, and let things go.

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SEND: Does one-to-one support remove independence?

The role of the teaching assistant in the life of a child with additional needs is quite a tightrope. Whether to have one specific teaching assistant working with a child, as opposed to having a number of teaching assistants, is a discussion I have had numerous times. In my experience, when I have had a one-to-one teaching assistant, I allowed them to use their initiative and experience to build a solid bond with the children – and parents, too.

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SEND: 4 tips for Sendcos on managing relationships

Relationships are pivotal in the role of Sendco. Get them right and they will bear great fruits. Get them wrong and they can haunt you. Quick read: The empathy approach: comfort, don’t confrontQuick listen: Why attachment-aware teaching matters for every childWant to know more? SEND: Why your school should sign up to BSLIn my time as Sendco, I have got it wrong, got it right and just about scraped through. The three biggest lessons I have learned are to be honest, be honest and be honest.

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Why moving house is so stressful for teachers

Moving house is a huge step in anyone’s life. But – as I discovered during a recent move – this is all the more true if you are a teacher. One of the first questions we need to ask as a teacher is: “Can I have a ‘moving day’?” When I canvassed staffroom opinion, there was a definite consensus that of course I could. But, as teachers, we don’t like to have what we perceive to be unnecessary days off. We don’t like to ask for things, even when we are entitled to them.

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10 features of a flexible classroom

My classroom practice was recently referred to as “flexible”, which got me thinking about what makes my classroom seem that way. I think it is concerned with children feeling safe and secure in their environment. Nothing here will come as a great surprise but I thought I’d share my classroom practice.

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SEND: The empathy-based approach to behaviour

When a child comes into your life or your classroom with many acknowledged difficulties and needs there is a human part of us that wants to shield them, make everything right and not rock the boat. This world can have so many potholes, so many barriers and so much sadness that we can forgive things in them that we might not necessarily forgive in others. We want them to succeed, so we sweep things under the carpet and give them another chance.

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Why looked-after children need empathy most of all

I once taught a child so happy, so care free, so engaged in learning. And then, after the summer, he completely changed. He was unrecognisable. What had happened to the child I knew? That boy was a looked-after child, and these children come into our schools with a variety of needs. Those needs are complex and can show themselves in a variety of ways and, crucially, at different times. Supporting looked-after childrenTheir life experiences co-exist alongside them, as a kind of shadow.

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Mental health and wellbeing - All teachers need some hygge in our lives

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Parents are doing an amazing job of educating their children

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How to engage every pupil

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Schools Should Provide a Safe Environment where Children Thrive on Kindness

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