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Pupils’ ‘toxic stress’ damages your health

When a teacher’s support for a challenging, traumatised student becomes traumatic in itself, it’s time to take safeguarding steps to protect their health and career, writes Darren Martindale

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As teachers, we care deeply about the progress and wellbeing of children. We believe in the transformative power of education. As a result, we invest vast amounts of time and energy in our more challenging pupils. So when one of those challenging students turns around and deals you a swift, (hopefully) metaphorical punch to the kidneys, it can be really hurtful.

But the experienced among us shake it off; we don’t take it personally and we don’t blame the child because we understand that all behaviour is communication. They are trying to express their feelings about something they’re struggling ...

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