Peer support for teachers

 

Sir, – The secret teacher (Education, September 21st) gave a comprehensive and thoughtful insight into the stresses that might be contributing to students’ lack of engagement with class and homework. She reminds us of how the teacher may have their own “unique set of challenges and burdens waiting for us elsewhere”, and states that “as teachers, we also live in fear of our own shortcomings being discovered”.

These struggles are similar to those of therapists. For this reason, all psychotherapists are required to undertake regular supervision individually, or in a group, with a more experienced therapist trained in supervision. In this small pod of therapists, confidentiality is a given, so each therapist can feel safe to talk about situations they are finding challenging in their work and how their own life issues may be interfering with their capacity to respond objectively and empathetically. The therapists also learn from each other’s experiences under the guidance of the supervisor.

This is an approach that would serve teachers well, enhancing their work, while feeling supported by their supervisor and a small group of peers.

– Yours, etc,

KATIE WOOLLETT,

Ballsbridge,

Dublin 4.