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I feel awful for saying it but…the others behave when they’re not here’.

Teacher guilt is real. It’s part of our passion and it drives us on to do better. But we’ve all had that moment of conflict: initial relief when you realise that most challenging child isn’t in today followed by shame and self-doubt that you should somehow do more or be more.

So, how does taking a longer term approach to some of the children who need us most, manage this guilt and build skills that teachers return to again and again in their careers?

By this time in the year, teachers often feel they’re starting to get a pretty decent grip of behaviour; you’ve established your class culture and the routines seem embedded. But for a small number of pupils (often the most disadvantaged) these structures alone just aren’t enough to allow them to flourish in their learning.

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