Celebrity psychologist rouses school staff

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 13:00 05/02/2014
Nigel Latta and Don McLean
MARION VAN DIJK/Fairfax NZ

HEAD TO HEAD: Psychologist Nigel Latta with Hampden Street School principal Don McLean.

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Hampden Street School teachers and staff are coming into the new teaching year motivated with some new ideas on relationship building and teaching self-control.

Celebrity psychologist Nigel Latta held a talk at the school yesterday, teaching the teachers, office and grounds staff about the importance of consequences, praising, and building good relationships.

Principal Don McLean said the talk to about 40 staff was inspiring.

"‘We try to start the year with something that will really motivate the teachers, that's interesting and topical, and gets the staff really turned on to the new year," he said.

Dr Latta said his talks were based on research and that the advice he gave was applicable all over the world, but he found top advice was to do with relationship building.

"It doesn't matter what you do, the better you are at relationships the better you are at your job. If teachers have better relationships with the kids, the kids learn more so it's one of those fundamental truths of the world, the better you are at that stuff the better you are at most things."

Mr McLean found the emphasis on relationship and teaching self-control helpful.

"One of the big things was teaching children about self control and that is one of the key things. Also for teachers to build relationships, as a staff that's something we focused on last year, the importance of building relationships with children and their families."

He also appreciated discussions on keeping issues simple.

"He was talking about keeping it simple for the kids and parents - don't over-complicate issues, cut to the simple parts of an issue or discussion."

Teachers Sarah Bates and Kim Bidlake said they felt very motivated from the talk.

"One of the best things I learnt was the self-control aspect, knowing that's the thing that will underpin how they will do in the rest of their lives," Miss Bates said.

They said teaching children self-control in all aspects was important and it led to setting clear consequences for bad behaviours and praising for good behaviour.

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- The Nelson Mail

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