Student Well-Being

Teachers Creating Healing Classrooms

Healing Classrooms encourages teachers to think beyond a narrow focus on teaching children "school subjects." Teacher support is so important in such harsh conditions, where children face multiple risks. For example, in some remote rural communities, or in some difficult urban settings, teachers often play multiple roles.

In Herat, Western Afghanistan, for example, there is very limited access to education. From an early age children may be involved in carpet weaving, goat herding and other occupations. Children have few opportunities to play. Also, few children are adequately dressed for the cold winter conditions, nor are they given clean clothes to wear. When teachers broaden their view of their role as teachers, they can use their positions of relative authority within the community to promote child protection and well-being. Expanding their roles was the focus of a special Healing Classrooms pilot project of teacher development that involved both workshops and follow-up "classroom-based training."

Before you continue, make sure you read page 44 in the Healing Classrooms "Tools for Teachers and Teacher Educators" to learn more about the intervention and the tools used.

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

How do the approaches taken by the IRC Afghanistan team in Herat relate to your program? In your local context, how could you encourage teachers to further expand their role to include greater promotion of student protection and well-being?