How to discuss asking for help with your students

Introducing the use of Pulse is a rich opportunity to discuss with your students why it is important to ask for help and how they might do it. Set aside a short period of time to consider the following prompts with students (this activity is included in the classroom activities document provided during onboarding).

Pair discussion: “I'd like you to think about who helps you when you are in trouble. Discuss in pairs about who you might talk to:

  1. if you have school work you find difficult, 
  2. if you're feeling upset about an argument with a friend, 
  3. if you are receiving inappropriate messages online or 
  4. if you feel nervous about a doctor's appointment."

After sharing answers, think about or discuss in a group who they might turn to for help at this school (if a student says they cannot think of anyone, let them know that you are available to help with a problem or to work out who else might be good to chat to), and also outside school (this could be a combination of personal relationships and professional advice services).

Circle time discussion (students sit in a circle, discuss the following points):

  1. Why do we choose different people to talk to about different situations? Different people are able to help with different problems because everyone has unique areas of expertise
  2. What can other people do to help if you talk to them? They can help you look at your problem from different angles and give advice to help you solve problems. They can give you a hug, if you want it, and they can listen to you so you feel heard. Sometimes it's nice just to have someone tell you that your feelings make sense.
  3. When should I ask for help? Sometimes worries start to consume all our thoughts and it’s difficult to think about anything else. If this is happening to you, have a think about who you might like to chat to at school so that you can get some advice.
  4. Why is checking in on wellbeing with ourselves and with others important? Worries have a way of growing bigger in your head if you don't talk about them. So, something that started out as a small worry or problem you could live with becomes so large that you feel overwhelmed or crushed.

Finish your lesson by reiterating that the reason you collect Pulse data is so that staff can understand the needs of the students and address them, but also so that they always have an avenue open to them to get support when they need it.

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