Safe Base - a quest through time...

One of the guiding principles of nurture is the idea of a safe base, that children and young people need it and we as educators should provide it.

When I first came into teaching I though that this was the physical room that I occupied, and spent a large portion of time on the displays and ambiance within my room.

Over time I came to realise that although the fish tank in the corner of the room was nice, it was how we all interacted with it that really mattered. Being the person who didn’t question that child X wanted to sit there for a few minutes to “sort their head out“ and allowing the child to process whatever is happening ready for learning.

Recognising that the other humans in the room all have different needs and sometimes those needs have nothing to do with my painstakingly prepared Science lesson.

Later as a Initial Teacher Training mentor I started to pass this idea on, encouraging my trainees to be more free with their planning and in one case telling a student to pick the main thing in their lesson plan and just do that.

So this leads me on to the big question , what exactly is a safe base? For me honestly it’s a feeling, on your worst day when everything goes wrong and you can’t decide whether to laugh, cry or retreat back under the duvet. Who do you go to? Where do you want to be?

This also changes over time and with circumstance, for me my safe base was always my house and my very lovely if somewhat needy Labrador (a very good cuddler). Now with being trapped in the house with others like some weird social experiment, I have carved out tiny pieces of space and things to be my safe base. I created multiple chill out areas around the house so that we can all feel safe. I have banned the over spilling tech and work stuff from whole swathes of our space, to try to keep a little bit more harmony (read sanity) in our lives.

So what have I learnt from all of this... safe is important and precious, to be fought for and created in any way you can. It can be the elaborate chill out space in your conservatory where all manner of TV series are binge watched whilst cocooned in the fluffiest of blankets. It can be the person you can’t wait to hug.

Safe is sitting for 5 minutes on the dog bed whilst the kettle boils, taking time to be present, to reach out and to make the world a more nurturing place one step at a time.

Take care everyone, and stay safe.

nurcha natter