Educators' experiences of their relationships with adolescents involved in drug use
Walton, Karen Lynn
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This study focuses on the experiences that educators have of their relationships with adolescents involved in drug use. It has been recognised over time that school communities are becoming more important with regards to the impact they have on learners, in particular the impact that learner-educator relationships have on the wellbeing of learners. A qualitative, phenomenological design was therefore used in order to ascertain the educators’ lived experiences. In total, sixteen educators were purposely selected from a secondary school in the area of Delft in Cape Town. In-depth interviews were conducted with all sixteen participants after which a World Café group session was organised in which the same 16 educators participated. These methods collected rich information. The results of the study are reported in an article. The aim of the article was to explore educators’ lived experiences of their relationships with adolescent learners involved in drug use. The study has shown that educators can have positive relationships with learners involved in drug use despite the challenges they face. It seems that it is most likely to occur when the educator feels motivated to nurture these relationships – possibly experiencing personal well-being – and uses a variety of skills and strengths to attempt to achieve this goal. This has implications for how other cases with learners involved in drug use should be treated and how the educators and school can assist these learners. Recommendations that emerged as a result of this study are to make educators aware of their own personal well-being and the importance of nurturing their wellbeing, in order to enable them to, in turn, nurture positive relationships with learners involved in drug use. Schools themselves can also play a role in creating an organisational culture that places emphasis on the relational and personal well-being of teachers as well as students.
- Humanities