Safeguarding skills are essential for continuous professional development for everyone working in the education sector, including freelancers. It does not matter what your role is – you need to have the skills and knowledge to safeguard. Whether you are teaching as a freelancer or working in the admin office part-time, you must undergo up-to-date safeguarding training.

Safeguarding is essential for protecting students from abuse and neglect and taking proper action to ensure they remain safe. As someone who works in the education sector, part of your responsibilities includes providing a safe environment where children and young students are safe and protected. 

Here are the safeguarding skills needed to work as a freelancer in the education sector.

  1. Active Listening Skills         

Active listening is a crucial skill for any workplace, especially for educators. In an educational setting, active listening is a two-way process. While students must pay attention to what the teacher conveys, teachers must also be active listeners. For teachers to earn the trust of their students, they must let them feel they are being listened to. Such an affirmation can help to create a safe environment for the kids, encouraging them to open up and share any incidences of abuse or neglect with their teachers.

Being good listeners allows educators to understand students more effectively. Constant discussions with students help teachers identify the interests and strengths of their students, which they can use to structure their teaching lessons to motivate them to do better.

Another reason teachers should actively listen is to make students feel like they have a voice. Doing so encourages them to become active participants at school. Receiving feedback from students allows teachers to improve their teaching strategies, resulting in an improved teaching and learning process.

To be an effective active listener, always have an open mind when communicating with students. Focus only on the student and avoid doing extraneous tasks. Make time for conversations with your students, regardless of how busy your schedule is.

  1. Excellent People Skills        

People skills are essential for anyone working with others, such as in an educational setting. Therefore, it is one of the skills that freelancers in the education sector should possess. Also called interpersonal skills, people skills are innate and learned skills that are valuable in social situations.

As a teacher, you’ll be teaching students with different challenges, backgrounds, and abilities. But to ensure every student feels heard, teachers must have good people skills. These invaluable skills can contribute to an educator’s ability to connect with students and foster a positive and safe learning environment. Having a successful teacher-student relationship is a crucial aspect of safeguarding.

A positive teacher-student relationship is also essential for promoting academic success and improving the students’ well-being and engagement. Part of having good people skills is empathy. Teachers should exhibit empathy to engage with students on issues affecting them and address them thoroughly and according to their safeguarding training.

In addition, positive motivation is crucial in motivating students to give their best and participate in the classroom, fostering a positive interpersonal relationship between them and their students.

  1. Counselling Skills

Safeguarding requires teachers to be involved in student guidance and counselling to a certain degree. Therefore, anyone working as a freelancer in education should possess counselling skills. Undergoing safeguarding training courses is one of the best ways teachers can acquire these skills. Safeguarding training empowers educators with techniques to mitigate challenging behaviours and teaches them how to make students feel safer. Some training resources also provide trauma-informed approaches for staff working with vulnerable students.

A teacher with counselling skills can provide a safe and nurturing approach to support students with the practical skills needed to overcome challenges and issues. Young minds need proper guidance, especially in the face of adverse situations. Teachers who know the right approach to counselling can easily guide them to understand their situation and make decisions concerning their mental and emotional well-being.

Counselling skills also allow teachers to identify their students’ strengths and interests, which is essential for guiding them on the right path. Counselling can have the ability to change a student’s life. A teacher needs to have particular sets of core skills to be effective at counselling. During safeguarding training, they can learn several skills to help them in counselling their students.

  1. Be able to Work Well Under Pressure      

While working in the education sector is highly rewarding, it also comes with pressure from time to time, sometimes leaving teachers overwhelmed. The classroom can be a nerve-wracking place for many, whether you’re a full-time teacher or a freelancer starting your career in education. Even those with several years of experience behind them can sometimes get stressed. Therefore, as a freelancer in the education sector, you should be able to work well under pressure.

A resilient educator is a critical component of safeguarding. Educators who know how to regulate their emotions during stressful situations can help students do the same. As humans, it’s normal for teachers to get emotional. However, a teacher who can work under pressure knows how to control their emotions and has the proper outlets for stress.

  1. The Ability to Stay Calm and Focused      

It can be difficult for most children and young students to open up about abuse. Many fear there will be negative consequences if they tell anyone what’s happening to them. Educators must remain calm and focused once the student consults them about potential neglect or abuse.

Show the students you care once they open up about abuse. Offer your full attention to your child to encourage them to open up more. Maintain open and encouraging body language. Remain compassionate and understanding while reassuring them that their feelings are valid. 

Don’t be in a hurry. Respect pauses and avoid interrupting the child. Let them talk at their own pace. Recognise their body language and respond appropriately. Remember, it could take several conversations before they can fully open up about what happened to them.