Marie Delaney

Dealing with challenging learners – why do some pupils make us feel they are unteachable? Link to recording of presentation

Marie Delaney is an Educational Psychotherapist, MFL /EFL Teacher and Teacher Trainer and NLP Master Practitioner. She has extensive experience of working with challenging behaviour– both staff and pupils! She has worked on outside school projects – at DYP a Mentoring and Education programme in Hackney, London – as well as in schools as a Learning Support Unit manager for pupils at risk of exclusion and as Learning Mentor /LSU co-ordinator for primary and secondary schools in the London Borough of Havering. She was also a trainer and moderator on the National Training for Learning Mentors and worked as Emotional Literacy Consultant in a challenging secondary school in Essex. She is currently working in a school for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in Cork as well as offering training and consultancy.

She has been Director of Studies for International House in Poland and Course Director for Teacher Training at Pilgrims, Canterbury, UK. She has trained teachers worldwide. Her main interests are introducing therapeutic approaches into mainstream schools to develop realistic strategies for challenging behaviour. She is the author of ‘Teaching the Unteachable’ 2008 Worth Publishing, UK and ‘What can I do with the kid who…’ 2010 Worth Publishing UK.


7 Responses to Marie Delaney

  1. marie delaney says:

    Hi everyone
    Just s short follow-up to my presentation to say it was great to meet you all. If there are any questions left over or arising from the presentation. I am happy to answer them here in this space. Also, am happy to send the powerpoint to anyone who would like it
    Best wishes

  2. osnacantab says:


    Thanks very much for that offer.

    It has sometimes occurred to me that people who are sensitive enough to make potentially effective teachers in difficult circusmstances are also, perhaps,.too fragile to survive the inescapable pressure.
    Does your experience enable you to say what personal characteristics are necessary to stand a chance of becoming an effective teacher?


    • Susan Hillyard says:

      Great Q!
      My team asks that q every day!
      We have not found the answer except in the Dreamteam atmosphere we have established in our PLC.
      Even so we lose a few each year ( so far)
      Susan H

  3. marie delaney says:

    HI Dennis and Susan
    I think it depends what you mean by sensitive. I think people who are too sensitive to everyone’s feelings and moods and who take on the worries of their students will not make the best teachers in any case. In my experience, the best teachers are able to separate out their own states and feelings from their students, know how to manage and reflect realistically on their part in interactions – by that I mean not beat themselves up about everything, can remember to focus on the main reason for beiing there – the learning, and are curious about how students learn or don’t learn.
    Maintaining the ‘adult’ state and not getting drawn into childish interactions with children is also key. Students do not want teachers to be their friend or therapist.
    Being able to plan effective lessons and manage classes will always be stated by ‘difficult’ students as a key to good teaching. This shows that teachers need to develop ideas about learning , planning and discipline as well as understanding that some students find this hard.
    So, to sum up, I would say the ability to be reflective, not take yourself too seriously,urious, continually develop teaching ideas, to maintain boundaries but to understand why some children why these difficult to accept are key attributes. Listening skills are also important but I always say just because I listen to a child does not mean I agree with them.
    Some thoughts anyway!!

  4. Susan Hillyard says:

    Hi Marie,
    I’ve asked all my teachers to watch your Webinar and come with comments on Saturday to our 4 hour workshop. I’ve watched it 3 times now and it really is very useful for us. We’re working in 20 special schools in Buenos Aires, teaching English through Drama and we have many children who are really challenging.
    We work with almost every type of disorder and we NEED to keep emotionally healthy ourselves. Thank you so much for this.
    I just wish you could come to Buenos Aires!!!!!
    Best wishes,
    Susan Hillyard

  5. marie delaney says:

    Hi Susan
    Thanks for your comments. Actually i have done a slightly extended version of this seminar for the British Council website. You can access it on
    if you go to webinar and register you will see it and a couple of others.
    I would love to come to Buenos Aires – perhaps we should think creatively about it!
    I have just been working in Turkey with an NGO and the British council on teaching English through the arts to disabled students so I am very interested in what you are doing? Are you working in state schools? We should definitely exchange ideas.
    Will be back in touch soon

  6. Site says:

    A person necessarily help to make critically articles I might state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular put up extraordinary. Magnificent task!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s