Nicola’s anxiety is compounded by her self-perception. She fears that despite her status and experience – she has been teaching the subject for over seven years, she may be just like them.
In the programme, John Bayley advises Nicola to ration her visits to their table, rewarding good behaviour with her attention but starving the girls of her presence when they do things off task.
The following day, Nicola teaches the same class again and puts Bayley’s advice in to practice. Her resolution and determination are rewarded when, without her constant attention, the girls have little else to do but get on with their work.
Nicola is delighted with John’s help, admitting that as a result she feels far less pressurised in lessons and more able to spread her attention, targeting those in need.