There is a central dilemma embedded in the relationship between teachers and researchers. Teachers know the story of the classroom well, but they are seldom asked to tell their stories, nor do they usually have the opportunity. Researchers, on the other hand, are skilled at telling certain things about classrooms, but they often miss the central stories that are there. This divergence can lead to different opinions on what teaching is about and what is important within it. To bridge this gap, we describe an approach which puts the teacher and the student at the centre.
With respect to emotional and behavioural problems of students, we underline the notion of student-teacher compatibility, deriving from theories emphasizing the transactional/reciprocal nature of human behaviour. One of the aims of the Lectorship and Knowledge Network Behavioural Problems in School Practice, is to identify at-risk-teachers (i.e. those most vulnerable to the presence of behaviourally challenging students and parents) so that interventions, both in initial teacher training as well as in inservice training can be applied to help them develop adequate attitudes and coping-skills. In clinical supervision, peer coaching or reflective practice, these teachers can be helped to consider in what way student and parental problem behaviour contribute to their loss of satisfaction, their feelings of self doubt, perceived disruption of the teaching process, and their frustration working with parents.