Important Considerations for Independent Instructors
A majority of MISP Instructors are teachers or classroom assistants and they undertake the MISP as part of their paid work. “Independent instructors” are those who are not employed to introduce MISP as part of their day to day job.
Are you interested in becoming a MISP Instructor? You may have skills that you wish to use and a desire to help children. You could be a therapist, nurse, parent, school governor, or have another background.
MISP Instructors are the adults who introduce peer massage to the children. They may also work with school staff or staff in other organisations to show them how to use positive touch in various activities. All adults working with children currently require an enhanced Criminal Record Bureau check and from July 2010 will be required to register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) under the new vetting and barring scheme (cost £64). Independent instructors may be able to request the school to do this on their behalf.
It is important to be aware that whilst a number of independent Instructors are successful in using the MISP in addition to their other therapies it can be hard to make contact and get into schools and there isn’t always funding available. However, there is big variation between schools/LAs/regions and there is also the option run parent workshops, or offer sessions at after schools clubs and in pre-school settings. You can always use MISP in a voluntary setting to gain experience.
When starting out it is advisable that independent Instructors already have some contacts that will allow them access into schools or other children’s organisations and that these organisations know about the MISP in advance so that they can express an interest in the programme. If it is not the case, good networking skills are required to help establish new contacts within education and seek out any sources of funding which may not be immediately obvious. Some guidance is given at the training but it is up to the Instructor to make contact with schools.
There is a possibility that the MISP can be used with parents and their children in private classes as well as after school clubs. Extended schools also look for people to deliver after school classes but again there could be funding issues.
MISP is a lovely addition to one’s therapies but the opportunities for paid work in this area can be limited. Some therapists who are already working with children find that the MISP gives a sympathetic approach and many ideas for involving children in a range of touch related activities that may lead to inclusion with others.
‘How MISP can be introduced into your school by an Independent MISP Instructor’
When an Independent MISP instructor is going into a school to teach a class the MISP routine, it is usually for a period of about 8-10 weeks to teach the full MISP routine, or a couple of sessions to teach the weather massage. It is advisable to deliver MISP into two classes, back to back, for half an hour each. This means that Independent Instructors may only be in the school for about an hour on one or two days a week if two classes are involved.
The MISP instructor will gradually teach the strokes of the routine to the children, the teacher then carries on with practice sessions of the routine until the instructor returns to check that the strokes are being carried out correctly and to add a few more strokes on to what has already been learnt.
The instructor can teach the whole staff some of the positive touch activities as this is developmental and creative, e.g. activities match current school themes/time of year.
The difference here is that the MISP massage routine is taught directly to the children by the MISP instructor and is not cascaded down by other adults.
Some schools would want to try the MISP with a couple of classes before committing themselves to introducing it throughout the school.
MISP Instructors training courses are organised throughout the country by local education authorities, charities and other organisations as well as by the trainers themselves. To find out more about training courses see Courses