Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Supporting the wellbeing of teachers, students and parents

This Webinar by Clinical Psychologist Dr Natalie Flynn focused on the Wellbeing of all during this Covid19 lockdown. 

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She said that the stresses are different for every bubble. It seems that one big stress is the juggle between home-work balance. From a practical perspective teacher always making lists and look at the reality of these lists.

We must accept that we can only do what we can do. We have to look after our mental, physical and emotional health for both ourselves and our learners. We have to notice and accept when we are doubting ourselves and putting pressure on ourselves.

You have to be your own self advocate, if you can't, say you can't. Be honest with yourself and others.

We also have the responsibility in this time for supporting parents. Every parents is in a different place and parenting at the best of time is not easy. We as teachers have to be empathetic and understand that communicating during this time can be challenging.

What about student well being
Children are in a place of a lot of anxiety, the world is not normal for them. A large part of our role right now is supporting students emotionally and socially, checking in on children. We need to validate children feeling, "yes it is hard." Before trying to solve the problems.

Young children often talk about being scared or not being scared we need to support them with the emotional language to explain their feelings. (Worried, anxious, confused etc)

Children are struggling with the lack of social contact and social learning
The social aspect is very hard for everyone. For many children it is hard socially and we are lucky to have the the digital connection. It may be a time to relax the rules around social media and digital connection.

Treat yourself and all around you with kindness
We all need to start from the stand point that teachers love children and want to help children. Remember that parents love their children too. We all need to be compassionate with each other and ourselves. 

Knowing that this is time of struggled and time of difference we can't push ourselves to meet all our goals during this time. We need to be kind to ourselves and know that it is okay. 

We are create new norms for this time. We need to explain the reason why we need to keep apart. Talk about it as a mission. We are all safe but we need to protect others like our grandparents. 

We as schools, teachers and communities, need to talk about what is important right now. A place of safety, calm, keep everyones mental health in a good space. We should be looking first at mood before academic achievement. 

A focus on self-compassion an understand that we are not going to meet all our goals, no one is perfect and that is okay. 

We need to check in on learners. Can you reach out and ask, How are you feeling? How is the work, is it interesting for you? 

This talk made me think about some recent interaction I have had. Did I show self-compassion and how can I make sure I do this in the future. 

I will add the link to the video for this talk once it become available. Thank you to The Education Hub for providing this Webinar.  

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