When the “how” is more important than the “why”.
We all know why it is important to support our children and young people as they return to school. We all recognise that children will have experienced enough change and uncertainty even before entering the school gates.
As teachers and educators, we may be looking at lists of what we have to achieve in the coming weeks and currently that list may include:
- support children's mental health
- share children's progress with parents
- understand COVID-19 experiences for each child
- help children reestablish relationships
- provide personalised catch-up curriculums
- initiate extra support for vulnerable children
- find ways to remind children to wash hands as well as maintain social distance.
When what we need to do seems so obvious, and the reasons why we are doing it are so important, we almost overlook how difficult, complicated and unknown the 'how' can be.
The practicalities of supporting children's mental health as they return to the classroom post COVID-19, is in a huge job in itself.
We would need to
- ask how each child has been affected by COVID-19,
- the nature of their mental health before COVID-19,
- their specific vulnerabilities and needs - their communication preferences - their support mechanisms and resources - their motivators, strengths and ambitions - and much, much more. We would then have to interpret all of the information we gather and use further expertise in child psychology, skills from psychiatry and counselling, insight from our own experiences and input from the latest academic research to decide exactly what we needed to provide each child and then we would need to break that down so that we could understand how to do it. We are asking teachers to complete an impossible task and are in many ways setting them up for a fall but perhaps more significantly than that, we are setting our children up for further trauma; for huge waiting lists, isolation and a lack of personal understanding and support. At Phoenix HQ, we are passionate about supporting teachers and children and we anticipated the need for a solution shortly after lockdown was enforced. Our Reintroduction Hub is designed to provide the very personalised what and in turn, a simple how. The hub will 'do' the questions, understanding and interpreting for you - and we have worked with the experts to ensure the what and how are entirely fit for purpose. In the unprecedented and hugely challenging times, there is no individual, not matter how committed they are to the why, that can understand the what and know how to do it in a way that supports more than one child at a time. We are delivering a number of webinars and training sessions along with trial access to the platform for those interested. If you would like to learn more or arrange a demonstration of the technology, please do get it touch using firstname.lastname@example.org