May 19, 2020

May 19, 2020

Hi its Gerard here from Dynamis with some great information I came across this week.

I listened to an excellent webinar from our partners at Vistelar.

Two of their most experienced trainers got together to talk about how we will welcome the children back to school.

What caught my attention about the discussion was that it seemed to take a perspective that one would not necessarily think about, for example:

  • there will be new rules for how to arrive at and behave at school
  • this will cause a lot of additional stress for our children and teaching staff
  • people are already in a high state of anxiety at the moment

So the discussion focussed on how we prepare to protect the relationships between the children and the staff when they come to school.

The suggestions were:

  • being aware that many people coming to school will be anxious
  • creating a good first-impression for the children returning to school
  • developing ways of modelling expected behaviours long before Day 1, by:
  • communicating through video and demonstrations what we expect from students and
  • using physical prompts wherever possible to help with reminding
  • being aware of nonverbal communication and what it says to the children
  • agreeing amongst the staff what non-verbal signals should be used
  • gaining consistency in the team on dealing with children who do not follow the rules

A key message suggested was a Team Orientation.

“We are in this together.
We are all learning how to do this together.
We need to [follow the rules in school] to keep everyone safe.”

I thought the idea to use a lot of ‘memory prompters’ to remind people of the rules in certain parts of the school, or of the right procedures, was a very important one.

I also thought that there was an important point made several times about those children who will find the physical distance difficult when they want to disclose an issue, or if a member of the team needs to challenge them on some issue, but from more than 2m away.

There was also some great tips about the issues around wearing masks, which at this time I don’t think we will be doing in the UK, but which demonstrated:

  • the importance of practicing for new skills or situations
  • how non-verbal communication is important from 2m away, or with a mask on/off
  • medical awareness of the effects of the changes, and the virus itself.

In any case, I would like to recommend that you take some time to watch the recording if you can – it offered me some key things to think about and I hope it may do the same for you.

Best Regards,

Watch the Webinar and see more from our partners here:

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