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Hope and Reassurance for Educators and Administrators
October 29, 2021
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
-Helen Keller

“We are all living through trauma right now,” writes Angela Bayer-Persico, in an article that is the foundation of an Exchange Reflections. “Real, physical, heartfelt trauma. First things first: put on your own oxygen mask. As educators, we need to take care of ourselves first. Label and name your feelings: anger, sadness, hurt, loss, loneliness, worry, guilt, stress. And remember: Your feelings are valid..

Know when you might need restorative practices (naps, meditation, listening to music, reading…)

Connect with others. Network…”

Then, she goes on to explain that we must also recognize how much “this pandemic has, in fact, been a traumatic experience for many children…

  • 78 percent of children report more than one traumatic experience before the age of 5.
  • 20 percent of children receive treatment for an adverse childhood experience such as witnessing/living through domestic violence, sexual abuse, neglect, loss of a close family member, having a caregiver with a drug or alcohol problem, or having a close family member in prison.

These figures are post COVID-19 times and George Floyd…

The question today is how do we as educators support a child post-pandemic? We need to create a safe physical and emotional environment by practicing the three Rs:

Reassurance. It is the adult’s job to take care of them. We need to help them feel safe.

Routines. Help build a sense of continuum. We need to help establish a new normal.

Regulation. Validate their feelings and teach self-regulation. We must listen to children and help give them tools to work through their big feelings.”

This Reflections offers much grist for discussion about ways to meet our adult needs while concurrently meeting children’s needs. The questions to ponder would work equally well for group discussion or individual reflection.

Note: Angela Bayer-Persico’s article was written as a dual-language Spanish-English article, so this Reflections is available in both languages.

Exchange Reflections

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Exchange Reflections are designed to help a team of people meet in-person or live online to think deeply together about a topic using an article from Exchange magazine as a guide. Included are discussion questions to help guide reflections, as well as a "Making Commitments" idea sheet to help prompt ideas into action. For your convenience, Exchange Reflections are available in PDF format and you can download immediately on your desktop.

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