Balancing Resiliency & Trauma
Starting with a strength-based lens allows us to see how we can support our students and families in leveraging their resources. As a clinician working directly with students, family, and staff as well as a school leader who creates and implements systems, we hold hope for those around us. What does this look like when we are all experiencing an unprecedented society level of trauma? While also recognizing how years of structural inequality have caused the impact of this trauma to disproportionately impact communities of color.
We are a school community that holds SEL as a fundamental alongside academic rigour. Throughout distance learning we have continued to support the SEL and mental health of our students and the basics have emerged in the clinical work again and again - basic needs, validation, normalization, coping strategies.
When we return to school, keeping SEL and mental health front and center for staff, students, and families will be the priority, as we contend with learning loss and holding high academic expectations. I believe the question we need to keep asking ourselves as school leaders is - How do we support school staff, so they can be fully present and compassionate with our students? So they can see our students resiliency and support and also be empathetic for the traumas they have experienced.
How can larger systems recognize and support schools in being the first line of support for children? Covid-19 has highlighted the support network that schools provide on multiple levels, and we will try to provide school staff the training, budget, and time to provide that support effectively. How can policy support this work on the front-lines?