Caring Conversations

Posted by on Aug 1, 2020 | Comments Off on Caring Conversations

Caring Conversations

COVID-19. Protests. Lack of financial and job security. Election year. Isolation from friends. We are navigating an unimaginable time right now. As educators, there are so many facets to your job. Educators don’t just provide an education to their students. They provide support, encouragement, a space to process, and time to talk.

As schools transition back in the fall, students and staff will be processing a collective trauma. Students will face a variety of different feelings with regards to returning to school, and having a space for them to process will be integral to their education. When having caring conversations with students: 

Be Transparent and Vulnerable

Acknowledge our current situation. Be vulnerable and open. Students and adults recognize the challenges and fears associated with how much uncertainty we are seeing.  By showing vulnerability, you can build rapport with your students and also validate their experiences which may lead to their recognizing you as a supportive, trusted adult. 

Communicate Clearly

It is important to communicate clearly, especially in regards to COVID-19.  It can be easy to say “everything will be okay” or “it’ll be done soon” but the unfortunate reality is, we don’t have those answers. An aspect of clear communication and transparency is telling students you don’t have all the answers, but you are always there to support them. 

Recognize Different Experiences

Students will all be processing these experiences differently. Give them room to talk with each other and encourage them to practice critical thinking and empathy. Allow them space to share, validate, and ask questions. These are also great first steps to create a more equitable and inclusive classroom. To learn more about creating a more equitable and inclusive classroom, click here

And Take Care of Yourself

You cannot be a support for your students if you are not taking the time to care for yourself. We are all navigating a collective trauma on top of all our other life challenges. Read our post, Good Grief, which touches on self-care tips for educators during COVID-19.