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Delhi school teachers to get help to process grief as they return to teaching from Covid frontline work

The SCERT has engaged counsellors from 'Children First' to work with mentor teachers to help them process their emotions and provide a space for engaging with their peers.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 28, 2021 11:19:57 am
With the second wave of Covid taking over the city, government school teachers had almost entirely been diverted to related duties—at vaccination centres, airports, ration distribution centres, dispensaries, oxygen centres and so on. (Representational)

With Delhi government schools set to begin reconnecting with their students from Monday (June 28), teachers are parallelly being prepared to overcome grief from traumatic experiences they might have gone through due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the last few months.

Teaching-learning activities in these schools have been at a halt since April when an early summer vacation had been declared. With the second wave of Covid taking over the city, government school teachers had almost entirely been diverted to related duties—at vaccination centres, airports, ration distribution centres, dispensaries, oxygen centres and so on.

Now, they will begin to get back in touch with their students over the next week, and in the next four weeks, they are to counsel and revisit the foundational learnings of students.

“Under these circumstances, it is possible that our teachers and students too have faced deep trauma. It is necessary that teachers and students are given time to share their grief and pain, and reconnect with each other before moving on to doing regular work… our teachers must start reconnecting with their students as soon as possible. But before that, they need to be prepared to not just overcome their own grief and stress due to very difficult last few months but also be emotionally ready to support their students too in similar circumstances. Hence it is important that the teachers are supported and enabled to prepare themselves to counsel their students, support them if they are facing any challenge and help them to come to a stage where they are ready to resume teaching-learning activities,” read an education department circular introducing ‘wellbeing conversations’ among teachers.

The SCERT has engaged counsellors from ‘Children First’ to work with mentor teachers to help them process their emotions and provide a space for engaging with their peers. These mentor teachers, who are assigned to a set of schools, will conduct similar workshops with teacher development coordinators and ‘happiness [curriculum]’ coordinators in the schools, who will in turn conduct sessions with all the teachers in the schools.

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