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A teacher working in a secure care school during the Pandemic

25 May 2021

A teacher working in a secure care school during the Pandemic

Written by Fiona Haigh, Languages Teacher

When the lockdown began, no one was sure what was going to happen or where things were going to go. As a centre, our school remained open. We continued to give classes and work closely with our pupils. With the added pressure of the new restrictions in place anxiety increased for everyone, particularly for staff who felt they should ‘stay at home.’

‘Teachers aren’t essential workers’ we would hear. It was an uphill struggle each day to leave the house and enter into the unknown.

Ten months on….it almost feels like we are back at square one with the start of the new restrictions. We’ve seen ups and downs in the national facts and figures, and it seems as though we are going backwards, not forwards.

However, now we are armed with something different – Resilience. The young people were unable to have visitors, or attend meetings or family contact which meant that we were number one in our pupils’ lives. We had more time to talk, talking is important. We became more understanding and generous with our compliments through these conversations. Through this experience the young people and the staff have learned to be more resilient. Through building relationships and more talking combined with a restriction of our liberty, we have grown to be stronger, more empathetic and more resilient, individually and collectively.

Our approach to mental health will be different. Our own mental health and watching out for signs of internal struggles our young people may be experiencing. Now we have first-hand experience of managing our own feelings and emotions. As a result, we are better placed to support our young people with their mental health.