Educators resource pack: Supporting children after bushfires

Emerging Minds and the Australian National University, Australia, January 2020

Resource Summary

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Returning to school may feel like a bigger milestone than usual this year in the midst of a difficult bushfire season.

It’s important to remember that children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of disasters or traumatic events. Even if they have not been directly exposed to the event, children may well still be impacted by scenes depicted in the related media coverage.

As an educator, you are uniquely placed to support them in their recovery post-bushfire by providing them with a return to stable, predictable routines and opportunities to express emotions and feel understood.

This curated selection of resources will assist you to support your students in their return to school. It contains evidence-based videos, fact sheets and tips about what you can expect and how you can help students impacted by trauma.

The resources have been selected from our Community Trauma Toolkit. To view the full Toolkit, click here.

Return to school support for Educators – video

In this one-hour video presentation, Clinical Psychologist Nicola Palfrey from the Australian National University’s Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network discusses how educators can help support students who may be impacted by the difficult bushfire season. This video gives practical advice and strategies for those working in an education setting for the days and weeks following a disaster such as a bushfire. To provide feedback on this video, please complete our short survey here.

In the classroom

About students

 For parents

Looking after yourself

It is important for you as an educator to look after your own welfare, as well as the welfare of your students.  Looking after yourself and managing your own stress levels leaves you better equipped to support students and establish a safe learning environment. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed you may find it harder to react in calm and constructive ways to students who are demonstrating difficult behaviours. 


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