Presented by Dr. Bridget McPherson
As students return to school after a period of remote learning, it is likely that they will face realisations regarding the aspects of their lives that have been lost as a result of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In re-engaging with classroom learning, students will face new restrictions and a loss of freedom. In addition, for most students, the experience of school life goes well beyond the classroom. Young people gain enormous benefit and joy from participation in a range of co-curricular activities, school events, and rites of passage, such as sport, music and drama performances, camps, formals, birthday celebrations, and graduation ceremonies. In 2020, most of these activities and events have been postponed or cancelled – at best, participation will remain highly restricted and unpredictable, bearing little resemblance to its original form.
Such an experience is likely to be highly unsettling for students, prompting a sense of injustice and feelings of loss, grief, frustration, sadness, and anger. Moreover, many students are experiencing the impact of the pandemic just a short time after being affected by the recent bushfire crisis, adding further adversity and complexity.
Educators are now faced with the task of assisting students to manage these emotional experiences. However, educators themselves are also managing these experiences and emotions, potentially limiting their time and psychological capacity to support students.
This webinar will enable educators to facilitate students’ management of their reaction to the loss of the normal aspects of their school experience, including important activities and events. Attendees will be equipped with practical tools, strategies and activities to use when responding to students as they contend with uncomfortable emotions, and to prompt discussion and reflection with students, encouraging them to not only cope with their feelings of loss, but to also find meaning in their experience. Time will also be allocated to allow attendees to ask questions of the presenter.
Dr Bridget McPherson is a Psychologist who specialises in the treatment of the educational and developmental needs of young people. After working in both inpatient and outpatient settings at the Austin Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Melbourne, Bridget commenced as Head of Counselling at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School in 2011, and has since actively worked in the provision of clinical intervention to students and families, and creation and implementation of prevention programs, including the Tuning in to TeensTM Whole School Approach, Wellness Week, Failure Week, and the School’s pastoral care framework, Holding Modelling Mentoring©. Bridget regularly provides seminars to staff and parents in the Ivanhoe Girls’ community, and she has presented at a number of national conferences. Bridget is dedicated to addressing the difficulties that young people face today, thereby enhancing their capacity to effectively and successfully lead future generations, both locally and globally.