If you are a school leader or teacher, please read this! And if you aren’t, pass it on through your networks. It introduces a programme to help manage uncertainty which could potentially make a significant difference for your students – and you!
Uncertainty is the watchword of our times. People talk about anxiety, but actually, anxiety often arises powerfully from uncertainty, and we can’t just tackle much of the anxiety around without understanding and learning how to manage uncertainty. Over the past two weeks – in between supporting leaders in schools practically everywhere in the world – I have been working intensively with an amazing clinical psychologist (who I am proud to call a friend), Dr Danielle Einstein and her team. She is an Adjunct Fellow at Macquarie University and Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney, and her speciality expertise is in managing uncertainty; moreover – and very importantly – over the past 8 years she has developed detailed and in-depth programs for several schools in Australia to help their students learn how to deal with the unknowns in their life.
Dr Einstein is one of the world’s foremost experts in school interventions to manage uncertainty. Writing about her, Dr Warren Mansell (a Clinical Psychologist and Reader in Psychology at the University of Manchester in the UK) says that “Dr Danielle Einstein is a world leader in school interventions to address anxiety though building tolerance of uncertainty. Through my work with Dr Einstein, I have recognised that she acutely understands and contributes to the fundamental psychological theory underpinning this work. In particular, she recognises that any intervention needs to be co-designed with students and focused on their life goals, sense of purpose, and management of conflicting priorities at this sensitive age.”
Clearly, this is exactly what students all over the world need at the moment, from Australia to the UK, Europe, Africa and the US, and so my task this past week was to help her in refining a blended online learning programme for immediate release, designed to support teenagers through the massive shifts and changes in their life and work at this current time in our history. It is an immensely practical programme – 5+ hours of material, spread over 5 days – ideal for schools who are in the throes of moving to online learning, and might need an anchor for their work for the first week or two. It contains exercises, key messages, reflections, guided meditations and videos … and it really is very simple to use, for any teacher regardless of their background discipline.
After a supreme effort to get this programme up and ready, it is now online and available through this website – www.covid19chilledandconsiderate.com – please, please look at it, because I really, really recommend it for your students, wherever you are in the world at the moment.
The cost of the programme has been kept as low as possible, to cover development costs, and as you will see, the programme contains huge value in its content. I am hoping to support Danielle in providing a series of additional materials and Zoom calls for teachers – so watch this space. Sign up now, though!
We are all in this together – let us join together in sharing what we have, and make a real commitment to find ways to help all of our young people through this time.