As of today, March 31st, 2021, over 550,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. We’re reposting our conversation with Cynthia Trapanese former grief counselor, now teacher, who explains that the adults in a school need to grapple with their own losses in order to help children and families.
Cynthia Trapanese, a teacher who spent 17 years as a pediatric chaplain, observes that we are all grieving right now, and that adults need to be aware of their own feelings of loss in order to help children and families effectively. During this period of isolation, children miss not only extended family, especially grandparents, but also their friends, classrooms, and the details of their school days. The impact of prolonged separation from school will be long-lasting. Cynthia is holding webinars for teachers and parents, and shares tips and resources with us.
01:30-02:28 Defining “loss”
02:29-04:00 Helping children stay connected while in physical isolation
04:01-05:59 Examples of what loss looks like in children’s lives
06:00-07:45 Responding to children’s expressions of how they are feeling
07:46-09:07 The importance of not trying to “fix”
09:10-11:16 Losses layered onto other Adverse Childhood Experiences
11:16-13:49 When adults don’t have answers
13:50-15:39 Being helpful to children when adults themselves are grieving and frightened
15:39-17:59 How the New School of SF is supporting teachers and parents how other schools can support teachers
18:00-20:56 Parents’ concern about students keeping up with academics during this time
21:20-22:30 How this experience can help reflection about the most important aspects of education
22:34-25:16 How teaching at Institute for Humane Education (IHE) impacts thoughts on the pandemic and impact on children
25:20-26:43 Integrating humane education about animals into 1st grade teaching
26:45-28:29 Integrating IHE “solutionaries” program into 1st grade
Click here to see the full transcript of this episode.
Soundtrack by Poddington Bear