The Conversation Series

Patricia Garouste:

Resources to Co-Construct Resiliency

Patricia Garouste lives and works in France. Connected to many local and national networks she is president of a local chapter of the  national Association of School Psychologists.

We are all affected by trauma. For Patricia, trauma is a bad event that produces bad emotions: the bad events get past, but the bad emotions can linger for along time and affect you and others around you. To deal with these, Patricia says you do not have to  go deep into personal history or again from the trauma… This is not interesting in fact. How you find a new balance – transform a negative experience in something to ‘grow up for yourself’ – is what is interesting. You don’t have to be a psychologist for that. Patricia uses her intuition and caring feelings for helping the children, youngsters and adults in school communities. She tells us stories and leads us to reflect about what it means to sustain a supportive environment and convivencia in schools.

Co-constructing resources in a team can lead to better coping skills to deal with stress, emotional distress and burn out.

This is important because helping professions – such as nurses, caregivers, and teachers – are professions that are concerned by stress and can benefit from building resilience.

Teachers take part in the responsibility of helping children and young people to grow together, sharing and building human values, and caring for each of them, sometime in very complex and demanding situations. 2% of teachers experience burnout, which means 98% are finding good ways of coping with difficulties!

When I get into a school you can feel the mood and I can feel how the team is working to gather and this depends on how the team is managed.

Of course, children will absorb all the implicit messages that this environment conveys. It is a worthwhile investment to take time to investigate how well we feel together with the other teachers, with the school climate, in the relationships with the families of students, with the institution we evolve in. Patricia and Pascale talk about an activity to do just that.

This activity will allow you to create, with others, a repertoire of resources for building resilience.

We invite school leaders and teachers to engage with this activity. It can be valuable at the beginning of the year, and the results can then be revisited in periods of stress (exams, end of trimester… ).

Keep the tree in your staff room and let us know if you try it! Tell us about it!

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