SUPPORTING IN CRISIS

Description of the “Supporting in Crisis Program”

 
The aim of the program
The aim of the program is the support and strengthening of students’ and teachers’ resilience at an individual, group and school community level. The program opts to support teachers, who experience the economic crisis in various ways and are directly influenced by it, by strengthening their resilience, helping them meet their personal and work demands.   
 
Participants
The specialized training program for educators about children psychological support during the financial crisis, “Supporting in crisis”, is part of the multilevel project for the prevention, awareness building, training and intervention “Connecting for Caring” (C4C). The program was offered to primary level teachers (kindergarten and elementary schools).
 
Educational material
The program provides to the educators especially designed and structured classroom activities that aim to promote students’ resilience. These classroom activities are implemented in various levels: a) at an individual level for every student, aiming to enhance every child’s resilience, b) at a class level with different activities that aim to promote the resilience of students in a class including the teacher, and c) at a school unit level promoting resilience and positive climate for all the members of the school community.
 
During the implementation of “Supporting in crisis program” two classroom activities were given to the participant teachers promoting resilience in two levels: a) individual level (student, teacher), (activity «Ιστορίες Εν τάξει… Εγώ»/“Stories In class … I”) and b) group level-class (students and teachers) (activity «Ήταν ένα μικρό καράβι»/ “There was once this little boat”). Specific instructions for every activity’s implementation were provided, which included exact directions concerning practical matters (i.e. time of implementation), as well as analytical description of the implementation in the classroom.  Each activity included a personal booklet, a kind of diary, where, in a playful way, the students would keep their notes. 
 
Specialized training for educators
Specialized training for educators is conducted on a structured and specialized frame.  The program consists of two initial seminars on awareness building and three specialized training sessions.  Every specialized training session consists of two parts.  The first part includes presentation of the theoretical background of the program, each time enriched with a specialized theme along with the presentation of activities. The second part of every seminar includes two subareas/subsections: a) the first involves/concerns the supervision of the activities implemented in the classroom, b) the second involves/concerns especially designed experience-based activities for the educators that aim to help them acquire skills and knowledge through a different, alternative way of learning.
During the school year 2011-2012 (January-May) the program “Supporting in crisis: A training program for educators on how to support the children psychologically during the economic crisis” was implemented in schools from Athens and surrounding areas. In the two initial seminars 344 teachers from which 138 from 29 school units were selected to participate in the subsequent three specialized training seminars.