About this module
Following natural disasters and other events that result in community trauma, learning communities can act as an important protective environment for supporting children and young people’s recovery.
Education leaders play an important role in guiding their learning community through stressful and uncertain times. Among other responsibilities, this role involves implementing practices to support children, young people, families, staff and even the broader community, as well as coordinating a variety of support services.
This module will help you understand your role as a leader through these events. It details three key leadership responsibilities during these times, including strengthening partnerships, continued operations and advocacy in your learning community. It is designed to enhance your existing leadership skills and increase your confidence in applying them in the context of natural disasters and other community trauma.
Who is this module for?
This module is relevant for all education leaders.
Leaders could include principals, assistant principals, early learning service managers and assistant service managers, early learning service directors and assistant directors, head teachers, year level coordinators and wellbeing leaders.
The content in this module may be particularly relevant for those in learning communities affected by natural disasters (including bushfires, drought, flooding, cyclones and earthquakes) and other events that result in community trauma, such as the impacts of pandemics (for example, COVID-19), endemics, war, or a death in the learning community.
Throughout the module, the term community trauma is used to describe all of the events outlined above, unless stated otherwise.
In the ACT, completing this module will contribute 2 hours of ACT Teacher Quality Institute (TQI) accredited professional learning addressing standard 4.4.2 Maintain Student Safety of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. This module is intended for those in leadership roles. It supports leaders to learn about, recognise and respond to the potential impacts of natural disasters and other traumatic events in their community.
Completing this module will contribute 2 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Accredited PD in the priority area of Student/child Mental health addressing standard descriptor 7.3.4 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher or Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher Accreditation in NSW.
Registered teachers in every state and territory must ensure you have added your teacher registration number and state or territory to the My Profile page in your Be You account. See Supporting your existing priorities on the Be You website to find out more about how Be You Professional Learning aligns with other national frameworks and standards.
How long does this module take?
This module takes approximately 2 hours to complete.
You can stop at any time and return to the last screen you viewed when you next log in.
On each page, a notepad is available by selecting the pencil icon. This feature is not available on mobile devices. We recommend you print your responses as your answers will not be saved.
Practising self-care during and after this module
Preparing for and responding to community trauma can be overwhelming. During these times it’s important to take care of yourself by putting boundaries in place to ensure your own safety.
This applies even if you have not personally been through a community trauma in your community, due to the potential impact of vicarious trauma. Vicarious trauma is a response to learning about trauma that has affected other people, or providing support to those who have been through a traumatic experience.
As you work through this module, please follow the self-care tips below and seek help if needed:
- You don’t have to do the whole module in one sitting. Give yourself some breaks. Even if you don’t feel like you need a break, it’s a good idea to take one anyway and come back later.
- Take notice of your responses as you progress through the module and after completion. Look for signs that you may be experiencing distress, such as an elevated heart rate or difficulty concentrating.
If you are experiencing any of those strong or uncomfortable feelings outlined above or find yourself needing more support, please take action.
You can speak with a trusted colleague or leader, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or SANE Australia on 1800 18 7263 or access wellbeing resources through the following links.
Educator wellbeing tools – Be YouMental health services and support helplines – Be You
What are the learning outcomes for this module?
By the end of this module, you will be able to:
- appreciate your role as a leader in supporting learning communities through natural disasters and other community trauma
- understand the potential impacts of natural disasters and other community trauma on learning communities, and how learning communities can support children and young people's resilience and recovery
- use your education leadership role to support your learning community in preparing for and recovery from natural disasters and other community trauma
- take steps to prepare yourself and your learning community to prepare for and respond to natural disasters and other community trauma.