From 12pm, Friday 12 March Auckland has joined the rest of New Zealand at Level 1

Settling tamariki back after (another) lockdown

With the changes of alert levels, and maybe even some nervousness of whānau, having a strategy and procedures in place for transitioning tamariki and their whānau back into your learning environment is of utmost importance right now.

Many tamariki will be straight back to business, excited to connect with their friends and with you as kaiako. However, for some this may not be the case. They may have experienced first-hand just how dramatically our world changed. The long lines at supermarkets, having to practice social distancing, seeing people wearing masks. It is quite understandable that the experience and understanding of the virus for these tamariki may be quite different from some of their peers.

Being aware of each child’s level 3 or level 2 experience can help you provide tamariki with the care and support needed.

Take the time to talk to parents and whānau to share information about your procedures for ensuring everybody in the learning community stays safe. Connection, communication, and relationships are really at the heart of the resettling process.

It is also equally important that educators’ wellbeing is considered during over the next few days or weeks. Having to settle a lot of tamariki at the same time takes a lot of work and requires educators to tap into their emotional energy reserves. Keeping this in mind when preparing the staffing rosters is so important for maintaining educators’ wellbeing.

Whatever your resettling process looks like, remember to take your time, be kind, and not have high expectations that things will “look” the same as they did pre-Covid-19, or even during the last time we moved from level 2 to level 1. It may be a time of uncertainty still, especially for whānau who may have connections to the last outbreak.

Once everyone has had some time to settle, take the time to reflect on what worked well, and what you could do differently next time. This is important for your team and community.