Staff at JUCONI Mexico are currently in the second stage of working with teachers from three schools to strengthen the knowledge and skills they acquired and developed while participating in our series of JUCONI training workshops in May. Everyone is keen to reduce the potential for violence in schools now that they have reopened and we are monitoring the ways in which teachers have been able to use what they have learned. Within their own work spaces, teachers have been sharing ideas and reported that they have become more aware of their own emotions and those of their students. Many of the children have been particularly affected by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the loss of a caregiver, increased domestic violence and a reduction in economic stability.
Teachers have begun to use a variety of teaching and learning strategies and often change the layout of their classrooms to help to encourage a positive learning environment. Many teachers continue to use the relaxation exercises that they learned during the workshops and these have helped them to develop effective coping strategies when responding to difficult situations with the children.
Furthermore, school managers and teachers have become more aware of the physical, emotional and social consequences of the pandemic on the children and have acknowledged the role of the school environment and staff in supporting them. This has resulted in more time being allocated for meetings to discuss and address complex emotional situations with the aim of developing strategies and establishing support-networks to manage them better.
Focus group meetings that aim to strengthen collaboration between the school and the community have also been integrated into the academic year. At the same time, school managers and teachers have shown an increased interest and sensitivity in seeking external support networks to refer children who have developed mental health issues as a result of the pandemic.