As 2020 draws to a close, we reflect on the year and recognise the positive outcomes that came from an unexpectedly challenging time for all.
At the start of 2020 we launched Mental Fitness, our first digital learning course. This was designed to support schools to help better understand, learn and implement positive behaviour strategies to support the mental health and wellbeing of their employees, and the children and young people they work with.
As we began to head into a new way of life, it became evermore important for organisations to support the health and wellbeing of their staff.
On the 23rd March 2020 the announcement of a national lockdown was delivered by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, resulting in the majority of organisations being required to close. This came with challenging restrictions, impacting the delivery of training. Initially little to no training courses were being delivered and all Open Trainer Courses were put on hold, with rescheduling being the priority to ensure we could support accreditations.
We were acutely aware that many special needs settings and health and social care organisations remained open and our focus was to be able to support them. We looked to source solutions to continue to support those services in need with the safety of all being of paramount concern. In light of the situation and with certifications due to expire, we took the action required to ensure we could continue to support individuals’ accreditations. With this in mind, and carefully considering protocols and best practice, we were able to offer certificate extensions on a case-by-case basis.
After a number of months in lockdown, more staff and young people started returning to the classroom. Being aware of the impact the previous months would have on individuals, staff and pupils, we created a free online resource to support the transition. Our guided video session on ‘Recalibrating the Classroom’ discusses the effects the lockdown will have had on behaviours, as well as answering some of the questions we had from members of staff.
Our 45-minute video allows staff to think and reflect upon the challenges they may face, as well as understanding the experiences of the pupils and how that may affect behaviour.
With restrictions being introduced across the country, many schools and institutions were facing the challenge of ensuring their staff were qualified and up to date with key training. At Team Teach, we recognised there was a significant need to support and adapt the delivery of behavioural training, to adapt to the limitations of face-to-face gatherings and time restraints.
In early April, the quest for us as an organisation to respond and support our members began. With the everchanging landscape, we had a very short timeline from design to implementation to deliver a solution. We carried out research to look at multiple delivery methods to understand their value to our training outcomes. We were keen to understand how a reflective approach could play a role to ensure an enhanced experience, one where participants would grow in their self-awareness as professionals.
Following this process, we designed our own Blended Learning training resource – a 3-hour training resource that would address many of the restraints for those looking to deliver training.
With the restrictions still in place, we found ourselves having to film in remote locations and engaging across continents and time-zones, with our team in Australia, to bring our solution to life. Our approach is designed to be truly blended with the online component having a strong focus on self-reflection, enabling participants to come to the face-to-face component both with an understanding of the values and philosophy that underpins the Team Teach ethos.
After a year of unexpected events and a lot of rescheduling, we have been motivated by our goal of keeping those who have become distressed safe and allow them to grow, particularly during these unprecedented times.
We believe that all behaviour is communication being driven by emotions, which will have been challenged greatly this year. The commitment to supporting those with challenging behaviours has been essential and we are thankful for all that people are doing in various settings. We hope to support even more services in 2021 and continue to provide thought lead, practical and researched solutions to the needs of individuals and those in their care.
We would like to thank our partnering organisations, members of staff and colleagues for their relentless efforts to continue supporting children, young people and adults they care for.
We wish you all the best over this festive period and a very Happy New Year!