Have you ever asked what support has been provided for principals and teachers across NSW post the 2019 and 2020 fires?
For two days last week the NSW Department of Education connected 300 school leaders, counsellors and staff from 151 bushfire-affected schools.
- Cobargo Public School students have authored a book on the bushfires
- Littlescribe: New Year's Hell by Cobargo Public's Brock Alison
- Littlescribe: Abbotsleigh boarders tell their life stories
The focus of the conference was connection, sharing and recovery.
The two days created a chance for school leaders to stop and share their own stories and consider their own needs after years of pressure.
The build up of drought, fires, COVID-19 and now a mouse plague, is way beyond anyone's job description.
Speaking to educators General Sir Peter Cosgrove said "you've done it magnificently, but not without cost".
For many this was the first time away from the school in more than two years.
Eden Public School School principal Tanja Vogt said "we went straight into COVID-19 and didn't get a chance to reflect on what we'd been through."
"I have to admit I have been emotional a couple of times," she said.
Littlescribe usually work with primary age students - inviting them to write their stories.
But this time we were asked to work with their teachers, who also have a story to tell.
In one of our sessions, Littlescribe's Aime Burkys helped them to write, illustrate and share stories that had never been told before.
There were tears, gentle silences and of course laughs.
It was time for them and they needed it.
Their stories included, memorable images, the moment of seeing a glimmer of green grass; kangaroos hardly visible in the backdrop of soot and dust; and the sound of tears and laughter in the playground.
They also included the below memorable comments, that we agreed to keep anonymous.
- 'I am amazed at what my peers have been through, the families they support, the resourcefulness they have found when all seems lost and the ability to turn up day after day.'
- 'I can't remember the last time I was invited to an event where I was not involved in every step...and was given the space to reflect and absorb the magnitude of what has happened. I am grateful for this gesture alone
- I think it is easier to digest what others have done before yourself.
If you are wondering how to support a school leader, may I suggest you encourage them to take time for themselves.
Let them know their invisible hero capes need a rest and we would like them to find the pace and grace to look after themselves.
Not All Heroes Wear Capes - Anonymous
Not All Heroes Wear Capes was an anonymous piece of writing that was found on The Littlescribe Story Starter Wall.
The three sirens screamed around the corner as we had a criminal and a family member trapped in our smoking house. Then our heroes in a white car and van with a red truck arrived.
Everyone now felt calm as the firemen poisoned the blaze with water, the paramedics took care of our family member, and the police arrested the criminal. Our heroes had saved us.
I firmly believe that not all heroes wear capes because there are heroes all around us in our everyday lives that do good deeds for the community.
Paramedics, emergency services, doctors, nurses, the police and firefighters are examples of these heroes. Heroes are loyal, strong, brave, courageous, selfless, caring, kind, helpful, and resilient.
The heroes in our everyday lives are doctors, nurses, police, firefighters and even family members like siblings and parents.
Do they wear capes to look like a superhero? No.
Look at the doctors, nurses and paramedics. They tend the sick and save people's lives when they are at stake especially during Covid 19, but tell me, do they wear capes? No.
Look at the firefighters. They take out blazes and save people stuck in then whilst putting their own lives at risk. Do they wear capes? No.
Look at your family members. They comfort you through hard times and are always there for you. But do they wear capes? No.
I personally believe that all of these people in our everyday lives are heroes, but I personally think that out of all our heroes, charity workers are the greatest heroes of them all.
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