As I come to the end of my first year among other things by two observations of my own are at the forefront of my reflections:
- the need for a more centralised approach to supporting students, and
- the need for other members of staff facilitating restorative conversations/meetings.
At the moment we have a nurse, doctor, AOD counsellor and 24/7 Workers all coming into school on different days to offer support to students. It would be more beneficial for them and our students if we were able to work more closely and holistically together. I have made an effort to stay connected to each of these support people but it is difficult when we are in different spaces in our school. I believe long term that our school would benefit from a Student Health and Well-Being Centre where we are all under one roof making us more accessible. This would also allow for external agencies to come into school and support students more easily. John and I discussed this briefly - while financially this seems impossible there is some hope that there maybe a way to make this happen.
For now, going into 2018 I will do my best to continue to work as a team with others who like myself are wanting to support our students. Space continues to be our biggest problem.
One big challenge I have had this year is facilitating restorative conversations and meetings. What feels like a significant amount of time and energy has been used to do this work this year which has impacted my ability to provide timely counselling for other students. In thinking about who would be best to facilitate these meetings going into 2018 it seems that our Kaitiaki have the primary pastoral role in our school. In fact it would be really useful to have a team specifically set up to facilitate these meetings. I wonder if our Kaitiaki could oversee these meetings along with a team of senior students?
As the end of term 4 draws near I finally feel like I know what I am doing......sort of. I have worked really hard this year and my biggest achievement as been building effective and genuine relationships with my colleagues and many of our students. I feel as though I have laid the ground work for 2018 where I hope to build on these relationships in a way that support students to manage their mental health/well-being and their academic success.