“How Are You Really Doing?”
A Period of Rapid Adjustment Where Taking Care of One Other is Important
Jacinthe Lebel, Spiritual Care and Guidance, and Community Involvement Animator (SCGCIA)
For over eight months, we have been living in extraordinary times. Our ways of thinking and living daily life are turned upside down and filled with uncertainty. Each person is experiencing it differently: for some adolescents, lockdown has been beneficial, while for others, it is a period of stress and unease.
At the beginning of the school year, it was obvious to me, as the spiritual care and guidance and community involvement animator (SCGCIA) at the Jean-Raimbault school, that the pandemic had to be addressed with all students. The school’s administrative team and psychoeducators, Julie Lafontaine and Marianne Ste-Marie Gaudry, wanted to coordinate an evaluation at the start of the year in order to reach students that were affected by the situation.
I met with all 44 school groups, facilitating a session I called “The world, our world, is changing”. I created an activity where a paper cell phone was given to each student. They were invited to write their name, their group and, if desired, a request to get help. A number of professionnals participated in the activity and more than 120 requests for help were collected. This allowed teens to reflect on this new reality, observe its various impacts, as well as seek help.
Students had another chance to write about their uncertainties, adaption strategies, and wishes inside an origami butterfly: a strong symbol of transformation. The butterflies from each group were assembled into mobiles, displayed a beautiful greenhouse in the centre of the school.
Next spring, we will review the butterflies with each school group. Each student will read the message carried by their butterfly and understand the impact that this particular year has had on them.