In the new normal, schools face the greatest changes to the educational system in modern times.
This is an atypical year in which we have to adapt our infrastructure, blend face-to-face and online teaching, ensure the continuity of the curriculum, obtain measurable outcomes, support families and take care of teachers’ wellbeing. It is a challenge for all of us who work in the educational sector. We have to re-think schools whilst attracting the best minds, best practices and best ideas.
In this context the second edition of the RE.SCHOOL online forum took place on the 28th of October: “Teachers: elite athletes” which focused on the emotional and organizational support in times of uncertainty. The conference counted with the participation of Fidelma Murphy, Director of Education Cognita Spain, Xesco Espar, coach and expert in high performance and Julia Merino of Innovation and Educational Equity of the Junta de Castilla y León.
Fidelma Murphy focused on the importance of wellbeing and how Cognita Schools have implemented the role of the Group Director of Wellbeing to drive focus on this key strategic priority and ensure wellbeing is a common priority across the group: a key position that oversees the tracking and evaluation of the students’ and staff’s wellbeing and is sector leader in producing wellbeing resources and initiatives for our schools and their communities.
“We decided that our priority as a group was going to be the wellbeing of our community without knowing, at the time, what was coming,” explained Fidelma Murphy. “And that it had to focus on two areas: physical and emotional wellbeing”.
The result of this commitment is the established Global Be Well Day implemented in The English Montessori School, as an annual event, as well as in all 78 Cognita schools around the world in order to promote the factors identified in our “Be Well Charter” which contribute to both physical and mental health (sleep, food, exercise, connect, do and give).
“And then Covid arrived,” she added. “What had been a common initiative in all schools became a necessity”.
Regarding the role of the teacher at this time, Fidelma stated: “I believe our teachers are to be highly commended. They have been able to keep a very positive attitude and transform the way of working with their students; our commitment to wellbeing has been a fundamental component to overcome this challenging period”. And she added: “We have been far apart, but never so close.”
“Our commitment as teachers is to reinforce the learning of the tools that students need at this time to face this situation,” she concluded.