Written by Molly Herrmann
Education Consultant: Student Services/Prevention and Wellness Team
Compassion Resilience has always sounded to me like “slow down and then go.” I inherited the work of Monica Caldwell and partners at Rogers In Health when I became the Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) Coordinator at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Liz Krubsack and I became the DPI point people to carry forward this new resource to support those who support others, including educators.
The Compassion Resilience Toolkit co-developed by Rogers In Health and the DPI has taken off in popularity since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic. As we were all thrust into a world like we had never experienced before, stress, fear, and tension rose while school, work, and family responsibilities merged into a 24/7 treadmill. We held our children close while we worried and worked, stretched and stalled.
Meanwhile our schools scurried to continue educating students in ways we never dreamed possible. I remember a Community of Practice call our mental health team hosted when suddenly people started to engage, share, and open up after earlier, quieter calls. Why? We asked how THEY were doing - what was it like to support students during this time? How were they feeling and coping? Enter Compassion Resilience - We started sharing bits and pieces of the toolkit here and there and interest soared. We weren’t talking about the resilience of students (though there were plenty of other efforts toward them). We were talking about how the grown ups were coping. Schools sent teams, sometimes multiple, to learn how to be facilitators of the toolkit to take back to their local districts.
The toolkit isn’t only a resource for teachers. It can be an invaluable companion to any coach’s toolbox as well. When coaches lean in to support educators, there are a multitude of ways they can use the toolkit as a resource in their work.
Consider checking out the “Just Like Me” activity in Section 3 of the resource. In this section, the toolkit delves more deeply into the concept of compassion fatigue; how it connects to our understanding of trauma, the stages that one might experience if compassion fatigue is not addressed, and how to assess our levels of secondary trauma, burnout and compassion satisfaction. This section gives insights that can guide you to take proactive measures to prevent the progression of fatigue. This activity aligns beautifully with the coaching competencies 1 and 5 (Reflective Practice and Relationship Development). This is just a small picture of what the toolkit can offer Wisconsin’s coaches.
The toolkit is a free resource and can be used in whatever capacity applies.
After visting a few times, you may be asked to register. There is no cost, and it is only for tracking visits to the site.