Personal Safety Programmes for Primary and Secondary Schools

Skills Needed to Manage these Transitional Times

by Jun 30, 2020News0 comments

Skills Needed to Manage these Transitional Times

In these unprecedented times, it is essential that we look after the health and well-being of all those connected to our schools. For this reason, it is essential for staff and pupils to acquire and develop the skills to understand and manage their new and dynamic environments.

The FEAR Spectrum

To navigate change we must first understand our relationship with our fears and emotions. This relationship is central to our ability to work effectively to manage our changing landscape.

Our environments have changed dramatically over the last 8 weeks. During this time our fears and emotions will operate on a spectrum we call this the FEAR Spectrum.

The spectrum runs from zero to 10. The key is not to operate at the opposing ends of the spectrum, both can be harmful.

On the left-hand side is zero where there is no fear. This is a place where negative consequences will be your teacher. Fear is there for a reason and it acts as a guide to danger.  There is good reason why we are fearful of speeding cars or stepping off the cliff.

On the right-hand side of the spectrum is anxiety and panic. This is where FEAR is in total control of us. It is the back-seat driver and we have entered the e are in FEAR Loop. We feel that life’s circumstances are controlling us and that we have very little control or influence on proceedings. We are like a spinning wheel that just can’t stop.

Between 2 to 8 is where we need to spend our time. When our fear level starts to increase, we need to cultivate a sense of self-awareness. We need to stop and breathe, evaluate and recognize that we are about to jump into the FEAR Loop. Does this stop you from being fearful, scared or emotional; of course not. However, what you will find is that the initial feeling of FEAR will lessen and it will feel more manageable. You will feel more in control.

When this happens, you start to move down the spectrum. You are considering your options and choices in a balanced manner. It is these well-thought-out choices, that will stop us entering panic and anxiety.

But how do we stop ourselves jumping into the FEAR loop? We need to stop and breathe and take a moment for reflection. Think about it?  When anything major has happened in your life, haven’t you always taken a moment to stop, breathe and take into account the enormity of what is taking place. In this moment of breathing we start to gather the facts of a given situation. What are we actually faced with?

Armed with the facts, it is time to move down the FEAR spectrum. We do this by making a plan. What are you going to put in place that starts to deal with the fear/ situation that you’re facing? What outcomes do you want to achieve? And what are the practical steps that you need to put into place to achieve this?

Every decision that we make and our overall happiness can be seen through the FEAR Spectrum.  Our ability and awareness to manage ourselves on this spectrum will dictate the directions and success of our respective lives. Always remember that FEAR is there as a signal and a guide, to be used and harnessed to inform, guide and support good decision making.