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Beyond the Bushfires

Beyond the Bushfires

How Teacher's can help

More than 3 million Australian students will return to school in a little over two weeks; many returning with confusion and anxiety following Australia’s devastating bushfires.

As fires continue to spread and affect Australia’s mainland states – South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia – teachers around Australia are turning to seek support to help them care for children who have been affected by the bushfire disaster.

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Marjory Ebbeck, University of South Australia’s Professor, is an expert in early childhood education and believes that, especially in times of trauma and uncertainty, the role of the teacher is critical for children.

If a teacher detects a child suffering from the bushfire aftermath, Professor Ebbeck recommends that the teacher;
- Contacts the child’s family to assess individual situation
- Check to make sure that the child is eating and drinking
- Monitor the child closely and conclude whether or not to introduce an individual learning and support plan if needed.
- Give children chances to express emotions though drawing, painting and other art forms.

Professor Ebbeck added that, ‘’Teachers are one of the most reliable, trusted and safe adult figures to a child, beyond their immediate family, but teachers are feeling underprepared, with school just around the corner.’’

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