Syrian refugee crisis: Adelaide parents open their family home to welcome first of 12,000 new arrivals
Click on the link to see the story.
How does this impact on our schools and what impact do our schools have on the refugees?
With the arrival of 12,000 Syrian refugees in Australia, many of them being children, schools will be playing a large role in the lives of these families. For children who have lived in that liminal space, of uncertainty, fear and displacement, the school and class environment can provide a safe, predictable space for students to transition from the uncertainty, to realising the opportunities that could lie ahead.
Teachers play a crucial role. Building relationships with these students and being a ‘constant ‘ in their lives will help them to feel that they belong and can thrive in a country that provides them with many opportunities.
Teachers are in a position to build tolerance, understanding and compassion in their students. These are all necessary for refugees to feel safe, and protected to make new beginnings. The school environment allows the students to make connections with the wider community, that can not only help individuals, but the whole family unit.
Teachers can create routines that allow for predictability and certainty. They can help students manage their emotions by recognising triggers and minimising them. Refugee students have seen and experienced things that are incomprehensible to many of us. For teachers working with these students, the feeling of compassion and empathy can be heart wrenching. Ensuring that teachers own well being is taken care of is also a crucial factor.