Supporting Teachers of Students with Experience of Migration
Since April 2022 we have been part of a group supporting Ukrainian teachers and their displaced pupils. With the STSEM project we broaden the scope to include Polish and Swedish teachers of Ukrainian migrant pupils, for exchange of experience and to compile guidelines for the positive integration of pupils into new and culturally different classes.
Objectives: Support teachers to transform migrant pupils from perceived problems to assets
Results: Policy overview and recommendations; Guidelines for teachers; cross-border communications
Funder: Swedish Institute
Sweden and, especially, Poland are coping with an influx of migrants from Ukraine, many of them schoolchildren – 144,000 in Poland alone; while, as evidenced in our pilot project, Ukrainian teachers struggle to support their dispersed pupils, most of whom are suffering not only from dislocation but also from traumatic experiences.
Mental ill-health is not only devastating for the sufferer but also socially expensive. Whether a traumatic experience over time becomes debilitating depends largely on immediate response. Teachers are particularly effective as ‘first responders’. With adequate support they can play a strong role in mitigating the effects of their pupils’ traumatic experiences, thus easing their integration into their new environments.
On a positive note, pupils who are enabled to successfully integrate into schools in their new countries have mastered valuable skills enabling them to marshal personal, inner resources to cope with their situation; for instance resilience, self-confidence, emotional and social intelligence. Pupils with such skills will also be an asset in re-building society once they return to Ukraine.
Project manager, Legacy17
UMCS Institute of Psychology
Law-making and Information Technology Institute