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How do you educate in this stressful time? Ask Lisa

How do you educate in this stressful time? Ask Lisa

How do you educate in this stressful time? Ask Lisa

15 April 2020

The Ask Lisa podcast and online videos assists parents and teachers to educate remotely and in the classroom environment. Photo: Gustavo Fring

By Jessica Morris

It’s a challenge to teach children virtually, but Lisa Taylor is more than equipped to help teachers and parents navigate education during COVID-19.

Former teacher Lisa Taylor is using her expertise as a child trauma and family therapist to equip parents and teachers.

Before Lisa was a child trauma and family therapist with Bellarine Peninsula Salvos in Victoria, she was a school teacher. Now, she is blending her expertise to lend parents and teachers a helping hand during this unprecedented time.

Her podcast, ‘Ask Lisa’, gives professional advice to teachers in the region who support traumatised students, while weekly Facebook videos address concerns from parents.

Starting as a pilot program with three schools on the Bellarine Peninsula, the podcast invites teachers and support staff to submit questions to Lisa and Bellarine Peninsula Corps Officer Captain Di Hobbs, who then answer them on air.

“The inspiration for the podcast came because we were working with schools on the Bellarine Peninsula, and what became apparent to me is that school staff don’t often have a great deal of knowledge around trauma in children, or if they do, what it looks like in action is very different to the theory,” said Lisa.

“Teachers needed the emotional strategies to be able to focus on the children and avoid power struggles.”

With 25 years of professional experience, Lisa is the owner of Strengthening Families Australia, working as a child and family therapist, coach and consultant. When Bellarine Peninsula Salvos started its own professional counselling service in 2017, they adopted the same business name.

Along with Captains Di and Peter Hobbs, she applied for a Salvation Army Innovation Grant last year to fund the podcast. Funding has allowed them to record upwards of eight episodes, all edited and produced by Peter, and available on all major podcast platforms. Ask Lisa is now being developed into short videos, making her advice even more accessible while many parents and teachers educate from home or remotely.

“The schools and parents email us questions, and Di and I bounce off each other, and talk about the problem and the solution. We give insight into why the problem might occur and provide a strategy that people could use straight away,” said Lisa.

In addition to answering questions on the podcast, Lisa also offers the teachers professional supervision to give them emotional support.

“I have real empathy for how difficult the work is that teachers do. After working for a very long time with vulnerable families and children, I know that if you have certain strategies life can be easier,” said Lisa.

“The real philosophy that we come from is [building] deep connection with children, and teachers taking the time to build and develop relationships with them.”

Listen to the Ask Lisa podcast here. Access online videos on Strengthening Families Australia here.

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