This toolkit offers information, activities, and resources for school leadership and staff to understand, recognize, and minimize the experience of compassion fatigue and to increase compassion resilience perspectives and skills. The authors of the toolkit are a collaborative team made up of mostly educators including classroom teachers, student services personnel, and administrative leadership. Community mental health practitioners were also on the team.
With a keen eye on practicality, the toolkit is designed for flexible implementation by facilitators within their school. We typically recommend the toolkit be implemented over a two-year timeframe. Each of the twelve sections can be briefly implemented in a thirty-minute session (with individual reflection and application resources) or more time can be dedicated for in-depth learning experiences. Input from the schools that piloted the toolkit included a strong suggestion that the implementation plans include a process that provides safe places for “real talk” among staff about toolkit concepts. Small group staff conversations and a plan for two-way communication between the staff groups and administrative team are key strategies for implementation. A team of leaders and the appointed facilitator(s) will need to make decisions about the time that the administrative team and staff will dedicate to the toolkit activities and topics that might be a higher priority. With that direction, the facilitator selects activities to match the needs, characteristics, and dedicated focus of the group.
The Section Segments Key describes the consistent segments included in each topical section. The sections include material that can be shared with an individual, small group, and/or the whole staff. Distribution of the information and reflection activities can be by email, handouts, or presentation style. Due to the many links to online content, digital distribution for most segments is best. Small and large group activities are provided to guide the staff to apply the information to their personal and collective practices.