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. The authors of the toolkit are a collaborative team made up of classroom teachers, student services personnel, administrative leaders, and community mental health practitioners.
The toolkit is designed for flexible implementation by facilitators within their school. We typically recommend the toolkit be implemented over a two-year time frame. Each of the 12 sections can be briefly implemented in a 30-60 minute session (with individual reflection and application resources) or more time can be dedicated for in-depth learning experiences. Options for delivery include: small group circle conversations, large group presentations with breakouts for application discussions, online small groups, individual activities/reflection or a combination of all of these.
A team of at least one administrative leader and the appointed facilitator(s) will need to make decisions about the time that will be dedicated 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 administrative leader engages the rest of the leadership team in conversations on the leadership perspective and responsibility related to toolkit concepts.
The 12 sections of the toolkit are listed along the left side of the screen in the “Get Started” section. Each section in the toolkit has the same layout.
Introduction: Outlines the core content covered in the section.
Information: This section includes a document to be distributed to all participants prior to the application activities. 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. Having participants review this document prior to gathering as a group allows the group to spend more time in dialogue.
Applications Section: The toolkit is designed for flexibility. Facilitation teams are encouraged to review the activities outlined in this section and choose the ones that work best for their needs. Included in the applications section:
- Key Activity: This activity is central to the content covered in this section. At minimum, we recommend the facilitation team leads this activity when they facilitate this section of the toolkit.
- Wellness practice: Each section has a wellness practice associated with it. In addition to being listed here, it is also included in the document to distribute in the information section.
- Circle Agenda: When possible, it is powerful to deliver the toolkit in small groups using a circle format. These agendas are 45-60 minutes and include activities that fit the objective of the section. Each includes the key activity and wellness practice.
- Core Content Visual: After completing a section of the toolkit it is helpful to have a visual posted in common staff areas to serve as a reminder of the content. At times, these visuals are also distributed to staff as part of the content covered during the section.
- Supplementary Activities: These additional activities can be paired with the key activity, depending on the needs of your group delivery format.
Links Section: This section has links to resources specifically for leadership.
The Section Segments Key describes the consistent segments included in each topical section.