There are many discussions going on in the world today regarding the teaching of children in emergency and crisis circumstances. In some emergency situations such as natural disasters and war in third world countries, education ceases, and until the environment is stabilized, children remain without an education. But in developed nations there are also emergencies and crises that occur where children remain in school and are being taught under emergency situations.
Some of these types of emergencies are: fire; bomb threat; student standoff; intruder threatening with a gun; flood; hurricane; student accident; severe and sudden illness of a student, such as fainting, seizure, or death.
In all cases, the type of emergency or crisis dictates the type of teaching scenario. Will the school shut down for a few days? What will the atmosphere be when children return to school? Will some children be afraid to return to school? Will parents keep their children out of school?
Therefore the teaching required by the teacher will be dictated by the type of emergency and by the policies set by the administration. It could be a classroom emergency or a whole school emergency. Every case of crisis or emergency has its own dynamics that will predict the type of teaching that can take place.
General tips for teaching in emergency and crisis situations:
Remain calm. In all cases, teachers above all must remain calm, and be good role models for their students.
Make sure children know the rules. Children should know the rules of an emergency crisis situation ahead of time, so they know to follow instructions from teachers and administrators.
Be in charge. The teacher must be in charge at all times. Children will look to the teacher as the leader in any crisis situation.
Be available for any student that needs extra care or help. Teachers should be available for extra care and help and be able to direct the student to counseling or the nurses office.
Have a pre-approved plan. All teachers should have a pre-approved plan in place for teaching under an emergency or crisis situation. Their daily lesson plan should include an alternate plan in case of an emergency.
Be the leader. Teachers should be the leader at all times during a crisis situation. They should also know which students could be relied on to help in a crisis situation and utilize their skills.
Pre-training. All teachers should be trained in emergency management so that they can continue successfully in their teaching endeavor during a crisis situation.
In conclusion the types of teaching teachers are able to teach during an emergency or crisis situation depends largely on the type of emergency or crisis. In third world countries, UNICEF and other NGOs are working to provide education to young people who have been sabotaged from their education through war and dire natural disasters where there isn’t the type of support and backup experienced in developed countries.