Written by Shari Stewart
Love it or hate it, we’ve all had to do it. Zoom, Teams, WebEx you name it. We have tried it in an effort to keep our jobs, stay connected and deal with the isolation that the pandemic thrust upon us.
But will we keep doing it? It’s unclear whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and that will be a matter of opinion. But the facts are that we have gained something from it. Perhaps it’s a new found sense of accomplishment with technology or maybe not. Perhaps it’s that you’ve created a workspace for yourself that didn’t exist before or maybe not.
What I have noticed goes beyond technicality and equipment and into the heart and soul of why working with people is so fulfilling. Online sessions gave us the opportunity to see, really see families and children in their home contexts. And they saw us too.
Suddenly everything about our interactions became intensely personal, they always were but now we had a window into home worlds that had never existed before. Parents and carers in their pyjamas, siblings in the background, pets in the foreground and endless contact with objects and artefacts that belonged.
Artefacts that connected deeply and personally to individuals – this is my favourite teddy, this is where I sleep, this is what I eat, here is my bedroom, this is the sunniest spot in the house, here is my baby brother. This is my life.
We saw, heard, felt and touched each other’s lives in a way that was never offered before. We came to understand each other as people that existed outside a classroom, kindergarten room or childcare centre. We noticed new things and realised the importance of knowing to belonging, the connectedness of understanding to being and the role of home to becoming and we will never be the same again.
So you may not want to see parents in their pjs or want them to see you but don’t stop Zooming. Now we are back together, make sure you take the time to keep zooming, in person. Zoom in to the lives of the children and families you work with and they will zoom right back.