Passage Conducts its First Online Professionals Networking Evening (May 14th, 2020)
Topic: COVID-19 and Professional Practice – Impact and Lessons
It may not be too wrong to suggest that the world had somewhat been turned on its head following the onset of the Corona-virus pandemic this year. Once the lockdown was announced in Luxembourg, we began seeing a slow unraveling of our daily routines and our professional and personal lives. For all of us, it became important to quickly reinvent our method of working and connecting, to continue to stay productive. It also impacted greatly, our ability to stay physically connected to our friends and colleagues. Many of us existed for a long time in isolated bubbles, dealing with sudden changes in our home and work environments.
With the intention of breaking these bubbles of isolation and reaching out to our community of professionals and parents in Luxembourg, Passage decided to organize its popular networking evening remotely on Zoom. And to give the evening some context based on the situation around us, we conferenced on the subject of the COVID-19 lockdown and its impact on professional services and practices across the country, especially in the fields of childcare, therapy and education. What followed was an invigorating session full of brilliant ideas and invaluable insights.
A Speech and Language therapist practicing in Luxembourg, recounted how she had to switch to teletherapy using what online resources she had at her disposal. Since speech therapy requires her to see and hear her clients, it became important to work around the safety restrictions put in place for COVID-19. Jelena experimented with remote therapy, video sessions and tele-counselling. She learned to customise her therapy better, focusing at times on coaching parents more than coaching the children.
A Counsellor/Coach in the Ronnie Gardner Method and a Special Needs Assistant, found that her working hours increased exponentially and she found herself coping with double challenges of working from home and managing the stress that came with the uncertainties around the Covid-19 situation.
Jelena and Elly were two of the four speakers who had volunteered to share their experiences with those who attended our first online Professionals’ Networking Evening.
A Neurofeedback practitioner and expert runs his practice at the Centre Medicale, Rollingergrund, spoke about how the lockdown situation had him and his team go back to the drawing board and find ways to quickly create options whereby remote diagnostics could be made possible. He said the period of the lockdown was one of intense focus and hard work, where it became essential to find quick and workable solutions with little time for long review and analysis.
Madhumalti runs a successful not-for-profit organisation called Workshop4Me aimed at promoting STEM learning, coding and tech-awareness in children, through courses and workshops. When speaking at the Passage event, she emphasized that while education during lockdown did raise many challenges one of the biggest positives was that it opened doors to the possibility of setting up classrooms anywhere – improving access to all students. She feels strongly that access to online classroom is the one change that could continue to be beneficial if adopted by schools once they reopen.
In addition to what the speakers shared with us, we also conducted a quick interactive exercise to determine some common threads in our mutual experiences during the COVID-19 quarantine period from March to June 2020. Here is a quick summary of what we discovered.
The family re-establishes itself as a key unit and epicenter of well-being:
One important outcome of the lockdown and subsequent restrictions in working hours and spaces, was that we have all got a chance to direct attention to our homes, our families and to ourselves. Work flexibility has allowed for better productivity and an overall sense of well-being.
The building and rapid development of different learning platforms:
With the widespread use of online platforms for learning, the scope for educating across different levels and capabilities has broadened and hopefully will continue to expand.
Re-invention and repurposing:
With the number of changes that technical and professional practices had to implement very quickly, a need to constantly and rapidly re-invent has been recognized. Being this adaptable will be a lasting and useful lesson for all businesses and independent practitioners going forward.
Innovations in remote services:
Remote counselling, online/remote diagnostics and teletherapy may be here to stay. Innovations in these areas are quickly gaining attention and should be encouraged.
Improved access and technologies in remote education:
The use of online classrooms has shown us that learning centres can be set up anywhere, increasing access and flexibility for both parents and educators. Children are likely to benefit the most as they will learn, above all, to take responsibility of their studies and learning environment.
Passage has been organizing Professional Network evenings or PPNs, for the past many years now. These meetings are conducted to bring together professionals for a stimulating evening of conversation and interaction with the aim of building a supportive network of experts in the field of childcare, education and other related child and family services in the country. To know more or participate in our meetings, please contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Article by: Revathy Menon who is a coordinator for Passage.
Last updated: Monday 19th October, 2020