BECOME A MEMBER! Sign up for TIE services now and start your international school career


Message from Vilnius International School, Lithuania

By Rebecca Juras
Message from Vilnius International School, Lithuania

I am struggling to figure out how people can help directly at this point. In addition to all of this, ...what I really need (and failed to find) is a Global Perspectives and Research teacher who would work remotely so our upper school principal can help me manage the crisis. 

I've  been thinking about the real needs at the moment and that would be setting up a network of counseling services for teachers

Additionally, we cannot keep up with the demand for a school counsellor. Some kids are just bursting to talk about anything and everything while other students are asking for school to be a safe place where kids don't have to engage with the war - which is visible everywhere in Vilnius! It’s not just happening in their online lives. The city is practically painted blue and yellow and the kids are starting to resent it.  

In order to manage the overflow of students requesting conversation and care, each leadership team member has assumed a grade with whom they run voluntary  “feelings circles.” Some of the kids are starting to tax the system and we can’t sustain what we have going at this point.  What could help is remote professional development opportunities for teachers on the topic of relational competencies.  We have plenty of written resources. An issue that comes up frequently is that teachers “don’t feel qualified” to speak to the kids about their feelings. I would love to have synchronous online training available for teachers so that the teachers can ask questions, share concerns, practice listening, etc. about how to speak to kids so that the leadership team and school counsellor can focus on operations and logistics. 

In summary, we need:  1) feelings or “Touchstones” conversations for teachers (globally), and 2) online synchronous training for teachers on relational competencies so that they understand that kids need a trusted adult, not necessarily a qualified psychotherapist. This offer could go beyond just the teachers in our school. 

Excerpted from a recent letter to a colleague. Published with permission.

Rebecca Juras is the Director of Vilnius International School, Lithuania


Please fill out the form below if you would like to post a comment on this article:


There are currently no comments posted. Please post one via the form above.



Chicken, Airplane, Soldier
By Jane Park, Grade 12, and Jim Gerhard
Nov 2023

Radical Dreaming: AIELOC Conference
By Shwetangna Chakrabarty
Feb 2024