1. Relationships Know No Hierarchy
Consider introducing all school staff, including teachers, educational assistants, educational support staff, administrative support staff, bus drivers, and custodians in this one-day session, reminding all staff that relationship knows no hierarchy. This inspiring and motivational one-day event will leave all staff ready to engage with even our most difficult students. We can do this in specific schools or join some of your smaller schools into one PD day.
Today we will journey through developmental stages from babes to adolescents, discussing the importance of understanding the power in relationship, where children learn to answer two very important questions: “Is this world a safe or scary place”, and most importantly, “Am I worth it?”. Through exploring the most recent research on attachment and emotional regulation, we will talk about some very practical things that are critical in assisting children to be available and competent learners. We will talk about having an important “common language” between those of us who work together with some of the most difficult babes and families who need us the most, and how we might best be able to develop a network within our communities to do this effectively. It is hoped that this day will serve as our philosophy as we move forward together through our learning series. Be ready for laughter and discussion as we navigate our way through this very important understanding and we learn together what it is your community needs the most.
2. Trauma-Informed Practice
Consider this one-day session as involving a more specific discussion on trauma-informed practice. This can be helpful for all staff, but usually most appropriate for teachers and EAs.
We will spend some time talking about the ever-increasing mental health concerns in the classroom and how our staff are coping with the added stressors. We will explore what “trauma” means for kids and adults alike, and what it is that is most helpful following a significant trauma. We will discuss the research regarding the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) and how this shows up in the classroom. We will talk about the necessity of leaders assisting staff in keeping their “lid on” and reminding them, as often as we can, that they are the difference makers. We will highlight the struggles that we face in our province that show up in our classrooms and we will discuss some potential approaches that may assist in helping our staff keep our kids (and their families) regulated and supported.
3. Compassion Fatigue
Consider this one-day session as following in sequence after Option I and Option II, focusing specifically on compassion fatigue. This can be helpful for all staff, but usually most appropriate for teachers and EAs.
“The kids are the least of our worries” seems like a powerful statement, considering the task before us is to educate. We will spend some time talking about the critical consideration of not only student wellness and support, but all the other critical relationships that are involved in student wellness, including those of teachers, support staff, and administrators. We know that if we do this job right, some of these babes will get our “hearts”. We also know that we cannot serve from an empty vessel. This day will involve a discussion about how we need to look after each other if we can ever hope to assist the children and families we serve and teach. How do we rally the “village” to be the best we can be?
Although grief is a universal experience, it is remarkable that very few of us know “what to do” or “what to say” in times of grief, especially with children. And even worse, when grief and trauma go hand in hand, many of us feel like lost ships in a stormy sea. We will spend the day talking about the saddest parts of grief, how to help each other stay connected, how the safety of our schools can be the safest places to grieve, and how to come out never the same, but perhaps even stronger on the other side.
If you would like more information on our workshops, please be in touch, as I would love to visit your school.