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THE INTERRUPTIONS WORKSHOP SERIES FOR EDUCATORS

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THE INTERRUPTIONS WORKSHOP SERIES FOR EDUCATORS

  1. 1. * Educator workshops for creating stronger learning environments * Kerrita K. Mayfield, PhD * drkkmteaches@gmail.com * 1   THE INTERRUPTIONS WORKSHOP SERIES FOR TEACHERS, PARENTS, SCHOOL COUNSELORS, AND ADMINISTRATORS   THE NEED In an era where impersonal electronic media are so powerful – schools and their caregiving adults need to be better prepared than ever to interrupt destructive patterns of student behavior. Like any human services community, teachers, counselors, school staff and administrators do not leave their biases, home interactions, or areas of personal uncomfortability outside their school site and the subsequent navigation of relationships is difficult for any person depending upon our contexts, experiences, belief systems and competencies. What we know about active bystanders and their ability to proactively and positively affect behaviors like bullying and intimidation is that engagement with these behaviors is a responsibility of all of us, as witness neutrality is as problematic as the behavior. This training helps active bystanders become active interrupters. The original project was generated via funding from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. WORKSHOP MODELS There are four four-hour workshops available that provide concrete, research-based skills training around actively interrupting, positively disrupting, modeling and redirecting negative adolescent behaviors. The workshops center around issues deeply affecting adolescents (grades 5 through 12, ages 11 - 20) inside and outside of school. These training events are PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support), RTI (Response to Intervention), and standards aware. Issue One: pre-bullying behaviors that feature gendered teasing (i.e. “That’s so gay!” “You throw like a girl!” etc.); Issue Two: youth/youth relational violence (i.e. coercion, intimidation, active insecurity, gaslighting); Issue Three: creating cultures of effective communication (i.e. Head, Heart, Guts - method of listening, speaking, and analyzing across difference); Issue Four: involving learners in the creation of student-centered discipline systems (i.e. “What do you think is an appropriate response to X?” “How could we better solve this problem as a community or family?”). These workshops will actively engage educators and others in interrupting destructive youth behaviors through the rich interaction of content vocabulary and acting for change. Think how many of us wish we knew what to say to someone after the moment passes – in these workshops participants rehearse these moments from their unique perspectives. Those who register for the workshops are assumed 1. To have the child’s best interest at heart; 2. To be perfectly fallible in their practice; 3. Desirous of creating change in their home or school communities and their youth relationships. The workshops are developmentally appropriate. The first hour is an interactive presentation of the problems and research around each issue; focusing on the student’s own words to elicit adult conversation around their experiences as either targets (the affected party) or agents (perpetrators) of the presented behaviors. The second hour is focused in hearing, reading, and participating in scripts that illustrate the subtle and overt ways these behaviors occur in student interactions. The scripts are co-developed by a Graduate Social Justice Education student with a Theatre degree and are based on actual student narratives of being targeted. The educators will then be asked to deconstruct the scenes, identify and interpret the negative behaviors, and postulate possible interruptions or solutions.
  2. 2. * Educator workshops for creating stronger learning environments * Kerrita K. Mayfield, PhD * drkkmteaches@gmail.com * 2   Once the educators have heard, participated, and acted in the students’ world, the training leads participants to actively insert themselves into the scripts by rewriting and re-enacting the engagements with positive and proactive insertion into the scene. The adage, “practicing what one preaches” comes to life. Participants will be provided: resources sets for further support or information, worksheets and templates they can use in their workspaces; support services by phone or e-mail for 6 months after the event. EVALUATION PLAN Educators will be given a pre-assessment survey with their registration for the workshop along with the preparatory materials. The confidential pre-assessment will measure, for example: comfort and experience disrupting negative discourses that occur around them and their experience being either a target or agent of such behaviors. The post-assessment at the end of the school year will revisit these questions with additional inquiry about how the participants used the training in the intervening months alongside soliciting their recommendations for future trainings. QUALIFICATIONS AND ROLE OF PERSONNEL Kerrita K. Mayfield, PhD (in Curriculum and Instruction) is currently a certified Biology teacher in Massachusetts and Washington State and is also certified in Art K-12 in Washington State. A published author and researcher she taught middle and high school students for 11 years and has been a professor of various sorts at schools from Vassar to UMass Amherst. She also has taught and created curriculum with inner city students from Washington, D.C. in a program administered out of Georgetown University. She has received faculty funding for projects through Vassar College and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. The persons assisting this project have a UMass Social Justice Education Masters or related degrees. WORKSHOP OUTCOMES *skills and skills practice to develop array of disruption skills for directly intervening in negative adolescent behaviors; *research driven experiential learning; *improved site ecologies; *educators leave with language & skills they can use with youth and other constituents; *awareness of goals and outcome development for change behaviors; *establish a culture of direct address of social issues that interact with the educational mission.   WORKSHOPS HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO The International Bullying Prevention Association Annual Conference, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian Straight Educator Network) Western Massachusetts, GLSEN New England Retreat, Nantucket High School, Williston Northampton, DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps, Louisiana Charter Schools Association, among others. DR. MAYFIELD’S INFORMATION: Linked In page with reviews and research publications: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/kerrita-mayfield-phd/7b/894/2ba E-mail: drkkmteaches@gmail.com

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