From stuck to unstuck: creating the conditions for change
Session 1: Learning to read what’s needed for change
When we can find the conditions that work for a child, they have the opportunity to thrive. A child’s behaviour may tell us that something is not right—and this behaviour is a little window into the child’s internal world. It helps us see when something is not working (or is!) for a child. In order to create the conditions for change, we must understand where change comes from. This session will lay the groundwork for the developmental lens that provides insight into how true change happens from the inside out. This paradigm shift can be a game-changer.
Session 2: Creating an environment of emotional safety
Emotional safety is not only the foundation of all learning, it is the foundation of inclusive classrooms. When we are able to create the conditions for children to feel safe in their learning environment, not only will their receptiveness to learning grow, but their openness to one another will as well. Enveloped in safety, children can begin to discover both themselves and the ‘other’.
Session 3: Becoming the leader our students need
Relationship is an integral part of creating the emotional safety kids need to learn and grow. Relationship is a big buzzword in the educational world – but what type of relationship is it that our students need from us in order to feel safe? And how is it that we can create this relationship with our students? Discover how to develop and protect these relationships, even with our most challenging students.
Understanding what’s behind the behavior & how to help
Session 4: Not safe to feel: unpacking the role of emotion and defense
Our schools often frame behavioural problems as disciplinary issues that must be “fixed,” rather than understanding them as an indication that a child has an emotional need that needs to be filled. As humans, we are emotional beings … but what is the purpose of emotion? And what happens when we lose access to our feelings? As educators, when we understand the link between emotion and behaviour, we can better respond. This session sets the stage for unpacking the common challenges we experience with children.
Session 5: Aggression: what’s behind the behavior & how to help
A child’s behaviour tells us something about their inner world. Drawing on the developmental insights of Dr. Gordon Neufeld, we will explore some of what is behind the challenging behaviours that we see in our students. What’s the emotion behind aggression? What can we do to
address aggression at its root instead of getting caught up in the cycle of managing symptoms? This session will explore the emotion behind aggression as well as look to ways we can reduce outbursts in our classrooms.
Session 6: Anxiety: what’s behind the behavior & how to help
Humans have a built-in survival kit, which is meant to respond to perceived threats and keep us safe. Generally speaking, this response serves us quite well, especially when the threat is obvious and occasional. When our alarm system is working as it should it can be incredibly helpful to keep us safe, but what happens when the threat does not go away? Our children are often entering our classrooms in survival mode and bringing with them the behaviours that make it challenging for us to take the lead and build relationships with them. This session will explore the roots of anxiety and offer practical suggestions for how we can support children to find emotional rest.
Session 7: Attention problems: what’s behind the behavior & how to help
Attention problems are on the rise. From a child whose head appears to be in the clouds to kids who constantly disrupt in class. Where does this inability to focus come from? Why do some children lack impulse control? And what can we do to engage these children in their learning? This session will explore the roots of attention problems and examine developmental strategies for change.
Session 8: Resistant or bossy: what’s behind the behavior & how to help
This workshop will explore two common dynamics that can make teaching challenging. We will examine the emotion behind bossy behaviour and how we can help to alleviate the weight these children carry. We will also explore what lies behind resistance. What is the role of counterwill and how does an understanding of this dynamic help us to shift the resistance? This session will shed light on the developmental science behind these behaviours and offer practical suggestions we can use in our classrooms.
Session 9: Shut down or bully behaviour: what’s behind the behavior & how to help
It’s really hard to engage a child in learning when they don’t seem to care about anything. It can be even harder when students are bullying each other in the classroom. Common to both of these challenges is a lack of caring. What can we do to bring back these caring feelings? Understanding where this defense comes from can help us to come alongside our most troubled students, and in the process, to create emotional safety for the entire learning community.
Towards thriving students and learning communities
Session 10: Shifting the negative identity of a child or a group
Children can get stuck in roles that prevent them from thriving. This is especially true for the kids who are the most emotionally blocked and are labelled as ‘problem kids’ due to their behavioural challenges. How children see themselves has a huge impact on who they are and who they will grow to be. This session will shed light on the various ways that we can help children to experience themselves differently so that their identity can expand, as well as exploring practical strategies to create a positive collective identity as a class.
Session 11: Waking up: Restoring and awakening caring feelings
There is a new awareness dawning in understanding the profound effect that the arts can have on the emotional health and well-being of our students and communities. From the very beginning of time—adults and children alike have been expressing themselves through the arts. We
have a deep need to express what is inside of us so that we may become known and make visible our inner worlds. Through this expression we can come to experience our humanity together. This session will shed light on how we can use the arts as extraordinary tools to unite our students in their shared humanity and build more inclusive classrooms – from the inside out.
Session 12: Creating a village
Empathic, inclusive, and more caring learning communities are within our reach. But we cannot do this alone. We need to bring back the village. How can we intentionally harness the power of attachment to grow a child’s community? What practices can we introduce that can expand our own network of support? We will examine Neufeld’s attachment rituals of collecting, bridging and matchmaking and explore strategies that can build community and transform our school cultures.