Sunday, November 13, 2016
Promising Practices Reflection
November 11, 2016
I attended the 19th Annual Promising Practices Multicultural Conference on Sat. Nov 5th in the Donovan Dining Center. I was looking forward to this conference as I have been to several in the past and somewhat knew what to expect. The keynote speaker was Robert Brooks, Clinical Psychologist, Author and Lecturer. The topic of his speech was The Power of Mindsets: Strategies to Nurture Resilience. Dr. Brooks was an excellent speaker. He was funny and told many personal stories from his field. The time passed by quickly as he kept his audience's attention. He presented a power point as he was speaking. He offered realistic, practical strategies for nurturing intrinsic motivation, learning and resilience such as: What is the mindset & accompanying strategies of professionals who are effective in nurturing resilience? An essential belief is to recognize the lifelong impact we can have on others: The presence of what Julius Segal called a "charismatic adult" = an adult from whom one "gathers strength." He spoke about how to identify and reinforce each person's "islands of competence"; it is difficult to nurture resilience if we focus primarily on deficits rather than on the strengths that reside in each individual - changing the questions we ask others. He said to provide opportunities for "contributory activities" that add a sense of meaning and purpose to a youth's life. Dr. Brooks ended his speech with a question and answer session. It was now time to move on to the 1st workshop. I chose "Using Transgender -Friendly Picture Books to Build Resiliency, Understanding and Advocacy" with Elizabeth Rowell. I really enjoyed it. She was a bundle of energy and very passionate on transgender people and their rights. She showed a power point and spoke of several cases of children who were transgender at an early age. One child she spoke of was Ryland seen here. She had many picture books that she brought for us to look at. She gave several handouts. One was a list of transgender children's books that were good. She gave us a short story on a transgender boy called Jesse's Dream Skirt by Bruce Mack. We also got a handout on "What Can a Teacher Do to Provide a Safe, Supportive, School Environment for Young Transgender or Gender Supportive Children Including Those Who Might Not Be "Out" Yet?" Some of the suggestions in it were: Use gender neutral language "children/students" instead of boys and girls and find other ways for children to line up instead; use names instead of pesky pronouns' don't separate groups or line up by boys and girls' and be observant, understanding, and flexible. There were many other suggestions but those were just a few. Here is a site that talks about supporting transgender children in school. During this workshop I saw moments of August in making children feel safe so they can learn and Liz stressed making these kids feel normal and not invisible. It is very important to help Transgender children be accepted as normal in their school. I also saw Delpit moments in the presentation that teachers need to teach the rules and codes of power to others in the classroom.
After this workshop we headed back to Donovan Dining Center for lunch. The 2nd workshop was not the same experience for me as the 1st. It was very very boring. I had to fight with my eyelids to stay awake. The workshop was called "Wraparound Practice with Families: Family Voice and Choice" presented by Anne Fortier, L.I.C.S.W. She was very nice and did her entire presentation with power point. She handed out several pamphlets. One was "What is the "Wraparound" Process?" The definition is the Family Care Community Partnership brings community based service providers, family members and friends together to build a stronger, brighter future for your family. After an assessment the Family Care Community Partnership puts the family in the center and wraps them with the right local services, community programs and family members and friends in an effort to craft an individualized plan. To be eligible the following are requirements: children birth to 18 years of age who have serious emotional, behavioral and/or mental health challenges; youth who are transitioning from the Juvenile Correctional Facility back into the community; and children and families at risk of involvement with DCYF. With this workshop I would say I saw McIntosh where white people need to actively pay attention to race so they will not go unnoticed. One of the principles of the Wraparound process was Culturally Competent - The process demonstrates respect for and builds on the values, beliefs, and culture of the family. Here is a link to the Family Care Community Partnership. I think the program is excellent and very important but the presentation was just a snooze fest. My day had been very long up until this point and I was super ready to go home. Overall I really enjoyed the conference and learned a lot.