The Power of a Teacher: Keynote (1 hour)
How did he go from juvenile detention to two doctorates with training at Harvard Medical School and Oxford University? Adam Sáenz will tell you: it was the power of a teacher. Dr. Saenz’ story is one the Huffington Post says “will never fail to inspire,” a journey through profound lows and soaring highs. At every important juncture, there have been two common elements—lifesavers that appeared when he most needed it: education and teachers. Whether you’re searching for a reason to believe or you just need a hope-filled reminder, the bottom line is that you do have tremendous power to make a difference in students’ lives, and Dr. Sáenz’ message will compel you to engage your calling with passion, with purpose, with vision, and with faith.
Balance and Wellbeing: Living the Life of the Thriving Educator (1 hour)
Are you too busy to prepare to fully engage your students academically or behaviorally (let alone finding time to exercise and eat right)? Are you relationally isolated at work and carrying emotional baggage from experiences you’ve had on your campus or with colleagues? Are you barely able to get by financially, and, in the end, wondering why you ever decided to become a teacher or whether you want to continue in the profession?
I have good news: not only is personal balance attainable, but as you nurture it, you will find yourself maximizing your impact—both instructionally and relationally—in the classroom. One of the most loving things you can do for those depending on you is to love yourself well. Let’s explore emotional, occupational, financial, spiritual and physical wellbeing. You will leave with practical strategies to increase wellbeing in each area.
Relationships That Work: The Four Must-Have Readiness Skills for Every Educator (1 hour)
Most of us already know that relationships matter in any field, but particularly in education. The question is: how? How do I build life impacting relationships with students? How do I build resourceful relationships with my colleagues on campus? How do I build supportive relationships with my students’ parents?
There is a framework—the practice of four essential skills that will posture and position any educator to a place of relational readiness. 1) Reflecting (on why I am here); 2) Directing (the fuel of my emotion); 3) Connecting (building relational bridges across differences) and 4) Protecting (my mind, my heart, and my body from toxic, hurtful people).
Stress Management 101: Moving My Career From Bitter to Better (1 hour)
Most of us are aware of the potential negative effects of stress, including physical and mental illness and eventual burnout. In worst case scenarios, stress erodes not only our individual well-being, but also our ability to create healthy, effective relationships with our colleagues and the students on our campuses. Yuk.
The good news is that stress doesn’t have to be the enemy. In fact, if our goal is to live a stress-free life, we are cheating ourselves out of a potentially valuable fuel source. Stress, when understood and managed effectively, can result not only in increased personal well-being, but also in authentic community among our colleagues and relational connection with the students on our campuses.
We’ll discuss the source of stress in your vocation and explore various coping strategies based on the fight, flight, or freeze response. Leave with practical strategies to increase your adaptive coping and tools for building community with your colleagues and students.
The Stages of Community: Nurturing a Culture of Connection (1 hour)
Consider the following:
Stage One: Psuedo-community. Relationships are a half an inch deep and fake. We act like we all get along, but we really can’t stand each other. There is no sense of belonging here. We know it. The students know it. The parents know it.
Stage Two: Chaos. We quit pretending that we like each other, and we finally aired our differences. The hounds of hell have been released. Everyone wants to be off this campus.
Stage Three: Brokenness. We’ve accepted that we are stuck with each other, and we’ve proven that we’ve only hurt each other in the process of trying to change each other. Now, I’m willing to surrender my agenda (and all other barriers to our communication) so that I might understand you. This is hard work, but at least now we have hope.
Stage Four: Community. We still don’t agree on everything, but we’ve learned to treat each other with dignity and respect. Our campus is a relationally safe environment. We share a sense of belonging and purpose. This is the place where lives are impacted. Everyone wants on this campus.
Now, a question: At which stage is your faculty? We’ll explore the stages of community in greater detail, and we’ll conclude with practical strategies to empower you to lead your campus to Stage Four—it is attainable.
Turning Noncompliance, Escalations, and Breakdowns Into Teachable Moments (1 hour)
Stressful events do not necessarily have to destroy relationships. In fact, when handled appropriately, stressful—even traumatic events—can deepen and strengthen relationships.
We’ll explore the stages of student escalation and the appropriate staff responses at each stage. Then, we’ll analyze the obstacles that most frequently keep us from resolving conflict in a relationship-honoring manner.
Finally, we’ll identify the self-awareness skills that will allow us to avoid the obstacles.
Beyond Difficult: Dealing With Truly Toxic People (1 hour)
You have everyday the everyday difficult person—the passive aggressive teacher who can’t take responsibility for his actions; the snarky parent who engages only to blame. But the truly toxic person is the one who give rise to the expression “hurt people hurt people”.
What is an appropriate response?
We’ll discuss what causes this level of impairment in adults, how to identify, set and maintain appropriate boundaries, and how to build empathy for people who are hurting.
Mental Health First Aid for Your District or Campus (1 hour)
Most campuses have school nurses—appropriately qualified medical staff that are equipped to manage small-scale physical illness and initially treat larger-scale physical illness until appropriate intervention can be found.
But what about mental illness?
What are we to do when a student begins to demonstrate the initial symptoms of mental illness?
Learn the initial warning signs or symptoms of mental illness and how to intervene with any student at any grade level. Special attention will be applied to appropriate intervention for self-harming behavior (e.g., cutting) and suicidal thoughts and behavior.