Creating Cultures of Dignity
Speaker Rosalind Wiseman, creator of the Owning Up curriculum and author of the New York Times bestseller Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence & Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World presents an engaging multimedia keynote that exposes the challenges of understanding how young people's’ experiences in school are influenced by peer group dynamics, adults, and adolescent identity development. Her classroom experience and collaboration with school communities is the basis for her work and Rosalind recognizes that creating a culture of dignity in a school is challenging and ongoing work. With this in mind, Rosalind will illustrate how cliques, bullying, and social hierarchies among children and adults can be placed into a larger context of social justice. Participants will walk away with tools to help young people connect their education to their communities and academic and professional aspirations.
Selfies, Tardies, and Parties: Teaching students to navigate their social and academic world
What does a student’s selfie pose tell you about them? How can we enable students to solve social conflicts on their own but also know when to seek help? Rosalind tracks the new cultural landscape of students, from technology to the social consequences of earlier puberty on friendships and group dynamics. She will highlight the most important strategies in her research and collaboration with students from her books Masterminds & Wingmen and the newly published 3rd Edition of Queen Bees & Wannabes. Takeaways for participants include understanding and supporting the provocative target, strategies to teach young people to stop the negative impact of social media and gossip on individual decision making and school culture.
Queen Bees & Masterminds
Rosalind Wiseman's speech is a call to action to transform the way we speak about boys and girls. This interactive multimedia presentation shows how cliques, bullying, and social hierarchies among children and adults can be placed in a larger context of social justice. Wiseman provides concrete, common sense strategies for any educator or professional who works with children, teens, and parents so that all participants can walk away from the presentation with positive ways to impact their community. She'll pull back the curtain on what's really going on between boys and girls and why they can be so reluctant to ask adults for help. She'll share how boys' and girls' social group dynamics influence their interactions and offer step-by-step advice on how to teach young people to treat each other with dignity. She'll also give common-sense suggestions about how to deal with the frequent struggles between children and their parents - from video games and social networking to communication breakdowns. This presentation can be tailored to both student and adult audiences, factoring any specifics that should be addressed in your community.
The Owning Up Curriculum
In order for young people to learn, they must feel emotionally and physically safe. They must feel that they can handle the inevitable social conflicts they will experience with some degree of self mastery. They must have confidence that the adults who teach them are competent and care about their well-being. But it’s equally true that young people are often skeptical about any educational program that cover these issues because what we teach them often falls far short of what they need. They sit through unrealistic assemblies and programs on character building, social conflict, technology and bullying that don’t reflect the complexity of the issues they face or include them as an essential part of the process to create solutions.
At the same time, there’s never been more need and calls for incorporating social emotional learning into students’ educational experience. The Owning Up Curriculum was developed with direct feedback from students and educators to reflect what they say and want in an SEL curricula. The seventeen lesson plans are flexible, dynamic, and respectful of educator’s knowledge of their students and communities. Owning Up can be used in a single sex or mixed gender classes and designed for different learning styles and learning environments. It can be used in existing programs or as a full program; whether as its own class or implemented in an advisor program or health and social studies classes.
Participants will learn to do the following:
- Create an implementation strategy to create maximum buy-in with students
- Design a program that best suits the logistical and subject area requirements for their school or organization
- Understand the connections between adolescent development and group dynamics among teens
- Teach the connections between sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms discrimination, bigotry, and other forms of social cruelty
- Empower the students with the knowledge to effectively intervene in social conflicts with their peers
Accompanying the lesson plans are the following supporting materials: A program overview, an educator guide, a pre/post survey, and templates for correspondence with parents and other educators. In addition, participants will access a networked system of educators who are implementing Owning Up as an on-going source of collaboration, advice, and support.
The Orientation Workshop
Student councils, peer leadership, orientations, and countless other student leadership programs are essential components of any school. But the truth is it can be hard to get student buy-in. To be effective and credible with the overall student body they require collaboration between educators and young people that often results in a healthy and sometimes complex tension between them.
This workshop can be designed for a new program or an existing one. It begins with the participants engaging in an interactive assessment of their current program’s strengths and weaknesses. The work continues with the facilitators to identify areas where student ownership and program substance can be enhanced. Goals are then identified so that the participants have a blueprint for their future programs. At the end of the workshop, attendees will be empowered to use their group’s influence to improve the school culture and climate.
Here's what I want to add specifically for orientations: Orientation programs are the formal welcome of new students to a school's culture. For better or worse, a school's informal traditions often serve to teach even more powerful lessons about the school culture. Where does a student sit during an athletic game? What should a student do if they are struggling in a class but don't trust the teacher to get help? Are there any stairways a new student should avoid? Do the student orientation leaders take their responsibilities seriously? The answers to these questions and how student leaders are trained makes or breaks a program.