On Saturday November 5th I attended the Promising Practices event at RIC. The two workshops I attended were How Mentoring Relationships Improves Resiliency of Our Youth and Our Workforce and Building Resiliency Through Play. The keynote speaker was Dr. Robert Brooks. Brooks did a fantastic job of using his stories to influence all of us listeners to use resiliency in our future work as teachers.
Workshop I- In this workshop, Ana Almedia-DoRosario discussed the benefits of giving youth the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with professionals, and what it means for their workforce. Mainly, how high school students with an interest in the medical field can be mentored by Lifespan professionals. Ms. Almedia-DoRosario explained that Lifespan's mission is to reduce health disparities and promote health equity through healthy behaviors, healthy relationships, and healthy environments. They do this by improving the social, economic and environmental conditions in our communities. I found that this workshop reminded me of Kristof's The Land of Limitations. In this article, Kristof explains that the main character, Rick, had a lack of opportunity.If you are not born into a rich or successful family, the odds of you becoming rich and successful on your own are slim. If you give underprivileged high school students to be mentored, it will give them a different outlook. It may give them enough courage to believe in themselves and try their hardest to succeed. If Rick was given a mentor, who knows how his life may have differed. I did not enjoy this workshop much because it was given to us from a PowerPoint, with no hands on aspect at all. It seemed very scripted. Also, because it mainly talked about Lifespan professionals mentoring students with an interest in the medical field, I was not engaged due to the fact that I do not match the description.
Workshop II- In this workshop, we learned about resiliency through play. This workshop was the exact opposite of the first workshop I attended. The whole thing was hands on, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There was nothing but laughter throughout the classroom as we introduced ourselves with weird handshakes and played games. Throughout this workshop, I learned that games are a great way of getting students to interact with one another. I learned that play is a great mechanism to release stress, build social relationships and resiliency. I'd like to compare this workshop to McIntosh's article Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack and Safe Spaces: Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth, merely for the fact that during these activities, no one had any sort of privilege over the other. As I looked around the room, there were people of different races, genders and identity, but that did not stop us from smiling, laughing and goofing around with one another. There was no discrimination whatsoever, which made this workshop comfortable for everyone, even while doing uncomfortable handshakes. Here is an article that touches upon the importance of play in early childhood. Oh, and here is another one.