Teaching the Whole Teen: Services

All of the following services are packaged to meet the specific needs of your school and community. Each service can be presented in a workshop format, helping build the vision of a school that works with the whole teen. Combining workshops with long-term professional development, leadership coaching, and system-wide structures is the gold standard model for reaching long-term goals.

Teaching the Whole Teen: Workshops

Teaching the Whole Teen: Everyday Practices That Promote Success and Resiliency in School and Life
Teaching the whole learner is essential for reaching all students, shaping a motivating and meaningful climate, and fostering positive adolescent development. Educators will learn about brain development and resilience theory, and how to translate that research into classroom and school-wide practices that support academic success and personal development. In any subject area, strategies that foster responsibility and reflection, and communication and collaboration, also foster deep engagement. Teaching the whole teen will help achieve the full mission of your school.

Using a Whole Teen Approach to Develop Adolescent Executive Functioning Skills
Middle and high school teachers observe that their students’ vary wildly in their abilities to set goals for themselves, prioritize responsibilities, estimate the time they’ll need to complete tasks, organize their workspace and materials, effectively deal with their feelings, and cope with their fluctuating energy levels. The most recent information on teenage cognitive and emotional development reinforces the observation that teenagers are indeed developing their adult capacities in uneven and unpredictable ways. Learn specific strategies that foster self-awareness and skills to be more effective learners.

Partnering with Families for a Whole Teen Approach
While adolescent years can involve significant turmoil, it is too often the case—for many complex reasons—that families are less engaged with their teens’ schooling than they were at the elementary level. There are many specific approaches to support school-family engagement efforts. Through shared language and strategies, all the adults in the lives of teenagers can join in shaping positive relationships and developing the skills adolescents need to thrive in school and the community. When adults are talking with each other, everyone—families, educators, students—benefit.

The Whole School Supports the Whole Teen
Whole teens attend whole schools. They experience many different classes, hallways, the cafeteria, arts and athletic events, clubs and teams. They experience interactions with peers and adults. One teacher using practices to support the whole teen will make a difference for her students; all adults using those practices make more of a difference. Here the focus is on administrator skills, school program and policy design, and/or faculty culture and development. Participants will gain strategies so that all aspects of school mutually reinforce developing whole teens who are resilient and responsible.

Classroom Conversation That Deepens Whole Teens’ Communication, Reflection, and Persistence
Conversation is one of the most powerful and readily available classroom practices for fostering deep listening, respectful assertion, engaged questioning, reflection about perspectives and assumptions, inclusive participation, and motivation. Conversation is a key mode for educators to understand the whole teen, and to support the whole teen’s learning process. Whether conversation is with an individual student or with the whole class, there are many strategies that teachers can use to shape the culture of conversation, foster communication and higher order thinking skills, while deepening engagement and confidence in any class. How you connect with students and how they connect with each other matters for their academic success, their personal development, and for our society in the long run.

Teaching Whole Teens: Everyday Practices for Participation, Motivation, and Persistence
How can supporting the development and resilience of the whole teen fit into packed school days and enhance academic learning? Classroom practices in middle schools and high schools offer unlimited opportunities and the necessary regular practice to foster such key attributes as self-motivation, participation, and persistence. Learn some of the latest relevant brain research and practices applicable to any subject area. This whole teen approach fosters engagement in learning — and resilience for both schoolwork and life.

Teaching Whole Teens: Everyday Classroom Practices that Foster Resilience
There are many classroom practices that foster resilience — for schoolwork and for life. Those same practices improve relationships — a key protective factor for risky behaviors. We’ll focus on routines that foster supportive academic communities and emotional skillfulness, and share some of the latest relevant brain research.

A Whole Teen Approach to Reduce the Achievement Gap
The same brain research that offers invaluable insights into social and emotional learning simultaneously offers insights into academic learning and culturally responsive teaching. Numerous intersections of that research point to strategies for reducing the achievement gap--explore that research and its implications for classroom practices. We’ll rely on Hammond’s Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain and Poliner’s and Benson’s Teaching the Whole Teen. The sessions will emphasize practical classroom strategies to foster engagement, connection, brain-building routines, and persistence.

Maximizing Student Voice to Improve Outcomes for Whole Teens
Maximizing student voice is one of the most effective ways to promote motivation and participation in classrooms and schools. Learn tools, routines, and strategies that foster student engagement, aspiration, and resilience. In the process of building a classroom culture that involves student voice, teaches will also be promoting the skills students will need to be responsible members of their communities.

Everyday Practices that Foster Social-Emotional Learning in Middle Schools and High Schools
Many schools and districts have implemented social-emotional learning (SEL) efforts in elementary schools, but struggle with how to continue the effort in secondary schools. Such efforts are often pigeonholed as only the counselors’ responsibility, or are thought to take time away from academics. The keys to secondary school SEL implementation are everyday classroom practices — routines and rituals that foster skills such as collaboration, communication, emotional self-management. Via everyday routines and rituals, teachers can introduce skills, coach students, and give ongoing opportunities for practice. Meanwhile, they’ll have more time for academics, not less.