The following five sections offer educators and other professionals an opportunity to engage deeply with five topic areas central to The Bad Kids and central to successfully working with students at risk of dropping out of high school: Self-Care, Social and Emotional Learning, Developing Resilience, Using Trauma-Informed Practices, and Building Trusting Relationships. Each topic is explored through viewing one or more short video segments, and a suggested Professional Development activity.
Self care is critically important for all educators, especially those who work with students exposed to chronic trauma or other stressors at home. In order to best care for students, educators must take note of and care for their own and each other’s needs. This professional development session explores how the faculty and staff at Black Rock take care of themselves and each other.Professional Development Session >>
Students at Black Rock High School have survived trauma, poverty, and abuse. They are resilient, and they have learned a variety of coping skills—some are positive and constructive, others are negative and can result in risky behaviors and unfulfilling outcomes. Schools can help students learn to manage and cope with challenging situations by explicitly valuing and teaching constructive responses through social and emotional learning.
This professional development session explores the relationship between safe and inclusive schools and the ability for social and emotional learning to take place. Safe and inclusive schools welcome a student body that is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, physical ability, learning ability, religion, nation of origin, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, and more. The classroom lesson introduces students to the idea of social emotional learning and engage students with the idea of emotional safety as a condition that needs to be in place in order for social-emotional learning to happen.
Students attending Black Rock High School face multiple stress factors that obstruct their opportunities to attend and learn at school. For many of the students and staff, demonstrating and practicing resilience is not a choice, but a requirement to attend school and graduate.
The professional development session on resilience invites discussion on methods and strategies for strengthening the resilience of students at risk for dropping out. The classroom lesson will encourage students understand and examine the capacity to build and strengthen resilience.
A common experience of many students at Black Rock High School is having survived chronic trauma. Using trauma-informed practices within your staff development work is one step your school can take to move beyond awareness of trauma’s impacts on learning to becoming a trauma-sensitive learning environment that can improve educational outcomes for all students.
This professional development session is designed to begin a conversation about developing a school culture that is deeply informed and committed to trauma-sensitive practices. The classroom lesson asks students to learn and define terms that describe childhood traumatic stress and understand the possible range of physical and psychological effects.
This section is designed to elucidate the value of healthy, trusting relationships with adults for all students, and especially for those who experience external barriers to learning, like many students at alternative high schools.
The professional development session will help staff build consensus around the meaning of trusting relationships and includes exercises and skills-building to create trusting relationships with every student in your learning setting. The classroom lesson asks students to define the elements of a trusting relationship with an adult and to explore ideas for building trusting relationships with an adult in their lives.