Editor’s Note: Mindy Long is the Assistant Principal of Lamarque Elementary and a Mind in the Making Facilitator.
This past spring was my first time as a Mind in the Making facilitator. Each week as our group gathered together, I felt excited and nervous. I remembered how each module had affected me every week and the “ah has” I had, tears I cried, ways I had grown, and friendships I had developed during my training. I couldn’t wait to see if participants in my group had similar experiences!
Our first group consisted of all classroom teachers. They were not only prepared to experience the workshops as teachers training to develop the executive functions in their students, but they were mothers, wives, grandmothers, and friends that like me, would have the opportunity to develop these strategies throughout their lives.
We utilized the generous funds provided by The Patterson Foundation to purchase classroom books for our participants. The Mind in the Making website offers a list of books for each executive function and a tips and resource page on how to use them. One book we shared for the skill of focus and self-control was titled Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos.
At the next meeting, one of our fifth-grade teachers came in wanting to share her thoughts and experience with the previous module’s practice and WOOP. She said that she identified one of her students in the book and she began to understand his perspective on his experiences and situation. Her eyes welled with tears, and she said: “this is his life and I never realized what he was going through!” She had a deeper connection and love for this student, and now, thanks to the Mind in the Making training, she also had some tools and strategies to help this student develop this executive functions.
This was just one snapshot of the amazing experiences that our group shared. Every week participants came back excited to talk about their practice with each executive function. Everyone in our group took away skills and resources that would impact children for many years to come. Thank you for offering this incredible opportunity to our community and the world!