Editor’s Note: In this series, Mind in the Making facilitators share their experiences guiding workshops for parents, educators, caregivers and healthcare professionals throughout the Suncoast. In May, The Patterson Foundation funded training for 31 people through the Mind in the Making Facilitator Institute, which breaks down executive functions into seven essential life skills that help children achieve their goals.
On May 12, 2016, I successfully completed the Mind In The Making Facilitator Institute. I became certified to facilitate the seven essential life skills modules based on the book by Ellen Galinsky. The thought of co-facilitating was both scary and exciting. Every Tuesday evening for eight weeks, nineteen women committed to make a difference in the lives of children.
Angelina Guerrero and I led Team Alpha on a journey. The team consisted of education administrators, teachers, parents, grandparents and a youth leader. Throughout the eight weeks, our team explored the skills that help children and adults thrive in the future: focus and self-control, perspective taking, communication, making connections, critical thinking, taking on challenges, self-directed and engaged learning. Our team developed into an ensemble through discussions, videos, exercises, meals, laughter and tears. Following each module we learned strategies to achieve our goals and use them in our lives.
We learned how to WOOP an exercise that each of us can do daily for goal setting: Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan. These four steps are discussed and explained very clearly by Gabriele Oettingen. Wish — choose a wish dearest to you that can be fulfilled but a little challenging. Outcome — identify the outcome if your wish is fulfilled. Obstacle — what is the obstacle in you that keeps you from your wish? Plan — what can you do to overcome the obstacle? Team Alpha whooped individually and as a group throughout our eight weeks. Each week we grew closer in the safe environment and the discussions became more personal and engaging.
Team Alpha noted that human interaction has declined over the years. Mind In The Making gives us the opportunity to reconnect with each other. Each week we had the opportunity to apply each skill in our lives and witness the benefits. My journey with Mind In The Making continues and I look forward to the tremendous impact that I’ll have in the future as a facilitator.