When facilitating workshops, it’s easy to gauge whether or not the participants are interested, engaged, and enjoying themselves. However, it can be challenging to figure out if your information is resonating with them.
Mind in the Making is a series of research-based workshops based on the seven essential life skills every child needs. As a certified facilitator, I facilitate these workshops on behalf of Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. This series of workshops has always been a 16-hour series, but recently SCGLR lent some flexibility to the parameters of the program.
A recent cohort attended a 12-hour series of the workshop. Not wanting to skip anything, my instinct was to move rapidly so I could share everything. Although it was a long day of work, the exhausted cohort thrived at this pace! They were interested, engaged, asked thought-provoking questions, and displayed their friendly, yet fierce competitive natures in a few skill related competitions.
On the final night, I chose to have a closing circle. I asked them to reflect on how they’ll take this information and use it with the children in their lives. They wrote it down, and then shared:
- I am committed to being a positive role model for my children—demonstrating a love of learning, taking on challenges, and being present each day to support their growth and development.
- The activities that we did help me to be more open-minded and to seek to understand the perspectives of others, not just the at-risk-youth I serve, but of everyone that I engage with daily.
- I will use this information I received in my everyday life!
- I’ve learned how valuable it is to keep learning. There is growth in learning and power in knowing how.
- One of my most valuable lessons was learning executive functions. Let’s enable our students to think and gain knowledge. Sometimes we have to let go and allow our students to learn even if it means they make mistakes.
- My actions are the reflections of our children’s futures! It’s not just about what they are learning, but who they are learning from!
- I learned how special and important it is to stop, focus, and understand how you can make even the smallest moments a victory for a child’s confidence and foundation in their journey of learning. I want to continue to support kids by asking them fun and challenging questions and teach them how they can also help others learn. Kids are such blessings, and we have so much to learn from them!
Like many cohorts, they didn’t want it to end. They wanted more tools for building these skills. I think what they really wanted was this tight bond they’ve formed through sharing, laughing, and listening to each other to continue. Their mutual respect and love of learning will certainly help them accomplish that!