We know what we need help with.

When adults marginalize youth voices, youth suffer. Finding opportunities to centralize youth voice is neither frivolous nor fuzzy. What school leaders and youth-serving nonprofits should take away from Victoria Anne’s experience is that students should know as much about McKinney-Vento as they do about how to sign up for the football team. Also, we (adults) don’t know what we are doing unless and until we include youth voice.

Listen to youth. Improve outcomes.

In this case, the youth has committed to a shared goal of increasing organization. As school adults, we have the power to support them in achieving their goal, or to prevent them from growing by insisting on strategies we have already tried and the student rejects. Instead, I hope that our team listens to what the youth has said, and that we show up for them in the way they have asked us to.

Youth: The missing voice in Check-in, Check-out.

One of the problems with CICO is that it works. What if the only reason student behavior improves is because we’ve provided frequent doses of external motivation, and never connect the goals we have for students to goals that they have for themselves?

More than the hurt.

In my professional life, I’ve made a commitment to support a trauma-informed approach to care when no such approach currently exists. Now, however, it is time to elevate our understanding of what a healing-centered approach might mean for those we serve and for us as caring professionals.

Support youth in becoming who they want to be, not how we want them to behave.

by Timothy (Tim) Grivois-Shah, Ed.D. The most successful behavioral supports in schools typically involve 1) frequent doses of positive feedback & prompting, and 2) strong relationships with a trusted mentor. Check-in, Check-out (CICO) is a common framework for behavioral support, and when it works, students of any age know that someone they respect both wantsContinue reading “Support youth in becoming who they want to be, not how we want them to behave.”

Three articles for caring professionals who work for justice.

Often, we talk about justice as something that we’ll work on when the rest of the work gets done. These articles remind me that our students can’t (and won’t) wait for justice. And, many caring professionals are making progress when and where they can. It’s time for all of us to do the same.

How to keep those you serve at the center of your work.

The most important member of any team designing any intervention or service will always be the person the plan is supposed to benefit. Instead of assuming to know how best to help someone, find out sure.