On Sunday, January 15, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Batya Greenwald from the PassageWorks Institute in Boulder, Colorado will be presenting on the “Soul of Parenting,” at Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library. Based on the ground-breaking work of Rachael Kessler, author of The Soul of Education: Helping Students Find Connection, Compassion, and Character at School, this workshop will teach parents concrete practices and principles they can use in their family to create an environment that rewards social and emotional learning.
At the core of the PassageWorks program is a philosophy that parents, teachers, and administrators can engage the learning capacity of children by building a culture that supports a students’ social, emotional, inner life, and academic development. The research behind this philosophy comes out of the work by Rachael Kessler. Interviewing youth over the course of several years, Kessler asked youth what it means to feel connected and what brings joy to their life. She quickly learned that students are yearning for a deep sense of connection to one another, their community, their heritage, nature, and to the world. “Youth genuinely seek an opportunity for self-expression,” explains Batya Greenwald, lead instructor for the PassageWorks Institute. To foster self-expression, Kessler believed that developing strong relationships between every stakeholder in a youth’s life is essential for the development of their inner self. She then created a set of tools for teachers and administrators that would encourage the development of a learning environment that is alluring and centered on relationship building.
“Research shows,” as Batya Greenwald explains, “that when students feel safe, their frontal lobe opens up for learning.” For parents, understanding what a safe environment looks like is critical for advocating for each child’s success. This is the work that Greenwald will be bringing to Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library on Sunday and then to teachers at Telluride Middle School on Monday. “I want parents to get a broad overview of what social, emotional learning looks like at schools,” conclude Greenwald.
To learn more about the PassageWorks program you can listen to an interview with Batya Greenwald as she explains her philosophy for educating stakeholders in the process of creating a positive and safe learning environment. The parent workshop begins at 4:00 p.m. in the Wilkinson Public Library on Sunday, January 13 in the program room.