Professional Development Workshops

Umoja offers workshops on topics spanning the three pillars of Umoja’s work: Restorative Justice, Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) principles, and postsecondary readiness. We work with schools and organizations to customize a series of workshops to meet specific needs and to cultivate participant’s abilities to build purposeful relationships with young people and adults.

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GENERAL APPLICATION

Trauma-Informed Practice

We know our young people face daunting odds and wrestle with many traumatic life experiences. Some children exhibit negative behaviors that interfere with their learning and that of other students. While these behaviors may be a reaction to stress and traumatic life events, they may cause stress and secondary trauma for others in the community. It is often hard for adults to know how to integrate an understanding of the effects of trauma into day-to-day practice. This workshop is designed to be a practical support, focusing on what we need to know about trauma and the brain so we can use that knowledge to best support our students and ourselves.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Avoiding Power Struggles & De-escalating Conflict

This workshop examines the role of adults as models for social and emotional competence. By learning to choose the right time and tone to address student behaviors, adults can avoid escalating conflict in and out of the classroom. Adults will learn to depersonalize interactions with students by contextualizing impulsive behaviors within a trauma framework. As participants learn to choose their battles, they will also practice deescalating conflicts by speaking to young people in a way that inspires rigor rather than fear.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations required, Trauma Informed Practice recommended

Adult Healing & Self Care

Inspired by the saying "restoration starts with me," adults who serve high needs youth will explore personal triggers and give space and voice to their experience. With the goal of equipping participants to be better adults to young people, the workshop explores how personal experiences shape mindsets and, by extension, interactions with others. Participants have an opportunity to rejuvenate their personal and professional selves through engaging conversations and mindful practices, remembering we can only be good to the young people we serve if we are good to ourselves.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Leading With a Community Organizing Lens

One of the most challenging aspects of working with young people can often be mobilizing the adults who support them! Many leaders struggle to get colleagues to collaborate on behalf of students. This workshop is designed to support participants to understand their role through a community organizing lens in which partnership is central. This workshop supports community organizers to live out "golden rules" of adult interaction, whether the focus of their work is team leadership, professional development, or coaching. Participants will leave with a plan of action to move peers in a positive direction to support the success of youth development initiatives.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

The Next ‘Right’ Question

Through high engagement exercises, this workshop explores the impact of questioning on both questioners and respondents. Participants dig deeply into the concept of the next right question, which is one that responds in real time to the circumstances of a conversation and advances the conversation to the next level of depth. Such questions are crafted throughout the workshop as participants refine their self-awareness and their awareness of the needs of others. The skill of asking the next right questions may be applied to any learning-centered relationship, from teacher and student to coach and trainee.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Asking Big Questions

What is the greatest question you've ever been asked? What are the go-to questions in your toolbox? How can facilitators use levels of questioning to push rigor and engagement in spaces with young people? Probe these and other burning questions about the challenges and rewards of facilitation in Ask Big Questions! In this workshop, we'll consider how multiple types of questions may be recombined to achieve many and varied objectives, both in large group and 1-on-1 discussion settings. Whether you're an Umoja Seminar teacher, a member of an Advisory team, or a Restorative Justice practitioner, you'll have an opportunity to practice the type of facilitation most pertinent to your work. Come prepared with your favorite questions!

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Implicit Bias in Educational Settings

Through experiential means, lively discussion, and self-reflection, participants will unpack the ways in which implicit bias impacts their work in schools. After defining implicit bias and identifying ways in which it can impact relationships, participants will reflect on circumstances that provoke implicit bias and begin the ongoing work of surfacing their own biases. The session culminates with metacognitive strategies for observing participants' own inner monologues to mitigate and interrupt the impact of implicit bias on their actions and relationships in schools.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Restorative Justice Foundations

Participants engage in experiential activities in which they interrogate beliefs about relationships, community, and conflict. RJ Foundations is Umoja's foundational course for essential knowledge of Restorative Justice as a mindset, and all "sister practices," such as circles, restorative conversations, repairing harm, etc. are grounded in the core concepts discussed. Though primarily focused on cultivating a restorative mindset, participants will walk away with specific strategies to put this mindset into practice.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

Through a series of self-awareness exercises, participants cultivate sensibilities and sensitivities necessary to be a restorative practitioner. With self-compassion and non-judgmental observation, we will explore aspects of our social identities as it pertains to our work with young people. Building on this awareness of race, class, gender, ethnicity, etc., participants identify internal challenges that can present obstacles to restorative work. Establishing this foundation of social and emotional awareness allows participants to be present for others as empathetic listeners. The session culminates with intensive practice of empathetic listening strategies.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations

Community Building Circles: A Proactive Restorative Practice

This workshop focuses on proactive Restorative Justice through the practice of community building circles. This easy-to-implement practice supports groups of students and adults to connect and build relationships. Such community building practices are an essential component of restorative culture because they foster meaningful relationships and understanding among community members. It is the foundation of relationships that makes individuals less likely to harm one another and more invested in repairing relationships if conflict occurs. Participants will craft an individualized plan to facilitate a circle using Umoja's collection of best practices, tools, and templates. This session may also be offered with a "train the trainer" lens with an additional hour.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations

Restorative Conversations: A Responsive Restorative Practice

Through interactive means, this workshop focuses on listening and questioning techniques as a vehicle for relationship building and repair, reentry from crisis, and resolving personal and inner conflict. As participants interact with peers, they will explore four foundational questions that form the structure of Restorative Conversations. After internalizing the purpose of these questions, participants practice holding effective restorative conversations with true-to-life scenarios using a questioning tool. This session may also be offered with a "train the trainer" lens with an additional hour.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations

Restorative Conversations Part 2: Restorative Consequences

This session deepens and extends the work of Restorative Conversations with particular emphasis on supporting students to generate restorative consequences to repair the harm that occurred. Restorative consequences are created in collaboration with the harm doer, supported by an adult, and help students answer the question, "What do I need to do to make things right?" Such student-generated consequences offer a rigorous alternative to suspension and support students to reflect on the impact of their actions, learn new skills, and repair the relationship that was harmed.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations, Check Yourself, Community Building Circles, Restorative Conversations

Advanced Circles

Once a community is familiar with the practice of the community building circle, or talking circle, safe space exists for deeper listening and reflection. This session supports circle keepers to hold more emotionally charged and complex circles gathered for the purposes of celebration, healing, support, understanding, and loss. Participants will explore many types of circles which may apply to diverse groups. A particular focus of the session will be crafting compassionate questions to guide the circle content. We will also pay close attention to norms setting, arranging the physical space, and calling a circle with specific participants.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations, Check Yourself, Community Building Circles

Peace Circles in a School Context

With limited resources and time constraints, the school setting presents a unique challenge to the traditional practice of peace circles. While keeping the mission and vision of this indigenous circle tradition alive, participants learn to modify and adapt ancient practices to resolve interpersonal conflict in schools. Participants engage with true-to-life case studies to role-play their role as circle keepers to support others in a process of mutual understanding and repair. In addition to practicing facilitation, we will discuss systems for logistics and documentation to make this practice compatible in a school or youth development setting. This culmination of many of Umoja's Restorative Justice offerings will be offered as part of a series in the Spring of 2017.

Time: 6 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations, Check Yourself, Community Building Circles, Restorative Conversations, Restorative Conversations Part 2, Advanced Circles

Building an Effective In-School Suspension Program

This workshop is offered in conjunction with Umoja's In School Disciplinary Intervention Curriculum and explores both the logistics and SEL content of an effective In School Suspension program. Participants define restorative accountability for their own school and use this definition to guide their creation of systems and structures to support ISS. In addition to adapting Umoja's tools, participants also learn to use the curriculum to teach social skills as an intervention for negative behaviors. This session is most effective when all members of the disciplinary team which supports ISS are present.

Time: 6 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations

Alternatives to Suspension: School Discipline After SB100

In this course, offered by the Transforming School Discipline Collaborative of which Umoja is a member, participants learn strategies to reform their disciplinary policies and practices through the use of a holistic prevention-oriented approach to school discipline. Participants will improve their skills in analyzing their disciplinary data, practices and policies within the framework of multi-tiered systems of support. They will learn how to apply the principles of restorative practices to develop alternative approaches to the most prevalent discipline issues in their school community. Participants will leave the course with tools to lead a team of stakeholders to conduct an ongoing and sustained review of their discipline policies and practices. 

Time: 6 hours
Prerequisites: None

Social and Emotional Learning

Facilitation of Collaborative Groups

In this workshop, we explore how to develop proactive classroom management routines and procedures to create an environment of respect and rapport. Designed for teachers and facilitators of adult and youth groups, this workshop features a wide variety of cooperative learning strategies. From the establishment of norms at the beginning of a group process to daily rituals and routines, you'll gather many tips and tricks to foster collaborative and interactive learning.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

The Workshop Model: Helping Students Practice What We Preach

Humans are social creatures! We acquire knowledge through lived experience and learn life skills through practice in social settings. This workshop honors and investigates the importance of giving students an opportunity to practice what they learn in a variety of youth development settings. We'll focus intensely on the workshop model, a four-part system that structures learning experiences. There will be many opportunities to make this information practical, applying the workshop model to real-life situations in schools. Participants craft a vision for implementing this model, outlining rituals and routines to implement on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Time: 4 hours
Prerequisites: None

Curriculum, Systems, and Logistics

Do you want to improve youth development at your school but feel like you don't have enough time or the right tools to have a real impact? This working session is exactly what you need to understand all the critical elements required for a well-planned and high quality implementation of your youth development initiative. School teams and individuals will learn how to successfully imbed school-wide initiatives and school improvement goals into a SEL/Student Development vehicle. Learn and apply winning strategies on how to align and adapt engaging curriculum, actively involve students and staff, increase school-wide buy-in, facilitate effective professional development, and create the conditions for teachers to be coaches for the academic, postsecondary, and social development of students.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Postsecondary Readiness

Building an Effective 9th Grade Culture

Is student cohesion and community building a challenge at your school? Have you struggled to increase the academic performance of your students as a whole? Are you trying to implement school-wide incentives? This session focuses on using various school structures to build a culture from the beginning of high school and leverage the work that is initiated by guidance systems, CARE teams, ILTs, Postsecondary Teams, etc. to integrate initiatives that holistically address student concerns and create an On-Track culture from Day 1.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Guiding Students to Postsecondary Success

Helping students catch a vision of their future is critical to the work we do with young people in the present. Connecting students to college and career pathways requires constant and consistent social, emotional, and academic support throughout a student's school career. This workshop offers college and career readiness activities and lessons to inject into youth development spaces of many types. As Umoja believes that every adult who comes into contact with young people is a post-secondary coach, this workshop is designed for all adults who interact with young people. This workshop is a great way to gear up for next year with an infusion of post-secondary resources!

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None