"Head and Heart" Training Creates Common Language, Framework
Head and Heart: The Basis for School Success, is our annual professional development conference designed to create a common language and framework for school staffs. This important event is critical for All Belong Member Schools as we work together towards building inclusive communities. Mark Krommendyk, a retired administrator from an All Belong member school, reflects on the important impact Head and Heart had on his school community:
One common experience all school administrators share is meeting with a student’s parent(s) to discuss how to respond to the struggles the student is experiencing in school and possibly at home. These meetings are at the very heart of our work. As educators, these meetings can be the source of our greatest challenges and our greatest blessings. Often these meetings will include support staff and teachers and can be the start of a collaboration between the school and home that will effectively address the student’s struggles.
A successful meeting depends on, in great part, the trust that parents have in the school staff members who are sharing their knowledge and understanding of the child. Undeniably, trust happens when parents can see that the school staff loves and understands the whole child-- emotionally, spiritually, physically, and academically. Trust, and the success of the meeting, depend on the ability of the school staff to communicate with the parents their love and understanding of the child.
"One of the most important things school administrators can do is to make sure every educator in the building is trained to understand students using the same language and the same framework. This common framework of understanding builds trust and facilitates communication not only with parents, but also within your staff."
One of the most important things school administrators can do is to make sure every educator in the building is trained to understand students using the same language and the same framework. This common framework of understanding builds trust and facilitates communication not only with parents, but also within your staff. All Belong is providing training to achieve this common language and framework of understanding in your school at the Head and Heart professional development event, taking place December 8-9 in Grand Rapids, MI, and February 2-3 in the Chicago area. Head and Heart will train teachers and administrators to understand each student using the neurodevelopmental and social and emotional learning competencies framework for student learning. It will teach educators how to communicate their knowledge and understanding of students with parents, and each other, in ways that build trust and yield lasting results.
When I was an administrator, my staff and I learned to talk about students using the training we received at All Belong’s Head and Heart event. This training profoundly impacted our entire school community. The Head and Heart training gave us the tools to understand each student excellently, the language to talk about children, and became the foundation of many successful and meaningful partnerships we built with parents.
Mark Krommendyk is a consultant for All Belong where, among other things, he leads Inclusive Leadership Academy for Administrators, an online discussion group for All Belong administrators.
Learn more about Head and Heart and sign up on the All Belong Member Center. As a reminder, this event is open to all staff at any of our 100+ All Bellong Member Schools.