Presentations and Workshops
Workshops for AdultsCivil School Climates
- The Well-Mannered School: How to Foster a Polite, Positive, and Productive School Climate
- Changing Normative Beliefs: Adventures at the Cutting Edge of Substance Abuse Prevention
- Preventing Substance Abuse: The Parent-School Partnership
- Challenging Cultures: Innovation in Substance Abuse Prevention for International Schools
- Supporting and Encouraging Non-Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs During the Teenage Years
- Prevention 101: Creating the Drug-Free School
- Managing Risk: Protecting School Communities from the Greatest Threat to Adolescent Health and Well-Being
- Creative Students: How Schools Can Nurture and Protect Them
- Creative Kids: How to Raise, Nurture, and Protect Them
- Parenting One Day at a Time: Using the Tools of Recovery to Become Better Parents and Raise Better Kids
Civil School Climates
The Well-Mannered School: How to Foster a Polite, Positive, and Productive School Climate
It used to be that the biggest manners violations schools had to worry about were spitballs and gum chewing. Nowadays, they’re expected to deal with bullying, sexual harassment, and CELL PHONES! Yet kindness, like cruelty, is contagious, and schools, by focusing on the “3-R’s”—Responsibility, Respect, and Refinement—can create an epidemic of kindness for all to catch.
Seventy-five percent of adults surveyed for How Rude!, Dr. Packer’s etiquette guide for teens, believe that students are LESS polite today than they were a generation ago. So, what do we do? We turn to schools. We expect THEM to teach manners. We ask schools to fight the forces of culture, media, politics, inequality, bigotry, and lax parenting that have contributed to society’s manner’s meltdown.
As if teachers weren’t already on maximum overload with classes, counseling, caring, coaching, correcting, testing, planning, meeting, grading, and disciplining.
This presentation provides guidance and specific ideas school staff can use to encourage better student behavior and build better school climates. Don’t worry about these activities taking time away from “academics.” Kids learn best and most efficiently when they feel safe, relaxed, and respected. Creating a nurturing school climate, a sanctuary of politeness and respect, will enhance students’ capacity for, and joy in, learning.
School-Based Substance Abuse Prevention
Changing Normative Beliefs: Adventures at the Cutting Edge of Substance Abuse Prevention
Young people consistently overestimate alcohol and other drug use by their peers. The more alcohol and other drug use students think there is, the more use there will be—even if the perception is wrong. And studies show that these perceptions are wrong. School-based prevention programs aimed at identifying and correcting mistaken normative beliefs can lower levels of use. Drawing on actual student survey findings, social norms theory and environmental approaches to prevention, this presentation examines the use of student attitude and behavior surveys to a) quantify gaps between actual and perceived behaviors and attitudes; b) support students already making healthy choices; and c) construct normative belief interventions to reduce use.
Preventing Substance Abuse: The Parent-School Partnership
Alcohol and other drug use is the single greatest threat to the health and well being of children growing up today. While parents ask the school—“What are you doing about it?”—the fact is that most use takes place on the parents’ watch, not at school. Schools can help, but parents are the most powerful prevention force in a child’s life. This talk examines the key role parents play and how they can work together with their child’s school to keep kids healthy and safe. Topics include: basics of prevention; supporting drug-free kids; how to talk to children about alcohol and other drugs; family characteristics that encourage and discourage substance abuse; and mixed messages (how parents and schools inadvertently condone alcohol and other drug use).
Challenging Cultures: Innovation in Substance Abuse Prevention for International School
Within the context of the unique challenges International schools face, this workshop identifies state-of-the-art, research-based strategies for strengthening the health of the individual student and school community. Major topics include: key elements of culture-sensitive comprehensive prevention; what works and what doesn’t; balancing health- and discipline-oriented approaches to alcohol and other drug use; developing early intervention systems for helping students before their use becomes a serious problem; and using student attitude and behavior surveys to a) quantify gaps between actual and perceived behaviors and attitudes; b) support students already making healthy choices; and c) construct normative belief interventions to reduce use.
Supporting and Encouraging Non-Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs During the Teenage Years
The first goal of a substance abuse prevention program should be to support those students already making healthy choices. Yet the identification and encouragement of young people who don’t use drugs is largely overlooked as a prevention strategy. In the same way that non-smokers have the right to a smoke-free environment, students who choose not to use drugs have the right to attend school without being harassed, hurt, or compromised by the drinking and drug-taking behavior of their peers. This session explores strategies for supporting students who choose not to use. Topics include ways schools inadvertently condone drug use, how to make non-use the community norm, and how to create support and advocacy groups for alcohol- and other drug-free students.
Prevention 101: Creating the Drug-Free School
Effective school-based prevention is more than a drug education course, a set of rules, or a parent meeting. It is the school’s climate – the sum total of values, beliefs, priorities, rules, relationships, and activities that characterize that community. This presentation provides a solid grounding in the principles and key elements of effective, comprehensive prevention. Topics include: what works and what doesn’t; the four variables that correlate most strongly with positive outcomes in reducing drug use; the relationship between social norms and drinking; creating effective infrastructures that survive staff and student turnover; supporting drug-free students; warning signs for use of alcohol and other drugs; teaching strategies that change attitudes and behaviors; long-term prevention planning; balancing health and discipline; drug testing and zero tolerance.
Managing Risk: Protecting School Communities from the Greatest Threat to Adolescent Health and Well-Being
Substance abuse poses a major risk to the well-being of adolescents and school communities. Alcohol and other drug-related incidents, both on- and off-campus, can consume disproportionate amounts of staff time; challenge school rules and policies; and lead to adversarial entanglements with parents—all putting the school’s mission, reputation and sense of community at risk. Built upon actual school programs and student survey findings, this workshop presents research-based strategies for reducing risk in this critical area. Topics include: key elements of effective prevention; early intervention systems; health- versus discipline-oriented approaches; creating flexible yet legally sound policies; and using student data and social norms theory to change unhealthy normative beliefs and reduce use.
Creative Students: How Schools Can Nurture and Protect Them
Research shows that the longer kids stay in school, the less creative they become. How ironic that many schools, in preparing students to contribute to society, strip them of the very qualities that contribute the most. This presentation, based on a four-year study of highly creative children and their parents, identifies those characteristics in teachers and school environments that best nurture creativity, responsibility, and empathy.
Creative Kids: How to Raise, Nurture and Protect Them
The institutions of society, along with certain parenting styles, stamp out creativity as kids get older. Based on a ground-breaking four-year study of creative children and their parents, this talk identifies those factors in the family and home that produce highly creative children. The study reveals six principles that characterize the child-rearing styles of parents of highly creative kids, as well as 10 traits of thinking and personality creative children possess that parents can foster.
Parenting One Day at a Time: Using the Wisdom and Tools of Recovery to Become Better Parents and Raise Better Kids
The conceptual foundations of recovery—patience, acceptance, honesty, gratitude, humility—are powerful, proven tools for personal growth. In many ways, recovery is child-raising—of the child within. Using the wisdom and principles of 12-step programs, this talk shows how the tools used to maintain serenity and sobriety—letting go, asking for help, living in today, accepting responsibility—are the very tools parents need to raise children who will become confident, capable adults. With moving, real-life examples and keep-it-simple advice, this presentation covers many facets of family relationships—building trust, setting limits, solving problems, encouraging responsibility, handling conflict. Parents will discover how parenting one day at a time best prepares children for tomorrow by focusing on the quality of today.