STOP! Collaborate & Listen! Event On Point

STOP! Collaborate & Listen! Event On Point
Posted on 04/07/2023
Organizers of the 2nd annual STOP! Collaborate & Listen event.

ESD 123’s Student Support, Migrant Education, 21st Century, and Attendance & Engagement Programs hosted their 2nd annual “STOP! Collaborate & Listen!” professional development event for staff directly serving students.  This highly engaging event garnered a large crowd of attendees representing ESD 123’s programs but also included representatives from the GEAR UP program and CBC Student Financial Aid assistants.  The sessions were relevant and on point, with attendees actively participating in the presenters’ sessions, nodding and contributing.   

“Are you the thermometer or the thermostat?,” Student Threat Assessment Coordinator DeLeon Gause asked.  He had attendees examine their role in establishing successful student collaboration and skillfully encouraged them to draw on their own experiences and insight to guide their future success.  Shelby Jensen, School Safety Center Coordinator, focused on increasing attendees’ awareness of gang-related activity and its indicators to keep students and themselves safe.  She made a clear case for care and consistency in approaching students with concerns.  Molly Brinkley, Regional Educational Technology Coordinator, took people into the present tech world and its considerations with Social Media Awareness and ChatGPT sessions.  Our Educator Growth and Development Coordinator, Mary Kirby, brought attention to how we are all subject to implicit bias in its many forms but how awareness can make a difference in our attitudes and actions.  Carly Coburn from PFLAG Benton Franklin shared statistics and resources in the context of bringing understanding to LGBTQ+ students’ experiences.  Graduation Pathways presenter Ryan Beard outlined many more postsecondary options than students typically recognize.  He encouraged attendees to help students learn that postsecondary education includes trade school, military school, and industry certifications.  He also spoke about encouraging students to join leadership clubs and programs to develop their soft skills, which are critical in today’s workforce.  Attendees also had the opportunity to ask a behavioral health panel questions.  The panel consisted of our Behavioral Health Coordinator, Adriana Mercado, as well as Raul Chavez, and Lourdes Gonzalez, who shared resources for where to turn to or send students for help, along with helpful answers to the questions asked by the crowd. 
Equally important, attendees were able to take care of their own health, with the option to attend Educator Yoga led by MTSS Regional Implementation Coordinator Kelly Bolson or let loose with Hilda Brown, 21st Century Family Engagement Specialist, dancing “Ballet Folklorico” complete with beautiful skirts.  The event closed with a mindfulness session by presenter Megan Tyler who taught breathing techniques and led attendees in a visualization followed by the opportunity for artistic self-expression with watercolors.  Attendees expressed appreciation for the time they had to make new connections and revive old ones while collaborating and learning from each other.  Thank you to the organizers and presenters for coordinating and facilitating such a productive and enlightening event! 

Check out more pictures from the event on our Facebook page here.

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