On Friday, May 2, Cushing welcomed Rosalind Wiseman, an internationally recognized author and educator on children, teens, parenting, education and social justice. Her work aims to help parents, educators and young people successfully navigate the social challenges of young adulthood.
Click here to watch a video recording of this event.
In her address to faculty and staff, and our outside audience via live webcast, Ms. Wiseman focused on how we as educators manage ourselves with young people. “Teaching is constantly an opportunity for failure. Teachers are human, but it’s how we manage ourselves with students and how we react to them that makes the difference.”
She went on to outline students’ group dynamics and how boys, for example, take on such roles as Masterminds, Associates, Entertainers, and Punching Bags within their social circles and how educational communities can recognize these positions and work with students to better understand them. “To put kids into boxes and labels is counterproductive and makes it difficult for kids to come to you with their problems and the complexities of their lives. Be mindful of how you react to them – it’s not about power and domination, and in fact that can be counterproductive to many kids and harder for them to invest in their moral compass. Every child should be treated with dignity. Respect is what they can then earn.”
Ms. Wiseman also stressed the importance of addressing conflict strategically, and guiding students to be socially competent. “Don’t lose the value of the moment. Explain what you don’t like, what you want, and what you expect.” Additionally, she relayed, “I’ve learned that an adult who comes to a kid and says ‘I’m sorry’ can be transformational for that child.”
She closed by reminding faculty that, “When there’s conflict with students, these moments that are negative can really become a positive. If we acknowledge what we do, and why, kids will more than likely come and meet us half way.”
To learn more about Ms. Wiseman and links to her publications, please click here