Many factors contribute to a positive learning climate. Strong social emotional skills in both adults and students are a key component of a positive learning climate conducive to academic success. Engaging the participation of all stakeholders including youth in planning, solution generation and problem solving issues in the school environment provides an opportunity for adults to model social emotional skills and youth to practice them. The result is not only individual growth, but opportunities for creating and maintaining a strong positive environment. Instead of having a problem focus, identifying the conditions that lead to problem behavior provides a platform for action planning change through student voice. Creating an environment in which all students feel that their voice is being heard has benefits to individuals as well as to climate as a whole in terms of health and learning outcomes. Research and personal experience has documented that then more youth feel their needs and concerns have been both solicited and taken into serious consideration, the more they feel connected to school and the values of that organization.
This interactive session will involve participants in understanding youth as resources. Participants will leave with resources and strategies for engaging youth and creating positive learning climates.
By participating in this workshop, participants will:
1. Discover the components of social emotional learning and youth engagement
2. Learn strategies for harnessing the power of youth voice in problem solving and planning
3. Practice action planning with a focus on enhancing social emotional skills through youth empowerment.