Thanks to all of you who came out for our October MSN meeting - while it was a little bittersweet to be back on Zoom, we got back into the groove of Connection Groups and using the chat quickly, and got to hear some great examples from folks across our network.
Check out the October Meeting slides here and see below for Community Announcements and some of the great practices shared by your colleagues. Also in the slides: see the meeting topics and themes proposed by network members at our Sept kickoff, and check out the resources we gathered from the Office of Workforce Development (how to get your postings spread wider, etc) for those of you hiring OST staff.
Making connections: who are the young people standing in front of me?
The majority of our meeting we spent talking about the ways that we try to get to know young people at the start of the year in our programs. In doing this, we navigate multiple tensions that can’t be totally avoided (see slide below). For example, young people need to feel psychological safety and know that you won’t put them on the spot to answer deep and meaningful questions before they are comfortable; however, you also want to communicate that you care about more than just surface level information on the way to building a deeper relationship.
We got to hear from a few MSN members talking about how they navigate these tensions - and sharing super helpful examples of what they actually do in their programming:
Ben Godfrey, Program Director of the Pre-Teen/Middle School Program at the Moore Youth Center (moved from the Moses Youth Center!) shared two tools and his thinking behind them:
Bo Lembo and Melinda Rosado also shared some brilliant examples from Gately’s Middle School Program:
Lastly, I shared two resources (see slides).
So long for now...
As most of you know (especially if you’ve seen me in person!), I’ll be on maternity leave soon, welcoming my second baby to the family. I love this group and hearing from you all and what you can learn from each other. There will be more joint meetings with ESON while I’m gone, but still many opportunities to share examples, ask questions and move as a group towards giving young people what they need and making sure they are engaged in great programming across the city. I’ll be back in late February - just in time to pester you all about going into Upper Schools to advertise summer programs!
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