Emotionally Responsive Schools Conference

Information and Registration

  • General Information

    Conference Details:

    The Emotionally Responsive Schools Conference 2022
    “Play, Hope, and the Secret Art of Healing in the Classroom Community”
    Friday, December 9, 2022 from 9:45 AM – 4:45 PM
    Virtual (via Zoom)

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    Conference Fees for 2022:

    • Individual Social Worker/Teacher Early Bird: $200 (before November 20)
    • Group of Six (6) Early Bird: $1,000 (before November 20)
    • Enhanced School Community: $3,500
      • Send up to 6 staff members to the Emotionally Responsive Schools Conference
      • Allow teachers to connect via our Online Emotionally Responsive Practice (ERP) Connections Group
      • Allow school access to a podcast series on social/emotional issues by Lesley Koplow, Director, Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street
      • Includes 2 half-day follow up sessions
    • Individual Social Worker/Individual Teacher: $225
    • Group of 6: $1,250

    Payment Information:

    • Mail check/money order/purchase order payable to Bank Street College to:
      Bank Street College/Emotionally Responsive Schools Conference
      Attn: Gretchen Adams
      610 West 112th Street
      New York, NY 10025

    Additional Information:

    • Participants will receive 5 Social Work CE credits, 5 Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) Hours, or .5 Continuing Education Unit. Please direct inquiries to Lesley Koplow at lkoplow@bankstreet.edu or 212-961-3430.
  • Schedule

    Schedule for the 2022 Conference

    9:30 AM Sign-in
    9:45 AM – 10:15 AM Keynote Presentation
    10:15 AM – 10:30 AM Break
    10:30 AM – 12:30 PM Morning Workshops
    12:30 PM – 1:45 PM Lunch
    1:15 PM – 1:45 PM Optional Networking Discussion Groups
    2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Afternoon Workshops
    3:30 PM – 3:45 PM Break
    3:45 PM – 4:15 PM Closing Comments
    4:15 PM – 4:45 PM Evaluations
  • Morning Workshops

    Workshop 1: Introduction to ERP: Concepts and Techniques

    • Workshop description: Emotionally Responsive Practice is based on our core concepts and techniques, which were developed to support the emotional development and well-being of children in early childhood and elementary grade classrooms. This session focuses on how children’s developmental issues and life experiences come into the classroom, and how teachers can recognize and respond to these in helpful ways.
    • Presenter: Rachel Hass

    Workshop 2: Una Introducción a los conceptos y las técnicas de la Práctica Emocionalmente Responsiva (ERP) – In Spanish

    • Workshop description: La práctica emocionalmente responsiva (ERP) se basa en nuestras técnicas y conceptos centrales, que se desarrollaron para apoyar el bienestar y el desarrollo emocional de las niñas, niños y niñes en clases de primera infancia y primaria. Esta sesión se enfoca en cómo los problemas de desarrollo y las experiencias difíciles o traumáticas en la vida de les niñes entran al salón de clases, y cómo les maestres pueden reconocerlos y responder a ellos ayudándoles a establecer relaciones saludables para que puedan aprender y crecer.
    • Presenter: Andrea Fonseca

    Workshop 3: Teddy Bears in Classroom Practice 101*

    • Workshop description: Learn how integrating transitional objects like teddy bears into classroom life can strengthen teacher-child relationships, promote empathy and prosocial behavior, and build a safe and sound school community.
      *This workshop requires participants to bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal to the session and have some craft materials handy.
    • Presenter: Felice Wagman

    Workshop 4: Nourishing the Black Mind West of Africa: Supporting Our Children and Families in Our School Communities

    • Workshop description: Nourishing the Black Mind is a way to start conversations within the black community about reducing the stigma of mental illness and cultivating ways of mental hygiene that are unique to Black consciousness and experiences. As a part of this effort, we will focus on reintroducing young Black minds to traditions of their ancestors in order to foster a more dynamic approach to mental health that involves movement, sunshine, storytelling and sound as healing forces.
    • Presenter: Romelle Moore

    Workshop 5: The Multiple, Magical, Healing Benefits of News of the Day

    • Workshop description: News of the Day is an inviting and containing practice that gives children the time, space, and support they need to create coherent narratives of their experiences. During this daily healing practice, children are invited to share their news with the class while the teacher takes dictation. When we listen to and write down our students’ news, we are teaching them that their words are worth hearing, writing, and reading. We are teaching them that if they can talk, they can write. And most importantly, we are helping our students feel seen, heard, and loved. Come learn about the multiple, magical, healing benefits of News of the Day.
    • Presenter: Erin Berté

    Workshop 6: Exploring Windows, Mirrors and Sliding Doors: Helping young children find comfort, joy, and opportunities for positive identity development through rich literature experiences

    • Workshop description: In this workshop participants will develop criteria to select books that support young children’s social and emotional wellbeing; books that reflect positive cultural, racial, gender, and language diversity. Participants will develop techniques to use books to invite children’s questions, concerns, and interests within a safe and contained classroom environment. Participants will also explore strategies to extend children’s literature experiences to other areas in the classroom, particularly areas that integrate play.
    • Presenter: Michele Ryan

    Workshop 7: Quilting Our Collective Stories: Reconnecting to Play as a Means of Self Expression*

    • Workshop description: Storytelling through symbol, image, and colors happens organically when creating a quilt square. Many cultures have versions of quilting to hold stories and teach future generations. In this workshop, we will explore using the expressive arts to share stories, build community, and diminish isolation. Participants will learn about using the practice of quilt making in classrooms, as well as in adult and family communities. Participants will be invited to use materials to recall and celebrate play, and will use a digital platform to create a visual quilt that will hold our collective narrative. This workshop always builds surprising connections and provides a therapeutic outlet for expression, while teaching a technique that you can bring back to your classroom or school community. The stories that people share when they work with materials help us realize that we have more in common than we have differences.
      *This workshop will require that you bring paper, glue, scissors, crayons or markers, and fabric scraps (if you have them) to the virtual room.
    • Presenter: Margaret Blachly

    Workshop 8: Singing IS Emotionally Responsive Practice: Play Is The Catalyst

    • Workshop description: Through a song, while singing, (even if for a short time), the dynamic of the group (or dyad) can change-momentarily, deeply, and surprisingly-because intentional sound, faces, gestures, and melody is brought into the space. This workshop invites you to focus your ERP eyes, ears and responsive heart as you engage with children through singing.Betsy Blachly will demonstrate how certain types of musical moments can help guide the participants into self reflection, guided by ERP beliefs and philosophy. She will encourage you to take charge of your singing interactions and spontaneous ideas of word play, tempting you to abandon your self doubts about your musical ability.If hesitant about your singing, this session will help you to find some bravery. Songs, (along with the vibrations that occur) open up the imagination of children and can hold the apparent emotional impact in the sound and the associations. While simultaneously inviting children to try out a new word or two, a gesture, or emit a non verbal reaction, spontaneous interactions with peers, and leaders occur. This is the catalyst of play;Miriam Webster declares that catalyst is an “agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.” An ERP practitioner relies on play to achieve change. A singing ERP practitioner relies on play within sound to open up to the authentic reactions that cannot be controlled. Mutual delight, solid self regard thanks to the pleasure factor, myriad possibilities abound with what feels like abandon;Through simple analysis we will notice the musical reasons for this phenomenon and how self realization might be discovered.One of the advantages of exchanging thoughts amongst participants on Zoom is that we can explore and unpack certain songs (with song sheets) thoughtfully.
    • Presenter: Betsy Blachly
  • Afternoon Workshops

    Workshop 1: Introduction to ERP: Concepts and Techniques (In English)

    • Workshop description: Emotionally Responsive Practice is based on our core concepts and techniques, which were developed to support the emotional development and well-being of children in early childhood and elementary grade classrooms. This session focuses on how children’s developmental issues and life experiences come into the classroom, and how teachers can recognize and respond to these in helpful ways.
    • Presenter: Andrea Fonseca

    Workshop 2: Enhancing Teddy Bear Classroom Practice*

    • Workshop description: This workshop is for participants who have integrated teddy bear work into their classroom practice. Participants will explore using common ground developmental and experiential issues to plan the just right teddy bear experience for their particular classroom setting.
      *This workshop requires participants to bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal to the session and have some craft materials handy.
    • Presenters: Felice Wagman and Romelle Moore

    Workshop 3: Using Play and Metaphor to Heighten Children’s Capacity to Think Deeply and Maintain Emotional Balance

    • Workshop description: This workshop will focus on the 3k-3rd grade child’s developmental need to make sense of the world through play. If we give children time, permission, and invitations for creative thought to come to life through play and metaphor, we diminish anxiety, decrease emotional isolation, and increase children’s ability to make cognitive as well as social connections at school.
    • Presenter: Lesley Koplow

    Workshop 4: Bibliotherapy: Choosing and Using Literature to Cope with Challenging Times

    • Workshop description: Lesley Koplow writes that Bibliotherapy is “the practice of using literature to reflect issues that are salient for the group or individuals to whom it is being read.” How do you know the “just right” book for a moment when the kids in your class need to process an upsetting event, to build community understanding about a tender topic, or simply to have their developmental moment validated? The read-aloud experience is a reflective technique, which opens the door for children to express their wonderings, connections and concerns. In this workshop we’ll talk about different “tender topics” that teachers and other school staff encounter in the school setting, and practice using literature to support children’s coping, healing and resilience-building. We will look at book collections and discuss how to make conversations deep and connective, rather than didactic. You’ll leave the workshop ready to try out a “just right” reflective book on Monday!
    • Presenter: Margaret Blachly

    Workshop 5: Emotionally Responsive Practices in Circle Time

    • Workshop description: Circle time is a beautiful time to come together as a community. If we provide meaningful provocations and invitations, circle time can be a place for self-expression and self-understanding while strengthening attachment, regulation, attunement, and social play.
      This workshop will focus on infants, toddlers, twos, and preschool-aged children.
    • Presenters: Gabriel Guyton and Anja Mayr

    Workshop 6: Tending Our Garden: Guided Imagery and Expressive Art Activity*

    • Workshop description: In order to nurture the children we teach and care for, we also need to nurture ourselves—meaning our own well-being along with our professional growth. This workshop will offer a grounding and healing experience for participants, bolstering our inner resources. With these resources, we are more able to be present and peaceful through the challenges and joys of each day, and to reflect on our own feelings, actions and the situations around us.The facilitator will lead participants through a yoga nidra body scan, beginning with deep breathing, and culminating in a guided imagery meditation. The participants will be invited to draw or paint the images that came to them during the guided meditation. We will then have the opportunity to share our creations and use them as a foundation to explore how we tend to our inner gardens. No artistic acumen is required, just a willingness to dive in.
      *Please bring blank paper and whatever writing/drawing/painting materials you prefer.
    • Presenter: Deb Vilas

    Workshop 7: Round Table: Social Work Through the ERP Lens

    • Workshop description: Social Workers from a range of settings will share their experiences and practice in using ERP techniques, particularly during these ongoing complicated and stressful times. Participants will be engaged in exploring their own work, process, and questions in order to support all that they are going through, and what we are going through together. All are welcome to attend and participate! You don’t have to be a social worker or mental health professional to join in this shared dialogue.
    • Facilitator: Lori Ann Mangal

    Workshop 8: Honoring The Whole Child: Using ERP with Children with Special Needs

    • Workshop description: Current Special Education Practices heavily focus on the medical model which reduces children to their diagnosis and symptoms. This can lead to lowered standards, sterile relationships, and a rigid environment. Through stories from a special education teacher’s practice, this session delves into how the whole child can be honored, valued, and celebrated through Emotionally Responsive Practice. Participants will join the speaker in sharing stories, reflecting on our practice and applying a deep understanding of child development and supportive techniques to create a nurturing and safe space for students in special education.
    • Presenter: Emily Cullen-Dunn