Emotionally Responsive Schools Conference

Information and Registration

  • General Information

    Conference Details:

    The Emotionally Responsive Schools Conference 2021
    “Healing Classrooms: Weaving a Path from Isolation to Connection”
    Friday, December 10, 2021, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
    Virtual (via Zoom)

    Check back for information on next year’s event!

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    Conference Fees for 2021:

    • Individual Social Worker/Teacher Early Bird: $160 (before November 14)
    • School Community Early Bird: $1,000 (before November 14)
    • Enhanced School Community: $3,500
      • Send up to 7 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 quarterly podcasts 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: $175
    • School Community: $1,100
      • Send up to 7 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 quarterly podcasts on social/emotional issues by Lesley Koplow, Director, Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street

    Payment Information:

    • Pay via Eventbrite
    • Pay by Purchase Order/Check
    • Mail check/money order/purchase order payable to Bank Street College to:
      Bank Street College/Emotionally Responsive Schools Conference
      Attn: Rajko Kramar
      610 West 112th Street
      New York, NY 10025

    Additional Information:

  • Schedule

    Schedule for the 2021 Conference

    TIME ACTIVITY
    9:30 AM Sign-in
    9:45 – 10:15 AM Keynote Presentation
    10:30 AM – 12:00 PM Morning Workshops
    12:00 PM Lunch
    12:45 PM – 1:15 PM Optional Networking Lunch
    1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Afternoon Workshops
    3:15 PM – 3:45 PM Evaluation Process
    4:00 PM – 4:30 PM Closing Comments
  • Morning Workshops

    ERP in the Infant-Toddler Classroom: What It Looks Like and Feels Like to Support the Mental Health of Our Little Ones
    Supporting infant mental health is a complex process involving emotionally responsive caregiving, connecting with nurturing parents, and being able to act with intention and clarity. What does this look like and how can infant mental health professionals stay emotionally healthy themselves?

    Presenters:
    Gabriel Guyton
    Vice President of Child and Family Services
    Verner Center for Early Learning

    Laura Martin
    Director of Child Development
    Verner Center for Early Learning

    Being There: When Children Lose People They Love
    Children who have lost family members or other beloved people in their lives need the adults who surround them to acknowledge those losses within relationship-based, supportive practice. This session will use a developmental framework to help participants understand how young children process loss, grieve, and keep growing. Being with children during this time leaves teachers and other school-based staff in a potentially vulnerable place since children’s losses can trigger our own. Supportive practice for teachers, school leaders, and school-based clinicians will be addressed.

    Presenters:
    Lesley Koplow
    Director, Emotionally Responsive Practice
    Bank Street College

    Eva Peck
    Psychoeducational Specialist, Emotionally Responsive Practice
    Bank Street College

    ECE Leaders Forum: What Policy Makers Need to Know About How You’ve Coped with COVID Through COVID
    Early childhood directors have experienced unprecedented levels of stress and burnout in the wake of COVID-19. Given that administrators often lack in-house colleagues, there has been an increase in feelings of emotional isolation for those in the administrative role. This forum will invite directors to connect with one another in sharing their stories of an overwhelming sense of burden as well as coping strategies for resilience.

    Presenter:
    Mark Nagasawa
    Director, The Straus Center for Young Children and Families
    Bank Street College

    Teddy Bears in Classroom Practice 101*
    Learn how integrating transitional objects like teddy bears into classroom life can strengthen teacher-child relationships, promote empathy and pro-social behavior, and build a safe and sound school community.

    Presenter:
    Felice Wagman
    Psycho-educational Specialist, Emotionally Responsive Practice
    Bank Street College

    *This workshop requires participants to bring a teddy bear or other stuffed animal to the session and have some craft materials handy.

    Nourishing the Black Mind West of Africa: Supporting our Children and Families in our School Communities

    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 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 Burton-Moore
    Mental Health Specialist, Emotionally Responsive Practice
    Bank Street College

    Round Table: Social Work Through The ERP Lens

    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
    Panel: TBD

    Incorporating ERP into the Arts Curriculum**

    Time and space for self-expression are essential for emotionally responsive practice. What better place to apply the ERP lens but the arts classrooms! This year, please join us for a very special practice share from two arts teachers who have taken ERP concepts to mind and heart as they plan their spaces, their practices, and their curriculum. Latanya Coleman is the grades 2-5 dance specialist at Harlem Link Charter School. Leslie Stancil is the preK-2 visual arts teacher at Harlem Link. Both are artists in their spare time. ERP has had a coaching and professional development relationship with Harlem Link Charter School for six years.

    In this workshop, participants will get an inside view of the classrooms and programs that Leslie and Latanya create, while hearing from the teachers/artists about their own process of “viewing through the ERP lens in the arts spaces.” The programs they are creating are works in progress so please be prepared to join in dialogue! Participants will have time to reflect on connecting ERP and the Arts in your own setting. You will also be treated to some parallel process experiences with each teacher. No artistic or dance experience or talent necessary! All are welcome to attend, and we especially hope to see some arts teachers, and/or administrators who value the arts!

    Presenters:
    Latanya Coleman
    Leslie Stancil
    Facilitator:
    Margaret Blachly

    **This workshop is not offered for social work CEUs.

    Singing Is Emotionally Responsive Practice

    This workshop invites you to focus your ERP eyes, ears, and responsive heart when engaging with children through singing. Through a song, and even if for a short time, the dynamic of the group (or dyad) can change—momentarily, deeply, and surprisingly—when intentional sound, faces, and melody is brought into the classroom. Betsy Blachly will demonstrate how certain types of musical moments can help guide the participants into friendly 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.

    If you are hesitant about your singing, this session will help you to find some bravery. Songs open up the imagination of children and can hold the apparent emotional impact in the singing, while simultaneously inviting children to try out a new word or two. 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.

    Facilitator:
    Betsy Blachly
    Retired music specialist with the Bank Street Family Center

  • Afternoon Workshops

    Teddy Bears in Traumatic Times: A Healing-Centered, Trauma-Informed Approach in the Time of COVID
    This session will introduce a developmentally meaningful version of teddy bear work for 3K–Grade 5 classrooms that allows teachers (and clinicians) to partner with children to hold the range of feelings, loss, disruption, and trauma that enter the classroom every day. Bibliotherapy and emotionally responsive literacy is integrated into this approach. Teachers, school leaders, and school social workers are all welcome.

    Presenter:
    Lesley Koplow
    Director, Emotionally Responsive Practice
    Bank Street College

    Working Teachers (TBA)

    The Essentials of Emotionally Responsive Practice
    Participants will be introduced to the core concepts and techniques of Emotionally Responsive Practice that were developed to support the emotional development of children in the early childhood and elementary grade classroom. This workshop focuses on how children’s developmental issues and life experiences come into the classroom and how teachers can respond to these in helpful ways.

    Presenter:
    Andrea Fonseca
    Special Education Teacher
    Castle Bridge School

    The Multiple, Magical, Healing Benefits of News of the Day
    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 and read our students’ news, we are teaching them that their words are 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 Berte
    Early Childhood Teacher
    PS 15

    Coming Back Together: Remote and In-Person Staff Reunite*
    For many schools, last year’s separation of remote teachers and in-person teachers has created a lingering feeling of disconnection between staff members. This session invites both communities to create visual symbols of their own teaching experiences through covid and offers a process for weaving different stories together to strengthen connection and unity among adults at school. Participate for your own wellbeing and/or to learn how to turnkey the process within your school community.

    Presenters:
    Romelle Burton-Moore
    Mental Health Specialist, Emotionally Responsive Practice
    Bank Street College

    Felice Wagman
    Psychoeducational Specialist, Emotionally Responsive Practice
    Bank Street College

    *Participants are asked to bring: scissors, glue, fabric, markers, and construction paper.

    Quilting Our Collective Stories: Using Expressive Arts to Connect with and Support Each Other in Community*
    In this workshop, we will explore the Emotionally Responsive Practice of 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 process and share their stories from the pandemic years 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 introducing 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. Storytelling through symbols, images, and colors happens organically when creating a quilt square. Physical quilt-making is a means of expression that humans have used for millennia to process experiences and create culture. When we are in the virtual space, the grid of faces in our own little windows almost resembles a quilt. This workshop will explore the possibilities and limitations of using the “Zoom Room” as a community-building space and will offer an experience of creating with our hands and sharing our stories within the Zoom venue.

    Presenter:
    Margaret Blachly
    Psycho-educational Specialist, Emotionally Responsive Practice
    Bank Street College

    *This workshop will require that you bring paper, glue, scissors, crayons or markers, and fabric scraps (if you have them) to the virtual room.  

    Tending Our Garden: Guided Imagery and Expressive Art Activity

    In order to nurture the children we teach and care for, we also need to nurture ourselves: our 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.

    Facilitator:
    Deborah Vilas
    Child Life Specialist, Social Worker, Educator