Emotionally Responsive Schools Conference

Information and Registration

  • General Information

    Conference Details:

    The Emotionally Responsive Schools Conference 2023
    “Holding and Healing: Supporting Communities and Ourselves in Changing Times”

    Friday, November 17, 2023 Virtual (via Zoom)
    10:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET

    Register (eventbrite with a fee)

    Register (through Bank Street, no fee)

    Group Registration (through Bank Street google forms, no fee)

    Conference Fees for 2023:

    • Individual Social Worker/Teacher Early Bird: $200 (Register by October 31)
    • Group of Six (6) Early Bird: $1,000 (Register by October 31)
    • Individual Social Worker/Individual Teacher: $275 (Register on or after November 1)
    • Group of 6: $1,400 (Register on or after November 1)

    Payment Information:

    • Purchase orders- Register through Bank Street. Change the drop down menu from “I will pay the total” to “I have a supporting letter or PO from my school”. We will forward an invoice within 3-5 business days of registration.
    • To pay an invoice by check or money order , make it payable to Bank Street College and mail to:
      Bank Street College
      Attn: Emotionally Responsive Schools Conference
      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 Continuing Professional Studies at cps@bankstreet.edu or 212-961-4649.
    • We are excited to announce that we are using the Whova App to support the conference this year. Get Whova Now.

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  • Schedule

    Schedule for the 2023 Conference

    10:00 AM – 10:30 AM Welcome and Keynote: Lesley Koplow
    Story Problems and the Problem of Untold Stories: Making Space for Whole School Connection, Creativity, and Healing
    10:40 AM – 10:50 AM Break
    10:50 AM – 12:50 AM Morning Workshops
    12:50 AM – 2:15 PM Lunch
    1:30 PM – 2:15 PM Optional Networking Discussion Groups
    Teddy Bears in Practice
    Facilitators: Joy HealyStaying Connected with Parents
    Facilitator: Yandra MordanImplementing ERP in an Academically Driven School Environment
    Facilitator: Catlin Preston
    2:15 PM – 3:45 PM Afternoon Workshops
    3:45 PM – 4:00 PM Break
    4:00 PM – 4:50 PM Closing Activity
    4:50 PM – 5:00 PM Feedback Forms
  • Morning Workshops

    2023 Morning Workshops

    Workshop 1: Introduction to ERP: Concepts and Techniques

    • Emotionally Responsive Practice is based on 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: Lori Ann Mangal is a Licensed Social Worker and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant

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

    • 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 is a K-1 ICT Teacher at Castle Bridge School (PS 513)  in Upper Manhattan. Andrea has been using ERP practices for over 15 years in her classroom practice.

    Workshop 3: 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 prosocial behavior, and build a safe and sound school community.
      *Please bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal to the session and have some craft materials handy. We will send a short list prior to the conference.
    • Presenter: Felice Wagman is a psychoeducational specialist and coach at Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street. She has been supporting teachers and children in their ERP practice for over two decades.

    Workshop 4: Nourishing the Black Mind West of Africa: Rice is Not a Side Dish! Bringing Individual and Collective Traditions into the Classroom / School Community

    • 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 is a Mental Health Specialist and coach at Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street. She is also the founder of Nourishing the Black Mind West of Africa.

    Workshop 5: Nurturing Educators: Prioritizing Teacher Mental Health for a Thriving Learning Environment

    • In this workshop, we will explore the crucial topic of teacher mental health and its impact on both educators and the learning environment. Participants will gain a deep understanding of the importance of prioritizing teacher wellbeing and the therapeutic strategies used to support and promote positive mental health among educators. We will engage in content from a few of our group therapy sessions to feel what it will be like for teachers.Through interactive discussions, activities, and practical tools, you will leave empowered to advocate for nurturing and sustainable educational environments for both teachers and young children.
      Ideal workshop participants include: Early Interventionists, Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants, Early Education Professionals (including teachers and directors), and Infant Mental Health Specialists.
    • Presenters: Laura Martin, LCSWA, LCASA is Vice President of Clinical Services at Verner Education Center in Asheville, North Carolina. She has used ERP in her early childhood classroom practice and supported a research study about using ERP.
      Anja Mayr, MPH is the Clinical Services Manager at Verner Center for Early Learning’s Center for Resilience in Asheville, NC. She was previously the Lead Infant Room Educator in a mixed-funding Early Head Start classroom at Verner, where she utilized ERP throughout the day, especially enjoying ERP during circle time.

    Workshop 6: 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, 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 are 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. One of the advantages of exchanging thoughts amongst participants on Zoom is that we can explore and unpack certain songs (with song sheets) thoughtfully.
      If you are hesitant about your singing, this session will help you to find some bravery.
    • Presenter: Betsy Blachly is a Certified Music Therapist and a retired early childhood music teacher. She taught music with infants to 7 year olds at the Bank Street School for Children for 42 years.

    Workshop 7: How ERP Can Support Getting Started with Project-Based Learning in the Upper Elementary Classroom

    • In this workshop, through an ERP lens,  participants will learn routines, structures and activities that set children (and teachers!) up for doing curriculum-based and independent projects later in the school year. Topics include: Guided Discoveries, Station work, Mini-Projects, Challenges, and Longer-term projects. Participants will explore how to integrate ERP techniques into project-based work.
      *Bring colorful paper, tape, and recycled materials such as cardboard scraps.
    • Presenter: Alexis Neider is a 4th-5th Grade ICT Teacher at the Neighborhood School in Lower Manhattan. Alexis has been using ERP practices for many years in her classroom practice.

    Workshop 8: Holding and Healing for Parent Engagement Workshop

    • This workshop will empower individuals that work closely with students to create a nurturing and supportive environment that fosters meaningful parent engagement. This workshop aims to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to build strong relationships with parents, address their concerns, and collaborate effectively to improve children’s well-being. Participants will actively engage with trauma-informed approaches for working with families and identify next steps to implement with their families that will allow students to thrive in and outside of school.
    • Presenter: Kesina Gray-Graham is Co-Director of Student and Family Affairs (lower grades) at Harlem Link Charter School

    Workshop 9: Administrative Round Table: Why ERP? How Emotionally Responsive Practice Can Guide our School Leadership

    • Join principals, superintendents, directors, and APs in a candid conversation about how using an ERP lens in their policy, practice, and decision-making affects how they respond and support teachers, families, children, and the larger community. Each participant will be able to ask questions of these seasoned educator-leaders, and envision how they might bring ERP more intentionally into their own school leadership work.
    • Presenter: Reggie Higgins is currently Deputy Superintendent, District 2, NYCDOE. In his prior work as assistant principal and principal in a NYCDOE school, he supported the  implementation the use of teddy bears and ERP practices.
    • Panel: TBA

    Workshop 10: Quilting Our Collective Stories: Creating a Holding and Healing Space for Community*

    • In this workshop, we will explore using the expressive arts to share stories, build community, and diminish isolation. In many cultures, quilts hold collective memories for future generations. Storytelling through symbol, patterns, image, and colors happens organically when creating a quilt square. 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 consider the theme of the conference: “Holding and Healing.” We will use a digital platform to create a visual quilt that will hold our collective narrative. You will build surprising connections and experience a therapeutic outlet for expression, while learning a technique that you can bring 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 might initially think.
      *Bring paper, glue, scissors, crayons or markers, and fabric scraps (if you have them) to the virtual room.
    • Presenter: Margaret Blachly is a psychoeducational specialist, coach and assistant director at Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street. Prior to supporting educators, she used ERP techniques and teddy bears in her early childhood classroom.
  • Afternoon Workshops

    2023 Afternoon Workshops

    Workshop 1: Going Deeper into Nourishing the Black Mind West of Africa: Processing & practical ways to bring traditions and culture into the classroom/school community.

    • This workshop is a continuation of the morning session focusing 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. We will deepen the morning’s information and ideas.
      Participants are welcome to join, even if they attended a different workshop in the morning.
    • Presenter: Romelle Moore, LMSW, is a psychoeducational specialist and coach at Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street. She is also the founder of Nourishing the Black Mind West of Africa.

    Workshop 2: Enhancing Teddy Bear Classroom Practice*

    • This workshop is for participants who have already integrated teddy bear work into their classroom practice, and want to take it to the next level, or use it to address particular emergent issues or topics. Participants will explore using common ground developmental and experiential issues to plan the just right teddy bear experience for their particular classroom setting.
      *Bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal to the session and have some craft materials handy.
    • Presenters: Felice Wagman is a psychoeducational specialist and coach at Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street. She has been supporting teachers and children in their ERP practice for over two decades.

    Workshop 3: 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 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 is an early childhood teacher at PS 15 in Brooklyn. She has been using ERP practices in her classroom for over 15 years.

    Workshop 4: Reflecting on Our Practice from an Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Lens

    • Trauma-informed practice is more than a list of tips and tricks, and it is not only for children who have experienced trauma. It is a lens from which we can transform our practice to center care and emotionally responsive practice. In this workshop we will examine and reflect on our practices using an equity-centered trauma-informed lens designed by Alex Shevrin Venet.
    • Presenter: Liz Hartline is Assistant Professor of ECE and Site Coordinator of the Alani Children’s Center at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. She has brought ERP training to her staff in Honolulu, and also in NYC when she served as interim director of the Bank Street Head Start. Liz’s advocacy has supported developing trauma-informed and healing-centered programs for many years.

    Workshop 5: Emotionally Responsive Practices in Circle Time for Young Children

    • 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 is an Infant & Family Reflective Supervisor and  Vice President of Child and Family Services at the Verner Early Learning Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
      Omaira Ojeda is a bilingual educator, adept at integrating two languages into the classroom and creating a nurturing and inclusive environment where young children thrive, feel seen and included.

    Workshop 6: Play Maps: Guided Imagery and Expressive Art Activity*

    • In order to nurture the children we teach and care for, we also need to nurture ourselves—tending to our well-being and life/work balance. This workshop will offer a grounding and healing experience for participants, providing a chance to check in with our bodies, relax, remember, draw, share, and hopefully laugh. The facilitator will lead you through a yoga nidra body scan, beginning with deep breathing, and culminating in a guided imagery meditation, connecting you to memories of childhood play through the five senses. You will be invited to draw or paint a map of the images that came to you during the guided meditation. We will then have the opportunity to share our creations in small groups and use them as a foundation to explore how we make room for play in our adult lives.  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 has worked as a child life specialist, preschool teacher, and social worker. She is currently the director of the Child Life program at Bank Street Graduate School of Education.

    Workshop 7: 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. We will engage in exploring our own work, process, and questions in order to support all that you 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 is a Licensed Social Worker and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant with over  10 years of experience working with children and families, including as a Pre-K Social Worker with the NYCDOE.
    • Panel: TBA

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

    • 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. You 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. The goal is to move away from current special education practices that heavily focus on the medical model which reduces children to their diagnosis and symptoms.
    • Presenter: Emily Cullen-Dunn is currently a professor and assistant director of the Art of Teaching Program at Sarah Lawrence College and Westchester Community College. Prior to this, she was a special education teacher in a second grade integrated co-teaching class in Westchester, New York.

    Workshop 9: School Community Round Table: Supporting Children with Immigration Stories

    • If you are a teacher, social worker, or administrator working in a school serving many children of asylum seekers, come to share the stories of your work with colleagues who are having parallel experiences. Teaching and caring for children who carry trauma and loss into the classroom during a time of major transition can be life altering for both teacher and child. This workshop will provide a supportive space to feel in community and gather new ideas for using ERP concepts and techniques to support children and families, as well as yourself.
    • Presenter: Lesley Koplow, LCSW, is the founding Director of Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street College. She is a clinical social worker, teacher, and author who has written several books on supporting child mental health in schools, as well as multiple books for children.
    • Panel: TBA

    Workshop 10: The Drawing Club: Helping Young Children Process Stress and Trauma in Classroom Settings*

    • In this workshop, I will share highlights from my dissertation research where I used drawing as a meaning-making framework (Anning & Ring, 2004; Wright, 2007) to examine children’s lived experiences portrayed in their drawings and stories. In this context, drawing is a strength-based approach (Galinsky, 2020) that amplifies children’s voices and gives them a sense of agency. Through drawing-telling (Wright, 2010) children are empowered to tell their own stories and reclaim their agency rather than being defined by the events that happened to them. When educators take the time to attend to children’s meaning-making through drawings, they can implement more holistic classroom learning experiences. By the end of this workshop, you will learn how to facilitate a Drawing Club in your classroom as well as other examples of strength-based strategies to support children’s emotional well-being.
      *Bring blank paper and any drawing materials you prefer.
    • Presenter: Mila Costa is an Advisor and Instructor in the Early Childhood Special Education Program at Bank Street College of Education.

    Workshop 11: Story Seeds: Using Picture Books to Support Identity Discussions

    • Learn to choose the best books to support children as they build their own identities and shape attitudes and behaviors towards people who differ from them.  The right picture books can be safe, powerful tools to serve as “windows, mirrors and sliding glass doors” reflecting children’s own identities. Reading allows children to build self worth and find joy and pride within themselves and take a few steps in the shoes of others, opening windows to the possibilities of other worlds
    • Presenters:
      Susie Rios is a kindergarten teacher with 20 years of teaching experience in elementary education. She co-founded and co-chairs the Anti-Racist Book Group at Bank Street College.
      Kharissa Kenner is the children’s librarian at Bank Street School for Children. She is a member of the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Committee, and is co-chair of the Anti-Racist Resources Committee at Bank Street College.
  • Add-on Services

    Add-on Services for schools/programs Participating in the 2023 ERP Conference

    Schools often find that additional services enhance the implementation of the ideas and strategies that were experienced during the conference. Services can be tailored to your community’s needs and goals. All Services are discounted through January for participants in the 2023 conference.

    Coaching Sessions:
    Promotes integration of ERP core concepts and implementation of ERP techniques through observation, consultation, and modeling.

    Support Group Series:
    Provides safe and supportive space for teachers to discuss classroom experiences and integration of ERP approaches. 

    Parent Sessions:
    Provides safe and supportive holding space for family grownups to establish a deeper sense of community with one another. ERP provides support in navigating challenges at home and ways to enhance their connection to themselves and their self care needs and to their children. Possible sessions include Parenting in Times of Change; Cherry Pies and Lullabies: Parenting past, present and future; End of School Year Issues and Transitions

    Professional Development Series:
    Half-Day Sessions can be created specifically for your center’s needs or what is emerging for each group. Popular workshop title include Development and Experience Come to School; The Power of Reflective Language and Literacy; Trauma-informed and Healing-Centered practices for Educators; Bibliotherapy and Teacher-Made Books

    Individual support sessions for teachers (supporting mental health AND teaching practice):
    These sessions provide a safe space for teachers and classroom assistants to discuss classroom experiences and the integration of ERP approaches. They will share and partner in thinking with an ERP coach about building emotionally responsive school space as well as responding to specific needs and situations.

    Administrator & School Leader Support sessions:
    These sessions provide a safe space for administrators and mental health team members to share and partner in thinking with an ERP coach about building emotionally responsive school space as well as responding to specific situations.

    Social Work Supervision and/or Mental Health Team Support Sessions:
    These sessions provide a safe space for clinical practitioners to  share and partner in thinking with an ERP coach about building emotionally responsive school space as well as responding to specific situations. Our clinical social workers can provide required supervision hours for social workers.

    In-Person services are currently available in the NYC metropolitan area, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York Hudson Valley, Providence and greater Rhode Island, the Boston metropolitan area. Travel costs will be included for all in-person services. In-person services for other geographic areas are available and include additional costs for lodging.

    Email ERP@bankstreet.edu to discuss options for your center/school!