Welcome to Your Self Series ™! If you are reading these pages, we are hoping it’s because you have made the most excellent and amazing choice of implementing YSS ™ for your teens (and for you!).
Good preparation is the key to success. Just like you would train for a marathon, or prep for a speech, or rehearse for a show, preparing for YSS ™ is essential to a positive outcome. YSS ™ is different from traditional courses in many ways, and as a result, it may take you outside your “comfort zone” initially. Sound preparation will help you to make the YSS ™ environment your new zone of comfort, and indeed, of highest learning. To that end, in this first step, we ask that you (and each teacher to be involved in teaching) read the introduction and “Self” explanation in the Educator’s 411 to orientate you to the PD material that follows.
Of note, choosing the right teacher to facilitate YSS ™ in your setting is of utmost importance. In some settings, you may not have a choice as to which teacher will be helping students navigate the course. You may have chosen YSS ™ for your Health curriculum and thus, the teachers are already chosen for you. And that’s fine! That’s why this PD section was created – to make sure everyone is in the right mindset!
However, if you have the liberty of choosing a person, such as when you are running an After School program, we do ask that you carefully consider the qualities of that facilitator. Ask yourself:
- Who is well-connected with students? Whom do students trust and with whom do they feel safe?
- Who is able to “go with the flow” and is least bothered when things don’t go as planned?
- Who is most able to “give up control” in a classroom?
- Who is non-judgemental and open to various viewpoints?
- Who is comfortable with emotions and can handle them in a group setting?
If one person’s name keeps coming to mind over and over again when asking these questions, then that is your YSS ™ facilitator.
And, yes, please notice that we use the word “facilitator.” As you will discover, YSS ™ is not taught “lecture style” like a traditional class. It is very student driven, with the teacher simply acting as a good “guide,” helping students to stay on course and manage any bumps in the road. Their final destination is course completion and self-discovery, but the stops teens will take in getting there are many and varied. Each run through the course material will be unique to the students in that particular class.
The following four steps of this PD will help your facilitator prepare and be ready for implementing YSS ™. In the first step, teachers implementing YSS ™ will be asked to answer some personal questions about themselves. Answering the questions is the first step because it is of primary importance to the success of the program. Not only does it mirror the self-reflective process teachers will be asking their students to take, but it also helps teachers ready their own minds and be aware of areas that will need their added attention for program success.
We wish you and your students great success and, of course, feel free to contact us and share your experiences… the good, the bad and the ugly (although we know you won’t really have any ugly…)! We welcome the feedback as we believe that we can only get better with your insights. In the next post of this introduction there is a short video of us – Paula and Chris – where we introduce our selves so that you can put “a face to a name,” in hopes that it will make you more likely to reach out to us.
Thank you for choosing Your Self Series ™. We believe that one day your students will thank you as well.