Thursday August 4, 2016

Time to SOAR

I presented a two-hour workshop on Temperament and Communication for SOAR for Youth in July.

"SOAR for Youth offers an intensive and innovative program to serve some of the most vulnerable members of our community: foster youth. In community partnership with UC Berkeley and with support from many volunteers, partners, and donors, SOAR fosters the inspiration, confidence, and independence that are often missing from the lives of these young people."
"Through a three-year summer residential pre-collegiate program and additional years of academic support, SOAR teaches, coaches, and counsels our young people (grades 6 -12) in academics, life skills, leadership, emotional intelligence, and career development."

These third-year students had attended a "True Colors" temperament workshop last year. The program director wanted a deeper look, this year, into how knowledge of temperament can be applied to communication.

I've been working with Mary Miscisin's Personality Lingo system (based on True Colors and enhanced in several ways). A fellow BAAPT member, who has worked with SOAR, contacted me about teaching this workshop.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk to the students.

The session was on Sunday night, just after the students had dinner. It was their first "class" of the program week. (I saw their schedule. It's a busy week!)

I had 24 participants: 13 students (ages 14 - 16; mostly 16), as well as 9 counselors, plus the program director and a visiting funder (the latter for just the first hour). That made for 6 people per table which was a good number.

I did an excerpt (3+ exercises and half of the slides) from the Personality Lingo Communication module / workshop.

I had put "crowns" made of thin foam sheets in appropriate colors on each table, much like these but not stars. (The packs also included purple and red, which I'll give to our local elementary school).

When the participants did the color refresh, we had 6 Orange, 8 or 9 Blue (Connector), and about 4 each Green (Thinker) and Gold (Planner). For balance, some of the Blues "played" Green or Gold for the exercises.

Many of the students doodled on their handouts. The Oranges (Movers) doodled on everything, including the crowns. One girl's hands never stopped moving. (I feel for her teachers.)

One boy doodled math equations on his handout. (Yes, he was Green (Thinker).)

One girl used a green foam crown instead of a name badge, placing the stickers for the other three colors on that. Another girl skipped the stickers and drew colored circles on her name tag because she'd written her name large and didn't want to cover it up.

My timing was excellent. I hit the end of the Core Values and Introvert / Extravert differences just before the planned break. After the break, they re-arranged into like-color groups. (I completely forgot the colored table markers I had prepared but no one noticed.)

Instead of using the 18x12 sheets of paper I'd originally planned (really, too small) I used flip-chart sized sheets of paper (24" x 36") on the tables. (There was only one actual flipchart easel in the room and also, this way the students could sit or stand or lean as they wanted.)

The large sheets of paper worked very well and gave great temperament clues. For example, the Oranges and Blues mostly ignored their worksheets and went straight for putting things onto the posters. The Golds worked together on the worksheets and transferred to the poster. The Greens worked independently and silently on their worksheets until I called time and then one student transferred everything (and I mean everything from the table's worksheets to the poster.

The Oranges wrote every line on their poster sheet in a different color.

The Blues were collaborative, wrote in two shades of blue, and the girl who reported asked "Do you want me to do it?"

The girl who did the transcribing to the Gold poster used brown ink and drew a
before each statement. She actually drew bullet points! I was delighted!

The Green transcriber used black ink and very small writing to fit everything on.

Every time I saw something that made an example, I mentioned it. I walked around the room. They asked questions.

I really enjoyed doing this workshop. It reminded me of my teaching assistant time in grad school.

I got the feedback from the director yesterday. (Only the students submit feedback, so there wasn't any from the counselors).

Unlike adults, whose feedback surveys tend to be "on a scale of 1 to 5" or "Satisfactory, Not Satisfactory", the students evaluations are simple: Awesome, OK, or Boring. I got 7 "Awesome", 4 "OK", and 2 "Boring" (just not their thing? No way to ask.)

The director asked if I would be willing to come back in the future. I said yes.

Thanks to Gina Snyder, Diana Brown, and Mary Miscisin, for this opportunity. I had a great time.


Time to SOAR ( in category Personality Type , Show & Tell , Special Interests ) - posted at Thu, 04 Aug, 13:53 Pacific | «e»

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