Thursday, December 10, 2015

This is youth work

Over the course of the semester we have been learning about what youth work is and how to affectively talk to others about the work that we are doing and plan on doing in the future. In this weeks reading, I gained further knowledge and information about youth work and how to talk about it. I read a chapter out of the This is Youth Work text.

Setting the scene: this chapter really solidified a lot of the things that I believe in, and gave me more information about how I feel about youth work.

"We see ourselves, whether paid or
voluntary, as informal educators
contributing to ‘the common good’"
This is the thing that I always try to say but can never find the right words to explain!!! I see myself as an educator in many ways, but I am not a teacher. I think that there is a significant difference between being a teacher and an educator. I think that as a teacher, there are many lines that you are unable to cross and many things that you are not allowed to educate about due to policy and practice issues.

"A commitment to valuing and
attending to the here-and-now
of young people’s experience
rather than just focusing on
This is SO important. So many people focus on the futures and transitions of youth instead of focusing on whatever they are going through now! Things that are happening to youth should not be dismissed as not important enough, because at the time, the issue could be the most important thing in that persons life. I think it is so important to focus on the present and the future, not only what is to come next.
If someone were to ask me about YDEV and what it was, I would be more informed now to reply in an authentic way.
Youth Development is a major for those who want to educate, but do not want to do so in a traditional classroom. With a mixture of education, social work, and nonprofit studies classes YDEV will expose you to educating the way you want to. Being able to pick your own concentration, and choose a mixture of classes that you think make sense for you is also very rewarding. I aspire to make a difference in the lives of youth, and YDEV is making sure that is possible for me. With a concentration in child advocacy, I was able to take classes in Gender Studies, Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Psychology to make me more well rounded and a better advocate for all types of youth who have many different experiences. 

Resilient Kids

This weeks blog about Resilient Kids is really interesting to me because I have never experienced practicing mindfulness in a classroom before. Watching the videos about the things that they do, I think that those practices could have helped me when I was in elementary school and was unable to calm myself down. I think that teachers really expect a lot out of students and do not necessarily give students the tools to achieve what is expected of them.

I think that the glitter jar idea is wonderful. I have made glitter jars before for my nephew and they work wonders! I think that they can be really useful when used the right way. Practicing mindfulness with children is really important. In the school that I did my case study in for SPED 300, there is a teacher who practices mindfulness in her classroom. Her students take turns sitting on yoga balls instead of chairs, they practice deep breathing when they need a break, and I think she modeled her teaching style after Resilient Kids.

That being said, I think that practicing mindfulness as an adult is also really helpful. It is not just for young kids to do. I think a lot of times adults forget to take care of themselves, and it is really important to be mindful for yourself so that you can be mindful for others.

YDEV Open House and Youth In Action's Health Fair

For my events this semester I attended Youth in Action's Health Fair, and the RIC Open House, at the YDEV table.

Youth in Action's Health Fair was a really good time. The youth worked really hard on preparing everything for it including healthy snacks, informational posters, and even a photo booth! I had a really good time interacting with the youth at the health fair. There were numerous organizations that volunteered to come and do various activities and screenings and offered a lot of free information and help that could have been really useful. There were organizations that offered free flu shots, free HIV screenings, free breast cancer information and screenings, and so much more. There were fitness instructors, zumba instructors, kickboxing lessons, and even a mini boot camp. There was not a lot of attendance from the public which some of the staff was disappointed by, but I still think it was a really good experience for the youth to interact with these different organizations. I had a really good time. Check out some of the glamour shots they got of me!

I also went to the Rhode Island College Open House this semester. This was an event that was for prospective students to be able to get information about all the majors that RIC offers. I was at the YDEV table (obviously) with some other students in both our class but also Corrine's 250 class. Our job was to introduce them to the major and try to give the best information that we could so that prospective students would be interested in studying Youth Development. There were some students that came and left right away, and some parents who did not want their children coming to the table at all, BUT there were some students who seemed really interested in YDEV and that is super exciting!! Before I went to the open house, I watched a few of the elevator speeches that are linked on the syllabus, and it really helped me be able to talk about YDEV in an informative and interesting way. I had a really good time at the open house, plus Micah was there!!