Teachers from throughout the district participated in a “Collaboratorium,” facilitated by the Lynbrook Teacher Center on Feb. 29. A Collaboratorium is a participant-driven professional development event where the participants set the agenda with the assistance of a skilled facilitator and the workshops consist of an exchange of information and ideas. During the event, the teachers focused on the theme #whatsinyourcup which was taken from a short fable that teaches the importance of working towards filling our cups with “gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation, kindness, gentleness, and love for others,” while also taking care of ourselves.
The event spotlighted the importance of self-care for teachers. For teachers to bring out the very best in their students, they must first make sure they are their own best self. Many of the teachers received a copy of Hoda Kotb’s book, “I Really Needed This Today” as a door prize for attending the day. Workshops were presented by both Lynbrook educators and educators who work in other school districts. These included:
• Adam Javidi, a Lynbrook resident and assistant principal in Locust Valley, presented “Why Emotions Matter”: Using RULER (a Social Emotional Program from Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence) as a lens to see the value in social-emotional learning and how it can positively impact the entire school community.
• Andrea McDevitt, Lynbrook resident and Ashley Occhino, two educators from the Baldwin Public Schools, presented the importance of using mindfulness every day. They reinforced that “self-care for teachers means not pouring from an empty cup.”
• Director of the Inter-County Teacher Center Carol Weintraib presented on Restorative Circles with a spotlight on self-care. Restorative Circles are a restorative practice used to strengthen school climate, respond constructively to conflict and incidents of harm, and reduce reliance on suspensions and other punitive approaches to discipline.
• Jamie O'Rourke, English teacher at Lynbrook South Middle School presented a book talk on Mel Robbins’ book, “The Five Second Rule: How to Enrich Your Life and Destroy Doubt in Five Seconds.”
• Deb DeBetta’s mindfulness students from Lynbrook High School lead a student mindfulness workshop. The teachers explored and investigated the practices of mindfulness for stress reduction and overall well-being. These classes are based out of the teachings of Jon Kabat-Zinn and the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness, MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) program.
• Anne Conway, a Marion Street School educator, presented on “Vision Boards.” Vision boards are a means using self-reflection to help cleanse yourself of your past and create a positive path for your future.
• Karyn Avery presented a workshop on essential oils. Teachers were taught the basics about essential oils and how they can be safely used daily to support overall emotional and physical health.
To conclude the event, the Lynbrook High School Choir performed. Teachers had a great time learning from others and focusing on how to strengthen their mental and physical wellbeing.