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Student Workshop - Dr. Marcia McEvoy

Student Workshop

The goals of the elementary and middle school student workshop are five-fold:

  1. To enhance students’ understanding of the dynamics of peer mistreatment, reduce desensitization by broadening the definition of mistreatment to include even subtle mean behaviors that cause harm, and heighten their awareness of the problem.
  2. To help students develop empathy for the targets of peer mistreatment.
  3. To empower bystanders through a highly interactive series of role-plays how to proactively respond to hurtful behavior when they see it (when it is safe to do so), how to emotionally support the targets, and how to report it to an adult.
  4. To demonstrate to students through a series of lively role-plays how to respond proactively when they are targeted by an aggressor and how to enlist the support of bystanders.
  5. To teach students through guided practice the most productive way to get adult help when aggression continues.

The workshop is conveyed through the use of role-plays, guided practice, large group discussion, video materials, and real-life stories based on years of experience with aggressive students, targets, and bystanders. It is fun, engaging, highly interactive, and yet filled with important information and concrete tools to combat all mean behavior, including bullying. Follow-up activities are given to the staff to help continue the lessons and skill practice in the weeks after the initial student workshop.

In addition to conducting student workshops, training can also be provided in how to conduct the student workshop (for school social workers, counselors, school psychologists, or other interested personnel). Schools who want to provide refresher courses conducted by their own staff in future years will be interested in this option.

In most medium-sized elementary or middle schools (300–400 students), it takes two days to deliver the student workshop to the entire student body (two 60 minute sessions per group,5-6 sessions a day, with group size of between 50-70 students). For a school of 500–650, it takes three full days. Groups larger than 70 make it difficult for every student to have the opportunity to participate in the guided role-plays and skills practice. The workshop is highly interactive, and works best when all students can actively participate if they so choose.

The workshop for the 9th –12th grade students entails two 80-85 minute sessions and covers all the material outlined above in the description of the elementary and middle school presentation with similar training goals. It also covers sexual/racial/cultural harassment, and helps students understand the dynamics and appropriate responses to all forms of harassment. Because the workshop is highly interactive, groups no larger than about 70-75 students at a time are recommended. The workshop can be aimed at a targeted group (e.g., 9th-12th grade student leaders, all freshmen), or the entire high school population depending on the need.

For more information on availability and prices, contact Dr. McEvoy via email or phone.