Online Professional Development for Sexual Health Educators

AJSE e-Chats

The American Journal of Sexuality Education is hosting Wednesday evening e-chats…including one tonight! Thanks to Anne Van Der Veer of Northwell Health for alerting us to this opportunity!

All sessions run 6:00-6:30 PM Eastern, and space is limited. April and May topics:

  • April 22: Emerging Adults’ Perceptions of Male Circumcision in the United States: Facts, Fictions, and Future Plans, with Michelle Murray and Katherine Allen
  • May 6: Teaching Sex Ed Online, with Karen Rayne (this one is full– scroll down to the bottom of the registration page to indicate your interest if they run it again)
  • May 13: Why those from Faith Backgrounds – such as Muslim Communities – Benefit from and Need Comprehensive, Values-Based Sex Education, with Sameera Qureshi
  • May 20: Hegemonic Masculinity During Parent-Child Communication with Sexual Minority Male Adolescents, with Delmacio Flores
  • May 27: Negotiating Shame, Silence, Abstinence, and Period Sex: Women’s Shift from Harmful Memorable Messages about Reproductive and Sexual Health, with Valerie Rubinsky, Angela Cooke-Jackson, & Jacqueline Gunning

Other Opportunities

If you have ideas for online professional development, please add them in the comments!

~ Karen

Reading Club Selection for April 24, 2020

We’re switching it up this week and have a documentary as well as an article for discussion:

  • Let’s Talk About Sex, This 2009 film reveals U.S. attitudes toward adolescent sexuality and the price paid by young people for our unwillingness to talk honestly about sex.

We have a lot to talk about! Remember to register for the meeting.

~ Karen

There’s No Place Like Home: How to Make “Working Remotely” Work for You

It’s been between 3-4 weeks since the majority of us have been working remotely.  While this has had an impact on many facets of our lives, let’s focus on our work lives in this post.  How do you navigate the unique dynamics of working from home, especially if you’re not alone?  There are several challenges related to working remotely such as limited access to files or curricular materials, noise and distractions from those within and outside of your home, and having to deal with health concerns—your own and/or those of your loved ones.  Here are a few tips:

  1. Create a calendar/routine: This is especially important if you have multiple people in the home and have to share space and/or technology.  While our current reality is anything but “normal,” try to promote a sense of normalcy by doing what you used to do before while also establishing some new routines (e.g. shower and get dressed as if you were going into the office—YES, I said get dressed, no matter how tempting it may be to stay in your PJs, schedule and enjoy your meals and breaks, check your emails and use a calendar to keep track of all of your work meetings and activities).  If sharing space/technology, you may want to do this for everyone in your home to avoid scheduling conflicts.
  2. Find/create a space at home to work:  Acknowledging that this may be difficult if space is limited and there are multiple people in your home, try to find a neutral space with few distractions (for you and for those that will see you on video).  If you’re on several virtual meetings, you want to find an area that is well-lit and not too far from your router so that you get a strong connection.  Make sure your seating is comfortable, but not too comfortable…I know the recliner is really tempting.
  3. Step up your technology game:  Since more of us are working online, we’re seeing the good side of technology (e.g. being able to connect with friends and family for virtual hang-out sessions) and the not-so-good side of technology (e.g. Zoom Bombing).  Take this time to learn the basics of some commonly used platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, as well as some newer ways that people are connecting like Houseparty.
  4. Establish boundaries:  Working from home means that it’s easier to get your day started, but it might also make it harder for you to end your day.  It’s important to establish boundaries by letting people (including your family, colleagues, etc.) know when you’re working and when you’re off the clock.  Most importantly, when you’re off…you’re off!  Disconnect from work and reconnect with your actual “home life.”
  5. Be gentle with yourself:  As mentioned previously, there is nothing normal about what we are collectively experiencing.  So, don’t expect to fall into “work as usual” mode so quickly.  Allow yourself time to find your groove in our new reality and, don’t just forgive yourself for making mistakes, but expect them.  Lastly, explore new self-care options:  take an online dance, yoga, or fitness class, listen to your favorite podcasts or audiobooks, take on the those long overdue home improvement projects, experiment with some new recipes or reconnect with loved ones that you’ve lost touch with. 
Michele Luc smiling

~ Michele

Reading Club Selection for April 17, 2020

Our first reading club meeting was a big hit! Though Jutta may have broken out into a bit of a sweat trying to put everyone in and out of small groups, it was great to actually lay eyes on so many people and hear your voices and your insights. Don’t forget to register for this week’s meeting and save some time for the readings:

1. From Public Seminar: The Performance of Transgender Inclusion

2. From Teaching Tolerance: Being There for Nonbinary Youth

Hope to see everyone there!

Do you have suggestions for CAPP/PREP/SRAE reading club selections on adolescent development, adolescent sexual health, or positive youth development? Put them in the comments, and be sure to include a link!

Karen Schantz

~Karen

1st Selection for the Reading Club!

For our first reading club discussion (which will be April 10 at 11:00), we’re taking a suggestion raised at a provider learning collaborative meeting:

Peggy Orenstein: The Miseducation of the American Boy
In this Atlantic article, Orenstein — who interviewed over 100 boys and young men for her new book — considers why we need to give boys new and better models of masculinity.

Additional Resources

  • About Boys
    ACT for Youth web page with additional resources

Happy reading! Don’t forget to register for the discussion!

Introducing Work Groups and Reading Club

Since we are all working from home and much of our regular work is suspended for the time being, we have a rare opportunity for professional development and collaborative work. So at the all-provider learning community meeting this past Tuesday, the TA Team introduced new vehicles for moving forward: online work groups and a book/article club.

In the learning community meeting Heather also went over basics for Zoom meetings from the perspective of participants (00:53 – 08:07) and Michele reported on the results of last week’s survey (08:44 – 22:34). Here is the recording, and here are the PDF slides – you’ll also find them on the Webinars page.

What are Work Groups?

The goal of work groups is to collaboratively develop youth-friendly materials on specific topics: STI/HIV prevention, pregnancy prevention, and healthy relationships (for starters)–and we plan to add a group on social media outreach soon. Using best practices in online learning, we’ll work together to develop resources that:

  • Teachers can use now in online learning platforms
  • Providers can use in component 2 virtual sessions with young people
  • Providers can use for outreach to youth and parents
  • Providers can use in summer programming

Work groups will meet weekly with an ACT for Youth trainer facilitating. Participants will work on projects in between sessions and present their work the following week.

To keep the work groups a manageable size, pick your favorite topic—please don’t sign up for all of them. Agency staff might want to spread out among the groups rather than all signing on to the same group. You can register for group meetings directly from the training calendar.

These work groups are voluntary, but we hope you’ll actively join in! If we can judge by the chat response at our recent meeting, folks seem enthusiastic about taking this on.

What is the Reading Club?

On Fridays we would like to introduce a new professional development opportunity: a book/article discussion group open to CAPP, PREP, and SRAE. We’ll send articles around and facilitate a discussion on the readings. We won’t present on or review the material—we ask you to read the articles first, then we’ll use our time on Friday to discuss how it applies to our work. If you have an article you’d like to share, please let us know! Check back here for links to the first readings.

– The TA Team

Online Professional Development: Things You Can Do in April!

As promised I will share with you online learning opportunities that are posted across the country by different networks and national TA providers.

Leaders of Learning: This course on learning theories is offered by EdX: HarvardX. Faculty from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education facilitate this course until mid-June. It is free; work load 4-6 hours per week; a certificate can be purchased. Starts today.

Staying Connected: How to Foster Student SEL Growth Through Remote Learning: Youth Communications will offer this interactive seminar on Thursday, April 2, 3:00-4:00. The seminar will explore the methods and strategies educators are using to stay connected with students and foster SEL growth during this time.

2020 National Service-Learning Conference: The National Youth Leadership Council is sponsoring this free, virtual conference April 16-17. Register by April 13. Session topics range from youth voice and civic engagement to education equity and reflection.

Motivational Interviewing – Enhancing Engagement & Improving Conversations. This is a two-part webinar, taking place on Monday, April 20 & Wednesday, April 22. You must register separately for each event. This interactive, online training will review and make relevant the key concepts of Motivational Interviewing. Participants will explore how and when to employ this evidence-based practice to support behavior change. Tailored case scenarios will be used to provide hands on, in real time, practice opportunities focusing on substance-misuse-prevention conversations.

Have fun! Stay tuned for more opportunities!

Jutta Dotterweich

~ Jutta

Meeting the Challenge Together

You are all on our minds during this difficult time as we hunker down, physically separated but sharing similar experiences, fears, and hopes. Connecting virtually is not new to our far-flung, statewide network, but important to do—now more than ever. At ACT for Youth—now operating out of each of our households—we are focusing on online connection and professional development.  We are here for you.

  • EBPs are suspended—outreach (virtual) is not. We know that young people continue to need your support, even as normal programming is suspended.  (From Mandy, here’s how to record any incomplete EBP cycles.) No evidence-based programming can continue without in-person meetings, but some of you already have expertise at maintaining your relationships with young people and getting them critical information and education online. Which brings us to…
  • Sharing your social media expertise. On a learning community meeting attended by over 200 providers last week, many of you shared how to locate your social media accounts (check the chat document. We will also have a future post on this topic). CAPP provider Eloise McAviney suggested that we connect our community of educators across the state with #CAPPsexEd – so keep your eye on that across social media (And this means you, too, PREP providers!) We are actively looking for ways for you to share your expertise with your colleagues. Share your thoughts in the comments!
  • Look for more Hub posts, as we will be using this blog to share updates and ideas.
  • More professional development opportunities will be coming your way soon. First, we are asking supervisors to give us the background information we need to be sure we’re on the right track. Supervisors, check your email for the survey link that your TA provider sent you Monday 3/23 and please complete the survey. Jutta and the TA team are meeting just about constantly, retooling the training calendar and planning new ways to move forward on your behalf.
  • Questions about your funding may be at the top of your mind. We expect guidance from the Department of Health soon, though we know that they are in the eye of the storm. We do not have any inside knowledge at ACT for Youth. Supervisors are welcome to direct your questions and concerns about funding to Eric Zasada. In the meantime, rest assured that time spent in online outreach and professional development is time well spent.

Thank you for your dedication and collaborative spirit. We will get through this together.

~ The ACT for Youth Team:
Jane, Jutta, Mandy, Brian, Heather, Jenny, Karen, Marisol, Mary, Michele, Paula, Vanessa, Vicki

New Training Outlook for 2020

We would like introduce a few new features to our training calendar this year. But first things first.

The 2020 Training Calendar is Up!

The 2020 CAPP and PREP Training Calendar, which lists our standard trainings, is now available on the ACT website. Since staff turnover in CAPP and PREP happens fairly regularly, we see the need to offer these trainings every year. We will continue to add additional web sessions. Also, the new Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) grantees will be joining us in many of the regional trainings.

New Learning Collaboratives

This year we want to pilot three new learning collaboratives. Notices will go out soon. Our learning collaboratives are groups of educators and/or supervisors who meet online (via Zoom) to discuss certain critical topics. ACT for Youth training and technical assistance staff lead these meetings. Participation is optional.

  • A learning collaborative for new educators, facilitated by Marisol: This will be an opportunity for new staff to network with other new staff, share challenges, and learn from each other.
  • A learning collaborative for experienced educators, facilitated by Michele: This will be a forum for seasoned staff to explore new strategies, fine-tuning and advancing their skills.
  • A learning collaborative focused on Parent Engagement, facilitated by Heather: We would like to restart this group (originally attempted a couple of years ago) and invite all educators and supervisors interested in this challenging topic.

In addition, we will continue the Supervisor Learning Collaborative, facilitated by me, that will meet monthly starting in March. New members are always welcome!

Announcing: Traveling Workshops

We have a truly new training offering for the new decade! This year we will offer two different half-day (3 hour) workshops, one on self-care and one on youth engagement/classroom management. And we will offer them on request, which means we will travel to you to do the workshop. This way we will be able to offer training in different parts of the state and maybe engage more staff as well. All it takes is a training space for roughly 10-12 people. At your invitation, we will recruit staff from nearby CAPP and PREP providers and provide the workshop at your site.

We are currently developing the workshop material, but will be ready to accommodate requests starting in the spring. So let us know if you are interest in hosting one of these workshops!

~ Jutta

Jutta Dotterweich
Jutta Dotterweich