Here’s an update on the Prevention Team!
Currently we’re in McCoy Elementary School,
Park Crest Middle School,
Hutto Middle School,
and Hutto High School. We work in a total of 28 classes each week and see over 500 students! We’re implementing our Project Empowerment curricula which was developed for Williamson County. It’s interactive violence prevention and has been incredible to facilitate!
A few weeks ago I hung out with our previous Domestic Violence Prevention Specialist, Amrit, and I was expressing a change in the way I structure classes. The old Corey Ann would’ve tried to construct and plan a class so that there are no interruptions or opportunities for students to get distracted or divert the focus. I found myself starting to do this with my classes, but then I realized that if I didn’t allow the students to naturally behave – how could we practice what we’re learning?
OK – ENOUGH BIG TALK – LET’S SPEAK CLEARLY
I was scared. I feared the moment where I didn’t have control. I dreaded the thought of a teacher or administrator seeing a class that was not behaving perfectly, answering the questions, and doing the work.
BUT if I walk into a class and structure every activity so that there isn’t a possibility for cross talk, for students to challenge each other, and for students to voice opposition – HOW can the students practice respecting each other? HOW can the students practice disagreeing with each other but not arguing? HOW can the students see the difference between disagreement and arguments? HOW can the students understand what it feels like to be respected without using aggression, threats, or violence? In a perfectly structured class, these pieces wouldn’t come up – they’d be too busy or silenced. Furthermore, the belief that their behavior is predominantly under my control (or any authority) is reinforced. This is the opposite of Project Empowerment and our entire message.
Amrit, putting words to my struggle, said, “You’ve got to leave room for the magic.”
Yes! I do! Because in those moments where the students act out – or rather, they act like little humans trying to figure out their place in the world – is where we get to practice and watch and fail and try and define and learn and YES.
Which begs the question – when life becomes challenging, what skills do you have to navigate it? Because let me tell you, these kids…they’ve got some magic. And it’s a great privilege to assist in bringing that out of them.
-Corey Ann Seldon
Sexual Violence Prevention Specialist