Friday, December 9, 2016

Purposeful Play Debrief

Debrief to Purposeful Play

Initially I was not sure about how I felt co directing a purposeful play. Besides instructing dance and working as a paraprofessional I felt that a bit nervous because I am find that I am still figuring out how to teach as a human service worker.  We are not teaching like a standard Elementary or high school teacher. Youth workers are looking to teach a child's development growth in a sense of assisting students handle life's challenges.

I feel that if we worked more with context about youth work in class I would feel more comfortable in creating more purposeful play. I think there is a lack of knowledge spoken in class. In FNED 346 we spoke about each reading that was assigned and that really helped to understand the class expectations we had to understand, such as when we part took in our service learning assignment. 

I think in next semester if we had assignment to create purposeful plays for simple practice and for discussion in class where we could talk about what to add, what to change, what to do with young children, how to approach it with older children. We all will face lessons that do not work so I find that we need more practice because it can help figure out what works and what may not work. 

Addition to Blog Post 12/9/16 Elevator Pitch: For anyone confused about YDEV

Youth Work does not include student teaching requirement, we instead purposefully play with children.

This play is interactive with youth and age appropriate vocabulary 

Youth Work is part social work 

Youth Workers utilize emotional aspects

Youth Workers help students with social skills 

Youth Works act like a service worker to give confidence to students

Youth Workers read to students

Youth Workers can act as a tutor

Youth Workers listen

Youth Workers help children because they care for the future growth of youth

Youth Worker can work in so many places; hospitals, dance programs, coaching athletics, instructing science and math programs

Youth Works reminds me of my mom's comment; find a career that you love so that is does not even feel like work where you can be compensated to support yourself. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

See you soon!

Human Services

Youth work seems to have a long way to grow and I believe that I am still figuring out what youth work is everyday. I believe that is normal because I am at the cusp of my professional work with youth. When we enter any field, we may be sure of something concepts but others such as Youth Work is a concept that takes time to decipher.

In Strengthening Youth Work....
I thought "while youth workers are extremely motivated and committed to the mission of their work, they appear to be seriously affected by extrinsic factors such as compensation and organizational instability." I am aware that we need to be paid to support ourselves so we can buy a home or rent an apartment, buy food and save for the future. Yet, I love working with children, yes they can be a lot to deal with. Regardless, I have learned so much from children such as the children I worked with during time as a paraprofessional in summer school. They were frusrating but that taught me patience, sometimes we have to give and take.

"Regardless of diversity, some patterns emerge. While some professionals stay in the youth work field, others leave and then years later will come back to the youth field.

Personally, I think it is normal to want to leave work in difference avenues, we have only one life and we should experience all that we can. After taking social work 240 and social work 326 I began to genuinely enjoy the work that social workers do for youth. It made me think of all of the opportunities I could take and how I could grow like that. If I were to stay in one place and work for the same organization I feel that I would get bored. I am finding that I would never be able to keep up with the reading and writing that social work would have to do so acquiring a masters in social work is not in my near future. However, it does not keep me from surrounding myself with people who have a title of a social worker.

In Strengthening Youth Work...
it also states "that youth workers are paid about $25,000 annually along with a lack of healthcare. I know that I want healthcare benefits that I can support myself with. Despite that, I want to enjoy what I do. My mom said " it is all about finding a job that you love performing where it does not feel like you are working."

Historical Development....
First, youth development effects the focus on meeting needs and developing competencies for all youth, not just for the youth who are engaged in problematic behavior or at risk of becoming a part of the problem. When we are young we all need guidance, we are figuring ourselves out. It is a normal time in all youth's life. In our life, we experience so much, good and bad. Some people lose their parents or close friends at a young age and what young person knows how to cope with lose?

Historical Development tells us that youth development model assumes that  all youth must pass through a specific developmental process to become successful adults. We all come in the same way, we experience similar events in our lives, such as loss, frienships, memories, family and stages in our life, such as marriage and college graduation.

This is Youth Work

Chapter: The Power of Graffiti

"Over a couple of weeks that youth workers began to get to know the young people, working to build a climate where they are willing to engage more personally with them." When young people have something to say they may not be able to voice their feelings. Expression through art can be positive as we use color or lack of color, dimensions, shading, texture among other things can explain what someone may be afraid to vocally speak. However, graffiti needs to be positively done, what I mean by positive is the creation should be painted in a space that will not deface property, it can be done a school wall or on a canvas.

"For a week, the youth workers listened to what the kids had to say." A youth worker said "you have two ears and one mouth. Use them in proportion." I think that when people deface a piece of property with graffiti it is telling us that this person is not being heard, this youth worker is right, we can listen we have the physical ability to. When we do listen as a youth worker, youth can in time feel comfortable with this person and maybe in time trust that person. This may be a huge stepping stone because some people come from a world where trusting is not easy due to family members and their actions.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Emma's Core Competencies

Emma’s Core Competencies

For each of the courses you have taken as a part of your YDEV degree (FNED 346, SPED 300, PSYC 230/215, CEP 315, YDEV 352, SWK 240, SWK 320, SWK 324, SWK 325, SWK 326, NPST courses, all concentration courses), how and what have you learned about these Core Competencies?  Be specific about the ideas, theories, texts, and concepts that help you feel knowledgeable in each of these areas.  In what areas do you need more preparation?

Domain #1:
Family, School and Community Relationships (p. 6)

In thinking about family, it is quite important to know the roles of each family member. You need a guardian or parent to give you guidance and siblings act as support systems

This depends on the child, they may need a significant amount of aid so parent or guardian must speak with school professionals

The child receiving services must speak up for when things may not be working or when another approach does work successfully

When relationships such as family ties are positive there can allow for openness that allow communication

Confidentiality can be seen as a social worker assisting a client and keeping names private as it is right to the client

Domain #2:  
Youth Development Curriculum and Program Design (p. 8)

My own childhood allows me to place myself in these youth I am working with so I can attempt to help them in their time of need

Going through my own childhood reminds me that we never grow up in on the inside because of this I enjoy to bring in fun youth oriented activities such as coloring.

Being a learner who is visual I can understand how visuals and hands on activities can aid in learning

Due to my style of learning I can comprehend that not all students learn the same way

Creation of an play or dance or music is a great example to let the students be interactive in the creation. When they are involved they are more motivated.

Domain #3:
Health, Safety and Wellness (p. 12)

Hold awareness of society we live in, such as being aware of social stratification with the “Inequality for All” documentary

The National Association of Social Workers: Code of Ethics: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence

Dancing helps to improve your mental functioning

Dancing aids in improving your social skills

Movement allows for illness like Parkinson's disease to occur less or much later on in life as moving throughout the body keeps chemical, dopamine in balance.

Danc 215, 216, 110, 112, 114 have all taught me the importance of conditioning your body if dancing is a career you want to pursue; the importance of continuing your dance studies as you grow from all level classes

These classes have a way of putting your body into a healthy physical state that is hard to dedicate to as a student

Domain #4:
Professional Growth and Leadership (p. 14)

Respectful to advisors/ professors


Dresses appropriately in more professional events

Works to respect others in their life experiences

Capable of speaking in a child’s level

My level of patience grows each experience of working with children

My sense of voice with young children such as when reading books to them

Other skills you have mastered that don’t fit these categories??  Note them below!

My ability to strike up a conversation at moment’s notice

Organizational skills

Accepting perspective of all kind of learners

My sympathy for other’s situations

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Event # 2! Come support the Arts

On the 2nd and 3rd of December the State Ballet of Rhode Island will be performing Coppelia at the Park Theatre in Cranston.  Come support the Arts! 

Performing on stage within this production was amazing. The State Ballet has been in operation for 57 years. The artistic director, Herci Marsden created this ballet company. Ms. Marsden has been teaching for over 45 years. She use to share her craft of teaching at the Unversity of Rhode Island. Alongside Ms. Marsden, is her daughter, Ana Fox. She works as an instructor as well. 

The overall experience of being a part of this production was so worthwhile. I learned choreography in two months, a character style type dancing that I have never been exposed to. It really pushed me to try, to make each moment strong and defined. I do admit I made mistakes but simply breaking that studio door open changed my life for the better. I simply walked in, I did not doubt myself. I just walked in and danced as myself. Exposing myself, being vulnerable was not easy but it was so overwhelming to read the positive response from Ms. Ana Fox. 

While I learned about this new studio and choreography, it gave me the opportunity to help in teach children about a ballet performance. Some children are not blessed with the chance to take a ballet class. The 10am performance was for students from surrounding elementary schools, this performance was for educational purposes. Now these children learned about Coppelia, a humorous story about a whimsical doll. Now it may peak their interest in looking for other stories to learn about. For example, there are stories such as "princess and the pea."


Resilience means to have a sense of elasticity or holding a sense of stretch with an ability to revert to its original size. 

When I think of the word resilient, I think of having the ability to keep moving on in life regardless of  the exterior influences; negative or positive. In this perspective I think resilient can relate to the word perseverance which means to never give upon yourself. 

As for the Center For Resilience, I did not know this place existed. 

While viewing these videos on Center for Resilience I had difficulty with loading them. However, I did see the quotes of the people who were assisted by Center for Resilience. The quotes all had a common factor of positivity. 

For example, one said "It makes it a positive classroom culture, where students are learning to care for themselves and care for others." and "It calms me down and relaxes me."

I love what the director envisioned for this center because it went beyond learning in the classroom. She said she wanted to assist student's growth in their character, personalty and well being. I find this to be so respectable because she wants students to do well in school but she also holds an understanding for what a child needs to do well in school. 

counselor Polanco spoke on behalf student that was exposed to a group of mean girls who influenced her to act like another mean girl. Polanco also saw this student suffer from emotional stress and anxiety. Polanco said that once these mindfulness activities were taught in the classroom, she saw a huge improvement in this student. One mindful activity that was utilized was deep breathing. I thought how simple that is and it made me question its effectiveness. However, I forget to breathe sometimes and when I am stressed and I take myself out of the anxiety provoking equation I take a second to breathe. It makes all the difference. 

This reminds me of working with children who deal with autism. One boy in particular would immediately scream, kick, and cry when something went inaccurately in his mind. Sometimes he needed lunch but he did not want to go inside because he was having so much fun outside. I would have to remind him that he needed food to keep playing and sometimes he would lose his composure and I would help him breathe deeply. I would have to say that I always felt better when I took a deep breathe because that would heightens the chances of him taking a deep breathe. What I remember most is the change in his facial appearance, it would go from terrified like he was being chased by a monster form his closet to a smiley, dimpled relaxed expression. 

These moments were so small in retrospect to life. Yet to my time working with him, they were so huge. Watching his terror was alarming and when I was successful in calming him down, it felt like I won first place in a competition as I felt a huge sense of relief. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Veterans Day Event 

My grandfather from my dad's side of the family spent time in the war during the second World War. My dad told me that Grampy had dropped out of high school  so he could fight for his country. My mom told me that he was not of the age to even enlist in the war. I remember my mom said, how she could not believe that he left school and then had to go back to graduate. Coming back must have been strange because everything in the world I am sure looked different. I cannot imagine how my grandfather was able feel and function like an average american citizen.
  One day I was given the opportunity to look at photos while I was with family. These pictures were of my grandfather in his Army threads. He looked so serious and somber. I thought about how little I knew about his time in war. Almost four years ago I found out that my other grandfather had been in the war, I was 19 when I learned this. My mom did know that my grandfather was in the service for a little while. However, I discovered he was given an honorable discharge. He looked just like my other grandfather, very somber. I could not believe it, I knew this two men for my whole existence. I thought about how I did not know this until now. There were pictures and documents among the array of his belongings that were placed around the table. In growing up, I thought about how unless I ask I will not find out. My dad said that my grandfather was not one to talk about it and my mom had said the same. I was not as surprised because my grandfather, Grampy D was on the quieter side. 

I thought of this a few days ago, and I found my way to the Social Work Veterans Days thank you. I talked to this really friendly man who said he spent 10 years in the army. He said that all of his recognitions towards his dedication to this country are in a box. He mentioned that because I had said how my grandfather always would joke that his recognitions would be put behind the toilet. This man, who teaches within the Social Work project said that felt his work of helping others by teaching social work. It was so refreshing to hear this even though this conversation lasted only five minutes. He gave ten years of his own time to fight for our country, making sure others were safe. This man was brave enough to share his physical and mental being. 

This conversation reminded me of the book, The Things They Carried as it reminded me of the emotional issues they faced during war, such as worry about losing a fellow army solider and the effects of losing that person post war. They had to worry about living to the next day, it was saddening. They could risk their life for safety of the country yet I could not even imagine enlisting in the army or any other reserves. Some of these men had to deal with PTSD, something that hurt them and would affect others that are around them. Some men could not even sleep because of nightmares that would never go away. At this event put on by the BSW students, many veterans were homeless. It is so frustrating to know that a group of people assisted our country were not given aid by non veterans. If someone helps another person who is in need, this group of people should be given some such of appreciation.