Position: Unconditional Education Coach
I began my educational career as a third-grade teacher in St. Louis Missouri. Before teaching, I always knew that I wanted to go to graduate school for school social work and knew that having experience in the classroom would make me a better resource to my teacher colleagues. After two great years in St. Louis, I moved to Minneapolis, where I completed my graduate studies in social work at the University of Minnesota, and worked a school social worker at Whittier Elementary School.
When I was looking at relocating to the Bay Area, I came across Seneca’s Unconditional Education Program. I read “Unconditional Care” by Sprinson and Berrick and started to implement what I had learned into my role as a school social worker. When I saw the opening for a UE coach position, I knew it was a perfect fit! I am honored to be in the position to serve an elementary school supported by so many resources and great talent.
I can talk with my mouth closed (kind of like an amateur ventriloquist).
What does your average day look like?
I am an early riser! I wake up well before 6AM so that I can spend time with my family before going to work. Then I hop on my bike to school. The ride and the cool morning air help clear my mind and relax my body. When I get to work, I start with emails and then preparing for groups. My office is located right by one of the school’s entrances, so I leave my door open to greet staff as they come in. By some stroke of luck, one of my first morning duties is holding the kindergarten door. I love to imagine adults entering their work buildings with the joy that kindergartners enter our school building! After this, all days look different with a common element: creating and refining standing school systems as well as managing social emotional, behavioral, and mental health services for students. I spend time conducting social skills groups with students, facilitating school team meetings, and problem solving with staff and students.
After school, I bike to my baby’s daycare and pick her up to enjoy some downtime as a family. My partner is a wonderful cook and I love a good book before an early bedtime, which is a great combo!
Why do you do this work?
Holding the stories of our students and their families is both an honor and a gift. When I read this question, faces of students, parents, co-workers flashed through my head. Through this work, I have learned and grown so much from all the various people I have met whether it be co-workers, students, families or community members. I do this work because I believe that schools can be one of the biggest agents of change in a person’s life. I believe that a good education is a right for all students.
What hope do you have for the future of All-In?
All – In is very data driven, this is one of my many favorite things about the program. I would love it if we could develop and package an “All-in” social emotional data system that we could share with schools all over the country. In the meantime, I hope that we continue to check back with schools that we have exited out of for feedback on how to keep the program working even after Seneca leaves.