My head is filled with ideas... and yet I may have just found the simple focus I need. Dr. Gil Noam designed a model he calls PEAR, and it's simple enough to work but complex enough to pack a punch. This is the model I think we'll use this year to sort of focus what we're trying to do. It is based on a 4 leaf clover, with 4 aspects that should be considered: active engagement, assertiveness, belonging, reflection. I can build lessons, curriculum, and programs around all of those models.
Other thoughts include using the 40 Developmental Assets that the SEARCH Institute have developed on a regular basis. These are measurable assets that have been proven to reduce risk behaviors; research has also shown these assets can be improved and taught.
I've got ideas on our schedule, what classes we can teach, how I can improve my classes, how to use these little white boxes more effectively..... So many thoughts, so little time to process!
Perhaps most importantly, however, I've had a chance to meet and talk in depth with my new colleague. I feel really good about our ability to work together, to help each other, and to improve our program and the lives of our students.
I love this conference, and I am so very glad I came and that she could come with me. I think it's going to be a great year. Summer's not over yet, but I'll be ready when it is. Man, I heart my job...