Gaining Perspective supports schools with a fully-integrated social-emotional curriculum

Over the span of nearly a decade as an Artist in Residence at William Smith High School in Aurora, Kerstin developed an Improvisation-based curriculum to teach teens how to be present and more self aware. 

Kerstin uses Improvisation to help students explore choices and actions in a variety of situations. As students become more self aware they begin to feel less anxious. They’re more willing to take risks. Students feel empowered to control the choices they make, first in games and then in real-life situations. When students are able to move beyond reactive behaviors, they’re better equipped to build conscious habits that lead to thoughtful life decisions.

Kerstin customizes each program to meet the unique needs of each classroom and school. As a result of her intentional planning with teachers and school leaders, students will be able to:

  • Develop habits that help them focus, manage distractions, and earn strategies to regulate their emotional state.
  • Communicate and self-advocate using clear and descriptive language.
  • Become more aware and accepting of other people’s ideas, perspectives and behaviors.
  • Challenge limiting thoughts or fixed mindsets when confronting a new or challenging situation.

Kerstin is passionately committed to helping students develop the self-management and self-advocacy skills that empower them to view challenging situations as an opportunity to respond and grow.

Professional development for classroom teachers and school leaders

In the constantly shifting world of education, school leaders and teachers have to manage increasing levels of stress while continuing to focus on serving their students. 

The good news is, you can learn skills and strategies to help you create a calm and focused presence in the midst of even the most challenging situations. Improvisation is the gateway to acquiring those skills.

Through Improvisation you gain valuable insight into the hidden concepts and biases that are blocking you from acting effectively under stress. Professional Development workshops help you become more present with the individuals around you. When you expend less energy putting out fires, more energy is available to meet individuals where they are regardless of the situation.

Improvisation is an engaging and thoughtful way to connect to the inner workings that drive the choices you make. Through a series of games, individual reflection, and group dialogue, you’re given the opportunity to experience and reflect on the automatic, ingrained habits, the l-thoughts, and the behaviors that drive your actions under stress. With this new understanding, you begin to make conscious choices about how to change your reactive nature into a more responsive one.

Professional Development sessions with Kerstin equip teams with new capabilities that include:

  • Observing individuals and situations without judgment or the need to find an immediate solution (meeting them where they are in that moment).
  • Developing strategies for remaining focused and calm in the midst of chaos.
  • Approaching challenging individuals and situations with intentionality.

Based on the needs of the teaching staff, Kerstin meets with the school leaders to craft a presence-based Improvisation program for Professional Development sessions. The focus of these sessions includes:

  • Recognizing and challenging any habitual thoughts based on untested assumptions or theories.
  • Understanding the thought patterns activated in different situations.
  • Identifying personal habits or limits related to communicating your needs or preferences.

Implement the Gaining Perspective curriculum at your school

If you’re curious about implementing our fully-integrated social-emotional curriculum in your school, reach out today. We’d love to hear from you!

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