Positive Spin, LLC
 

What We Do

 
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Engagement

The Empowerment Project: Early Childhood Professionals as Agents of Change
Presenters: Lisa Guerrero and Ellen Drolette

This innovative series aims to infuse the field with revolutionary approaches to overcoming some of early childhood’s biggest challenges. Guided by the work of top leaders in the field of educational change, inspired by the use of appreciative inquiry principles, and shaped by the collective wisdom of the participants involved, we generate a shared vision for our workforce and use systems thinking to collectively design creative solutions to addressing the issues in early childhood education that impact our everyday lives.


Systems Thinking for Social Change
Presenter: Lisa Guerrero

Systems thinking has been called a key competency in 21st century leadership. As our world becomes more globally connected and the pace of change continues to accelerate, our need to become more “system wise” increases. Learning and applying the practices and principles of systems thinking helps individuals and organizations lead more intentionally and proactively toward the creation of positive social change.


The Raising of America: Documentary Screening and Facilitated Discussion
Presenter: Lisa Guerrero

Participate in a facilitated discussion of the documentary series changing the national conversation about early childhood and uncover the challenges and successes that can inform our practice and lead us toward the creation of a thriving future for children and families in our own communities.

EPISODE 1: The Signature Hour - The science is clear: when parents are stressed, babies pay the price. That is why improving conditions for families with young children is one of the best investments any nation can make.
EPISODE 2: Once Upon a Time - Imagine how things would be different today if high-quality childcare and pre-K was affordable and available to every family who wanted it. It almost happened.
EPISODE 3: Are We Crazy About Our Kids? - Economists are clear: investing in high-quality early care and education is good for our kids and communities, and even pays for itself many times over. So, why aren’t we investing?
EPISODE 4: Wounded Places - What happens to children and neighborhoods shaken by trauma and toxic stress? What does it take to heal?
EPISODE 5: DNA is Not Destiny - How do our social environments (nurturing, toxic, and in-between) alter the epigenetic ‘dimmer switches’ that turn our genes on and off—with enduring consequences?

For more information visit: The Raising of America website

October 2017

“I have completely done a 180 from the beginning. Positive Spin has given me the strength and courage to actually advocate for the children and their families.”

 
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Practice

Strengthening Families: A Protective Factors Framework
Presenter: Lisa Guerrero

Applying the Strengthening Families approach in early childhood, child welfare, child abuse prevention and other child and family serving systems supports the healthy development of communities and protects children from toxic stress. Focused on the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s (CSSP) development of five protective factors, this research-based approach to providing care and service aims to increase family strengths, enhance child development, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.


Exploring and Unpacking Power, Privilege and Oppression in the Early Childhood Classroom
Presenter: Ellen Drolette

Power, privilege and oppression along with identity and -isms are rarely discussed openly. In this training, participants will unpack biases and assumptions, explore perspective and gain valuable understanding through small and large group activities and individual reflection.


Communities of Practice in Action
Presenter: Lisa Guerrero


Professional Development as a Social and Emotional Experience
Presenter: Lisa Guerrero

While it is well known that a highly skilled and qualified workforce is a key indicator of a program’s quality and is essential for positive outcomes, some employees remain reluctant to authentically engage in professional development. As expectations increase and regulations are demanding more of our workforce with regards to certifications and competencies, support and retention of employees requires leaders to gain a deeper understanding of the social and emotional barriers that keep the workforce from being motivated to fulfill its full potential.


Creators of Culture: Leadership’s Role in Transforming the Workforce
Presenter: Lisa Guerrero

As leaders embark on the task of guiding and supporting the development of an effective and engaged workforce, there is an increased demand for new behaviors and practices, for both leaders and employees, that lead to the desired outcomes. Often times, these new ways of being and improved habits of mind run counter to the current culture and norms. To be innovative and adaptive, leaders must pay attention to their responsibility to intentionally design program cultures that contribute to the development of the change they want to see.


Improving Staff Morale Through Authentic Appreciation
Presenter: Ellen Drolette

People want to feel valued above all else. It is easy to get caught up in what we don’t have, but what if we focused on what we do have. Employees, co-workers and supervisors who feel valued are more engaged, but only if they believe the appreciation is genuine. Communicating appreciation is not just for managers to do. Receiving appreciation from one’s supervisor is encouraging, but employees want encouragement and support from colleagues, too. In this training participants will leave with resources to implement immediately into their practice and with some concrete goals on what they want to achieve through their practice.


The Power of Appreciative Inquiry in Early Care and Learning Programs
Presenter: Ellen Drolette

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a positive change management approach that focuses on identifying what is working well, analyzing why it is working well and then doing more of it. The basic tenet of AI is that organizations, programs and individuals will grow in whichever direction that people focus their attention. Participants of this training will learn the AI principles and the 4-D model, and through questions, storytelling and continuous dialogue they will design strategies for creating a program culture that values open and curious mindsets.


Creating the Playful Preschool and Kindergarten Classroom: Ideas for Educators
Presenter: Lisa Guerrero

As we continue to build on the collaboration between early childhood and public-school programs, opportunities arise to join in advocacy and practice around important issues in early childhood education. One such issue is the preservation of play in the preschool and kindergarten classroom. Focused on the research and recommendations of The Alliance for Childhood and guided by the 2009 report, Crisis in Kindergarten: Why Children Need Play in School, educators examine the vital importance of play, dissect the common misconceptions of play that have led to preschool and kindergarten education becoming highly focused on teaching academic skills, and discuss the responsibility we have to uphold the value of play.  


Physical Movement and the Vermont Early Learning Standards
Presenter: Ellen Drolette

This dynamic, interactive session will look at the relationship between Vermont’s Early Learning Standards (VELS) and physical activity in early education programs. Participants will learn a variety of activities, discuss ways to adapt activities for different ages and abilities, and use the VELS to create intention when planning for physical movement.  Participants should come ready to participate in comfortable clothing to play in.  If weather permits, we will go outside.  Prepare for laughter and fun!

October 2018

“This experience has ignited deeper reflection of my role continuing forward and has encouraged me to continue to see myself as a valuable and positive voice. It has pushed me to begin to step outside my comfort zone and stretch to grow as a leader.”

 
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Commitment

Overcoming Teacher Burnout in Early Childhood: Strategies for Change
Presenter: Ellen Drolette

Based on the book with the same title by Ellen Drolette, participants explore strategies for avoiding burn-out and low-morale and use inspiring stories from the field to examine the structures and practices that support the development of healthy attitudes, quality engagement, and optimism in the work place.


The Play Instinct: Have You Lost Yours?
Presenter: Lisa Guerrero

If we are going to be successful advocates for children and families, then we need to be in touch with our own playful selves. Guided by the TED talk with the same title by Lisa Guerrero, participants will explore several types of play in an effort to reconnect with their innate understanding of its value and discuss ways in which they can promote playfulness as the foundation for healthy habits of mind and self-care and for strengthening the families that they work with.


Happiness, Joy and Playfulness for Early Childhood Staff
Presenter: Ellen Drolette

Have your staff meetings become a checklist of all of the things that people should not be doing? Is there laughter? Does the staff leave the meeting feeling pumped up and ready to face a new day with energy? Come learn some techniques to bring back to your staff that will help turn around attitudes and create a more joyful, playful environment.