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Workshop: Support for Supporters: Navigating Tricky Conversations and Professional Boundaries in the School Community (LA)



Date: October 22, 2018
Time: 9:00-2:30
Where: The Oaks School (map)

Fee: $275 Members; ($425 Non-members)


Support for Supporters: Navigating Tricky Conversations and Professional Boundaries in the School Community (LA)

Administrative and support staff at independent schools frequently serve in critical threshold roles. Whether working at the front desk, in the admissions office, or the financial aid office, these individuals are often the first points of contact for students and their families, and also provide vital support to the teaching faculty and school leadership. The non-teaching staff role is unique, complicated, and demanding.  Those who thrive demonstrate a high degree of professionalism, as well as a complex combination of exceptional interpersonal skills, organizational efficiency, and skill in managing multiple projects. Because the position requires maintaining a high level of confidentiality, those in it can feel particularly isolated from others in the school.  Specialized support and training can help build skills for administrative staff, and create a network of collaboration with others in similar roles.

This one-day workshop will explore the unique challenges of independent school support staff in this position. We will look at boundaries between support staff and others in the school community. Together, we will explore and practice strategies to establish and maintain appropriate boundaries with others (parents, students, other staff, teacher, and school administration) through time, physical space, and verbal communication. Participants will also learn and practice Stanley King Counseling Institute deep listening techniques in order to explore the dynamics of difficult conversations. Through role plays, share outs, and group discussions, this day is designed to foster learning and support for school staff. In addition, we will discuss work/life boundaries and self-care that are essential to thriving both professionally and personally.

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Melanie Drane

Melanie Drane

Melanie Drane, MA, MFA, LMFT, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles. She currently consults to independent schools and nonprofits. She was formerly a counselor at the Southern California Counseling Center and the Jung Institute of LA. She also has served as the Writer-in-Residence at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan.
Ellen Porter Honnet

Ellen Porter Honnet

Ellen Porter Honnet, Ed.D., Stanley King Counseling Institute Director, is a psychologist with expertise in cross-cultural issues, adolescent sexuality, and listening skills. Working with teens and young adults, her training was at the Harvard and Wellesley College Health Services. She was for several years a residential dean and Assistant Dean for Co-education/Sexual Harassment Hearing Officer at Harvard College.
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