2011 Conference

Workshop Descriptions


Barbara Coloroso


The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: Breaking the Cycle of Violence - Barbara Coloroso

Breaking the cycle of violence in our homes, schools and communities involves more than merely identifying and stopping the bully. It requires that we examine the why and the how a child becomes a bully or the target of a bully (and sometimes both) as well as the role the bystanders play in perpetuating the cycle. A deadly combination is a bully who gets what he wants from his target, a bullied child who is afraid to tell, bystanders who either watch, participate in the bullying, or look away, and adults who see bullying as teasing, not tormenting, as ‘boys will be boys.’ not the predatory aggression that it is. If this combination of relationships is not radically transformed, we have enough incidences in our recent past to convince us that it is not only the bully who can terrorize our community. Some bullied children, whose cries went unheard, whose pains were ignored, whose oppression went unabated and unrelieved, have struck back with a vengeance and sorrow. Others, who reached what they felt was an utterly hopeless and irretrievable point, have killed themselves. Feeling they had no other way out of the pain and torture heaped on them by their tormentors, no one to turn to, no way to tell, they made a tragic and final exit. It is easy to point fingers; place blame; fortress our schools; push zero-tolerance plans; mandate a bully awareness week; stiffen penalties for bullying; or simply ignore the problem and hope it will go away. It is more difficult—and necessary—that we as individuals, families, and entire communities create safe harbor for all of our children. We must do what is necessary to take the weapons out of the hearts, minds, and hands of our kids. We need to give kids the tools to be able to stand up for their own rights while respecting the rights and legitimate needs of others; to handle conflicts nonviolently; to act with integrity when confronted with difficult situations such as peer pressure to cause harm; and to develop a personal code (inner moral code) that gives them the wherewithal to do what is right in spite of external consequences and never merely because of them. No easy task; no simple answers.




Just Because it's not Wrong, Doesn't Make it Right: Helping Kids to Think and Act Ethically - Barbara Coloroso

A workshop packed with solid practical advice on how to use the stuff of everyday life to teach children to act with integrity, civility, and compassion. Beginning with the idea that it is in us to care, that we are born with an innate capacity for compassion, Barbara Coloroso shows professionals, educators, and parents how to nurture and guide children’s ethical lives from toddlerhood through the teen years using everyday situations at home, at school, in social settings, and in the world at large.
  • How to develop an ethic rooted in deep caring with principles, virtues, and values that are in the service to and at the service of that caring
  • The why and how to teach our children to think and act ethically
  • The possibilities and pitfalls of character education programs
  • Nurturing in children the three antidotes (care deeply, share generously, help willingly) to the virulent agents that are ripping apart the fabric of our human relationships (hating, hoarding, and harming ourselves and others)
  • How rigid moral absolutism and shifting moral relativism interfere with raising ethical human beings
  • Media: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Indifferent—how we can help children use these tools and not be used or consumed by them
  • The difference between punishment and discipline—why one works and the other only appears to

The story about our human nature in today’s social and cultural climate is part and parcel of our human nature and our social and cultural climate. Our story is also guided by our compassion and loving kindness, which recognizes that there is no I without Thou, no We without Community and no way to survive without honoring both our unique individuality and our common humanity.


21st Century Learning


Shifting the Frame and Changing the Way We Do Things in Schools – John Gaiptman and Pat Duncan

21st Century Learning is alive and well; happening in a classroom near you. That’s the message our facilitators will bring as they share examples and discuss possibilities. We will discuss how we can build from these examples and ensure that 21st Century Learning becomes a reality in all our schools.


Personalized Learning – Rick Davis and Rod Allen

What is personalized learning? There are many concepts floating around; everything from “it’s all about technology” to “an individual education plan for every student”. Our facilitators will lead a discussion on what “personalized learning” is really about. They will also share with participants and seek feedback on a vision statement about personalized learning, currently under development by the Ministry of Education.


Engaging the School Community – Charlie Coleman

Research shows student learning improves dramatically when students, parents and staff are engaged in their school. How can a school achieve this lofty goal? Our presenter will share his successes in building a school culture where everyone belongs and everyone gets involved. Hear about the power of one-on-one discussions, personal invitations and the telephone call.


Aboriginal Culture and 21st Century Learning – Alana Hopkins, Luc Van Hanuse, Nella Nelson

How can aboriginal history and culture inform 21st Century Learning practices? Our panel will share ideas and dialogue with participants on the learning strengths inherent in our many aboriginal cultures and how these learning methods are being used to enhance education for all students.

Leadership and Parent Participation


Servant-Leadership: It's all about Relationships – Dr. Carolyn Crippen

This is a double workshop session that introduces the philosophy of Servant-Leadership, a model of leadership, followship and service for cultivating caring, collaborative and democratic communities. Participants will engage in discussions and sharing while building their understanding of this dynamic process. Specific strategies will be introduced to participants that will help initiate servant-leadership into their environment.


Parents as Partners

This session will explore the true potential of parent participation in schools. We will discuss Parents’ Advisory Councils, School Planning Councils and various other forms of parent participation. A clear, powerful set of purposes can transform the parent voice from an advisor on the sidelines to an authentic partner in the school.

Learn about parents coaching, participating in school enrichment and supporting school initiatives in a variety of ways. Learn about Colquitz Middle School’s Parent Ambassador Program and how it promotes parent engagement. Learn about the Parent Resource Room at George Jay Elementary where parents have a room “to call their own”. It’s a place where parents can meet other parents, have a cup of tea or coffee or access various parent and education resource materials.


Parents’ Advisory Councils – Operations

This will be a networking / dialogue session led by local parent leaders. Topics will include effective meetings, PAC finances, gaming grants, School budget priorities, taking minutes and any other operational issues brought forward by participants. We will discuss how to maintain strong communication between the PAC and the School Planning Council, as well as, other parent groups in the school. We will discuss how to stay on top of emerging issues and ensure that the parents’ voice is heard. We will also talk about advocacy for students in general and individually and the issues surrounding this important work.

 Presented by the School District Parent Advisory Councils of Sooke (SPEAC) and Victoria (VCPAC) with support from the Greater Victoria School District.