One of the most energizing moments for a school is the beginning of the year when staff return from their summer break. This week Lakeside’s staff returned with incredible anticipation and enthusiasm. This is a week of preparation and training as we prepare for the students we will encounter in our four schools, our In-School Counselors Program, and our Mobile Support Program, providing both educational and clinical counseling and tutoring support to students.
Lakeside’s schools and programs touch 3,000 students within a school year. It is exciting to anticipate all the stories that will follow as a result of the work of our 270 staff members. There will be difficult moments, conflicts, struggles, low moments, and high moments. But overall these thousands of students will receive the opportunity to sit with a caring adult and discover how they can regulate their emotions, learn new techniques for coping with life difficulties and be encouraged by having successes personally and academically that most of them have rarely experienced in their lives. It is such a privilege to be a part of a process of hope, healing and help like we witness at Lakeside daily.
At the same time, Lakeside’s Neurologic Initiative will be training and guiding schools all over the region and country helping teachers and administrators understand how to manage behaviors and emotions in a trauma-informed way. This training in brain science and brain-based techniques for classroom management provides schools with new options for helping students have better control of their behavior which equips them to learn more effectively. The more cognitive students’ brains are the more they will have capability to learn cognitive facts and concepts.
Likewise, the Lakeside Global Institute’s trauma training has already scheduled yearly training for professionals, systems of care and organizations to receive basic and intensive trauma training, equipping them to have a new lens for trauma-impacted individuals and how to provide them with trauma-informed care. These are individuals who are dealing with opioid addictions, mental health problems, violence, crime, abuse, neglect and a host of other issues. It makes all the difference in the world for our professionals to have the tools to deal with the challenges they face in our society which are largely due to trauma histories in the lives of the individuals that they serve.
So it is no wonder that the staff of Lakeside is anticipating another tremendous year of working with students, families, administrators, organizations and all kinds of professionals to help them overcome some of the major challenges they face in their varied life and systems struggles. There will be so much that will happen that we can celebrate and be proud of as we reach into all these lives with hope and compassion.