Empowerment of children begins as early as a child is able to interact. As parents, we encourage our babies to learn to roll over. We resist overly emphasizing those moments when they can’t quite do it; instead, we slowly move them ourselves by modeling the feeling of movement. Each time we help, we move them a little less and let go a little more while still remaining a supportive presence. Ultimately we celebrate their success and help them build on it as they learn to sit up, crawl and walk. It is my opinion that the same model of guidance and empowerment should be used in all areas of child and adolescent development as they grow and develop throughout their lives.
The full Empowerment Model is a administered through a committee of faculty spending several days in professional development with me. From that work we identify the language, traditions and ethos of the school to build the program. Together with a committee we create a curriculum specific to the particular school which includes lessons plans for advisors, workshops for parents and ongoing professional development with faculty.
Encouraging students to ask difficult questions begins as the youngest ages. Supporting academic arenas where this process is valued and encouraged is a must in schools. Being comfortable asking the difficult questions is one of my greatest strengths. What is best for the students? What is best for the program? And what is best for the School community? Are among the first questions I pose when evaluating ongoing initiatives or developing new initiatives. My philosophy is that we learn from each other and therefore the elephant should not sit in a room uninvited to the conversation.