Workshops, Coaching, and Facilitation
— For Schools and Other Organizations —
Teachers, Administrators, Students, and Parents
I began my career as a public high school teacher, and education is still where my heart lies. Education is one avenue through which we can choose either to maintain our society’s inequities and neglect of children's needs — or to enact practices that embody a more equitable and life-serving vision. How we work with children can have profound implications for social change and social justice. But schools haven't typically been set up to nurture children's deepest needs, nor to think critically about the society we want to create. Rethinking the way we work with children takes awareness, first, of how we are interacting and what we want to be working toward, rather than repeating the patterns we are used to. I help educators and parents both to explore the fundamental purposes of education and to practice tools for putting respect, empathy, and empowerment at the center of the enterprise.
In my workshops, participants practice tools for listening and speaking that prioritize connection and mutual understanding that can help teachers build classroom cultures of collaboration, trust, and empowerment. School administrators, too, find the skills invaluable in their work giving feedback to teachers and connecting with parents. Beyond communication skills, the practices provide a foundation for creating learning environments where student curiosity, self-direction, and emotional intelligence flourish.
I offer workshops for teachers, students, and parents. Because the skills and ideas require practice, I prefer to work with school groups over time.
I believe that people do their best work when they are empowered both to collaborate and lead within a context of open communication. Often, disagreements or painful disconnection in organizations does not burst into outright conflict; rather, people quietly lose trust that they are fully seen or valued. Sometimes, conflicts ignite in the open. Either way, unresolved issues eat away at team members’ ability and energy to contribute. When we find ways to address conflict productively, we can build trust, accomplish more, and unleash everyone’s creativity.
I offer executive coaching, consultation, trainings, and facilitation tailored to the needs of the organization, whether designed to address an immediate challenge or to provide inspiration, insight, and skills for the long haul. I am most interested in working with organizations that work toward social justice.
"We brought Kathy in to teach a four-session training in the concepts and practice of NVC for a group of congregational rabbis at an intensive annual retreat, the Rabbinic Training Institute (RTI). The evaluations of her course were uniformly outstanding. One rabbi wrote, "Kathy's seminar is the most powerful and effective professional skills class I have taken in my 13 years at RTI. It has already had a profound impact in my work and life." Other descriptors in her course evaluations included: mind-blowing, amazing, excellent, effective, useful, practical, a fresh lens, and kind. Additionally, the rabbis cited numerous contexts in which they expected to apply their newly acquired skills from Kathy's course after the retreat -- with staff, congregants, lay leaders, donors, teens, family, and friends. Kathy was also a pleasure to work with. Although we generally bring in new faculty for each annual conference, I have already invited Kathy back to teach at RTI again next year!"
Rabbi Julia Andelman
Director of Community Engagement, The Jewish Theological Seminary
Kathy teaches life skills – how to talk and listen in ways that foster productive communication — even when the stakes are high and the situations fraught. I invited Kathy to serve as scholar-in-residence for a national gathering of Jewish day school teachers and her sessions were the highlight of the colloquium and the hands-down favorite of all who attended. I also have the privilege of working with Kathy in a professional development program for educational leaders. Both faculty and students attest to the powerful impact of Kathy’s teaching and to her warmth, wisdom, and humor.
Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Professor of Jewish Education
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Periodically, I offer workshops and retreats to the public and write a blog.
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