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3rd Annual Regional Development Provides Information on Mental Health and Wellness

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Bushra Choudhury '19
20 November 2018

On Wednesday, November 7th, PV hosted its third annual Regional Professional Development for teachers from public schools throughout Little Falls, Woodland Park, and Totowa. This year’s theme was mental health and wellness. With the workshops and resources provided, attendees were able to acquire a better understanding of several topics of increasing relevance with today's youth.

In Teachers partake in Sun Salutation dance in classroom; photo credit: Ms. Rae Allex joint partnership with the Codey Fund for Mental Health, PV was able to provide a series of clinicians and experts to lead a variety of trainings and forums on mental health and wellness. Some of the classroom focused topics included: 1) Trauma-Informed Classrooms; 2) Signs and Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety; 3) LGBTQ Issues; 4) Music Therapy; 5) Fostering Resilience in Students Coping with Loss; 6) Crisis Intervention; 7) Adolescent Development, Psychopathology and Addiction, Resistances and the Stigma of Recovery; and 8) Celebrating Body Image. Honorable Richard Codey speaking in the auditorium; photo credit; Ms. Rae Allex

Workshops and activities centered on the health of educators like zumba, yoga, mindfulness, and healthy eating habits were also offered for staff members to take part in.

PV also had the honor and privilege of having former Governor Richard Codey serve as the event’s keynote speaker.

“The topics covered are timely. Throughout the educational arena there is much research being done on anxiety and stress regarding students of all ages, including those as young as kindergarten," commented Superintendent Dr. JoAnn Cardillo. "If educators understand this information, then they can better understand their students who may have had these experiences.”

Teachers sitting in library for workshop; photo credit: Ms. Rae Allex The inspiration for starting this event, four years ago, came from an idea all four superintendents in the Passaic Valley Region had. Bringing everyone together provided members of the three sending districts the opportunity to collaborate and develop strong relations amongst each other, while providing the teaching professionals of the three districts and PV with training and skills to encourage collaborative problem solving and thinking. By giving teachers information and educational experiences that are relevant to their lives and the lives of their students, the administration hopes this will assist teachers in helping students dealing with adversary circumstances.