Educators Strengthen Responsive Classroom Skills at Rhein Benninghoven Conference

Educators Strengthen Responsive Classroom Skills at Rhein Benninghoven Conference
Shawnee Mission School District

The social-emotional wellbeing of students was at the center of a conference recently held at Rhein Benninghoven Elementary School.

The Responsive Classroom Summer Institute, was a four-day event, drawing local educators and educators from several states in the Midwest. The sessions focused on helping teachers learn ways to respond to student needs, understand trauma behaviors, and promote social and emotional wellness.

Several teachers at Rhein Benninghoven began training and implementing what they’ve learned through Responsive Classroom training this year and were pleased with the positive results, Brittany Gonser, principal said. The school is working in implementing the practices schoolwide and the conference allowed more teachers to receive the training. The sessions gave educators an opportunity to learn, discuss, and reflect on how strategies could be used in their classroom.

“We are committed to the Responsive Classroom approach at Rhein Benninghoven because it provides our teachers with the training and tools they need to help students feel connected to their schools, safe in their classrooms, and learn critical personal skills,” Gonser said.

Some instruction focused on how teachers could implement the practice of a classroom Morning Meeting. This routine is established to provide a consistent way to help students start their day communicating as a class and building a classroom community. Another strategy focused on a method called Interactive Modeling which allows students to take turns modeling classroom expectations and give feedback about what they noticed.

“This can be used for any routine in the classroom, from how to line up to how to work with a partner,” Gonser said. “This is straightforward, quick, and is a helpful addition to creating a safe and positive classroom environment.”

The training was made possible through the support of the school site council, PTA, district leaders and the passion of Rhein Benninghoven teachers, she added.