As a White school social worker who worked in an urban district that primarily serves students and families of color, I am still livid that another Black son…partner…brother…friend…father, was taken with the murder of George Floyd. I wonder how my former students and their families are coping. And with the whole wider world finally talking openly about systemic racism these past few months, I wonder how my former students might be reflecting on their own experiences at school. I too am reflecting back on my time in schools but possibly in a much different way than they are. Along with the ever-present feeling of “I should have done more”, I find myself asking “Why didn’t I?”.
This post features a lecture I gave on July 17th as part of Day 2 of the 15th Annual Loyola SMHAPP Virtual Summer Institute. In the video, I get into a variety of excellent anti-racist education resources that have contributed to my own efforts to take actions as an anti-racist school social worker and educator. But even though my talk was titled "Becoming an Anti-racist SSW," it's clear that this is a lifelong, daily task, not a final goal that any of us can reach.
The other day, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said teachers “gave up” last spring during the beginning of the pandemic. I don’t think I need to convince you that’s untrue, but it did inspire me to create a short list of things educators did or continued to do as school buildings began shutting down in March. Our whole school community linked arms (metaphorically, of course) to ensure school continued. Here are just a handful of things I remember happening within our small school.
Editor's Note: I'm excited to share this webinar recording and summary from the 6/18 panel I was on with national experts in school nursing, pediatrics, and educational leadership. I learned a lot and it was great to bring a SSW perspective to the table as well.
“ I was feeling pretty burned out at school, you know, working as a school social worker. I was feeling like I was spinning my wheels and I didn't have. I felt like I needed support I needed more tools. And so in this program I did find that I found a cohort, I found a cohort of other school social workers that have been extremely supportive and then I also learned so much about evidence based and evidence informed programs."
These Research Briefs (RBs) will describe research articles and what the particular study could contribute to your school social work practice, starting as soon as tomorrow. They will cover the kinds of things you see every day in your practice and (hopefully) be written in a way that you can use the information immediately. Today, we’re excited to share an RB by Amanda Trerotola, (BSW student, Ohio State University) based on a course taught by SSW researcher and doctoral student Michele Patak-Pietrefesa. The article (available also open-access below) describes the evidence for an innovative treatment for young people who have experienced sexual abuse--animal-assisted therapy.
Dr. Curtis McMurtrey earned PhD in both Microbiology and Immunology. His studies included immune responses to Tuberculosis, Dengue virus, T. gondii, and HIV.
Currently He is the Director of Immunoproteomics at PureMHC. Up until recently they’ve worked on designing vaccines for certain types of cancer. When COVID hit pharma switched gears to study SARS-CoV-2.
In this episode we go into detail about the virus, mask efficiency, issues around ventilation, common misconceptions, latest research implications, latest updates on vaccines and when they may be available, and returning back to school from an immunologist perspective.
Loyola SMHAPP 2020 Graduates Nadia Gomez-Moran & Lisa Johnson Haire talk about their experience in the School Mental Health Advanced Practice Program (SMHAPP). Last month, I put together short Zoom webinars with the SMHAPP grads who had worked together in our "dyad" format as part of their 2-year cohort. They spoke about their experiences overall in the SMHAPP Certificate, but mostly I asked them to talk about each others' work and what they learned from their time together. As Lisa put it so beautifully, "we joined (the SMHAPP Certifcate) as strangers, and we're leaving it as friends."