Monthly Article Archives: September 2011

A Therapeutic Environment Called SchoolRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

During the past few weeks I have spoken at a number of schools and school districts prior to the commencement of the new school year. A palpable excitement is evident at these events, an excitement rooted in colleagues seeing each other for the first time in several months, sharing stories of what has transpired during the summer, and planning for the arrival of students. The audiences at several of my presentations have included not only faculty and administrators but also support staff such as secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, and buildings and operations personnel. Logistically, it is often very difficult to have most of those who work in the district attend. I am delighted when they are able to do so. It affords me the opportunity to recognize the ways in which each adult in the school setting may have a lifelong impact on students. This recognition is important since at times I have heard such comments as: “I’m just a secretary” or “I’m just a cafeteria worker.” Some staff fail to appreciate that regardless of their position or responsibility in the school setting they can have a significant influence on students. I inform all of my audiences of the late

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