Now Hiring: A New Creative Counselor!
Do you know any creatives or freelance educators in the San Francisco Bay Area that love working with kids? Please send them our way! If you'd like information on how to apply, click here.
What follows is a short story of how the position came to be and a behind the scenes description of the philosophies and frameworks involved in the curriculum we use.
Six years ago I got the chance to design and pilot a new program for K-3rd students at a school in SF. Having just completed my masters in Transformative Arts while working as a Behavioral Therapist, I was on a mission to infuse my consulting work with more conscious creativity. The opportunity to make this mission accessible to a larger community felt like divine timing.
My creativity and character program, Elements of heART, was born and it was a hit!
What started as a single class with 15 kids slowly grew. Two classes, then three. Then another school. Now, it runs 8-10 classes per semester at 4 sites around the Bay Area.
We have served thousands of kids.
While the goal has been to serve many with access to quality transformative arts education, my focus has always been on the quality of connection and the pedagogical frameworks behind the curriculum.
I have intentionally grown the program slowly, tweaking and improving as I learn and grow with the kids and counselors. This program has been informed by ongoing and applied research in play therapy, educational therapy, mindfulness, neuroscience, social justice, and DEI studies... not to mention a whole lot of art-making.
In 2018, I hired and trained our first Creative Counselor. Justin was awesome and the kids loved him. A year later, ClarizeYale came on board. She has been a fabulous addition to the team. Now, we are ready to bring on another unique, creative professional.
Creative Counselors are skilled at using art as a vehicle for building personal connection and community. The blended curriculum that we use focuses on art principles as primary learning objectives, but infuses lessons with dynamic experiences (stories, games, making) that open opportunities to discuss and practice character or leadership principles. It's a powerful space in which kids develop stronger relationships with themselves and others through creative and play-based inquiry.
Developing the Creative Counselor position has been motivated by the knowing that while I may have developed a special skillset that inspires the program, I cannot reach every child. The kids benefit from having access to instructors with different teaching styles, backgrounds, personalities and creative talents.
Learning how to train others to adapt this program to their own strengths has forced me to refine my own skillset and philosophy. As a result, the program evolves every year to meet the needs of young people in a world that is rapidly changing.
Regardless of what changes occur, I think we can all agree that creative problem solving, imagination and heART centered leadership are skills we want our youth to have the opportunity to develop.
If you are a creative professional who feels called to shape young minds and spirits with heARTful learning opportunities, please be in touch.