The Mosaic Professional Development Project

Through the Mosaic Professional Development Project, we col­lab­o­rate with edu­ca­tors to build equi­table, healthy class­room and school com­mu­ni­ties that fos­ter mutual respect, con­nec­tion, and a cel­e­bra­tion of dif­fer­ences and that moti­vate all mem­bers to achieve at their high­est poten­tial.

Our staff works together with your pro­fes­sional learn­ing com­mu­nity to iden­tify its great­est strengths and strug­gles as we address the fol­low­ing three cru­cial ques­tions:

1)    How does this com­mu­nity build a strong foun­da­tion for a healthy learn­ing envi­ron­ment?

Building a sus­tain­able, pos­i­tive school cli­mate is like build­ing a phys­i­cal school. There must be a solid foun­da­tion based on mutual respect, col­lab­o­ra­tion and care. The ele­ments that affect the social-emotional devel­op­ment of stu­dents must be addressed proac­tively, early and often. Just like a phys­i­cal class­room has walls and a roof as phys­i­cal bound­aries, so the social-emotional class­room must have clear expec­ta­tions and pro­ce­dures as behav­ioral bound­aries.  Relying solely on behav­ioral man­age­ment is a “quick fix” approach, much like hastily erect­ing scaf­fold­ing on sand.  We aim to sup­port your com­mu­nity in build­ing an equi­table school from the foun­da­tion up.

2)    How does this com­mu­nity make social-emotional learn­ing rel­e­vant to stu­dents’ lives thereby deep­en­ing and extend­ing its impact?

We focus on the con­cept of inter­con­nec­tion. Understanding that our indi­vid­ual actions are affected by and affect the larger world puts indi­vid­ual and class­room behav­ior in the con­text of social sys­tems. Understanding these sys­tems is key to becom­ing a global cit­i­zen. It is key to under­stand­ing that not only is our behav­ior shaped by those sys­tems, but also that our indi­vid­ual behav­ior can help to shape them and that we can have a pos­i­tive impact on the world.

3)     How does this pro­fes­sional learn­ing com­mu­nity model behav­iors that are essen­tial to cre­at­ing the healthy school cli­mate it envi­sions?

Modeling has proven to be a very effec­tive tech­nique in aca­d­e­mic instruc­tion.  The same is true for social-emotional instruc­tion and in cre­at­ing a pos­i­tive learn­ing cli­mate. When teach­ers model the behav­iors they expect to see from their stu­dents, these behav­iors are more likely to become the cul­tural norm of the com­mu­nity. We sup­port teach­ers who would like to build their skills in assertive com­mu­ni­ca­tion, non­vi­o­lent con­flict res­o­lu­tion, and over­com­ing cul­tural bias.

The Mosaic Project also aims to model through our prac­tices. Just as we encour­age teach­ers to cre­ate col­lab­o­ra­tive, equi­table class­rooms, we cre­ate a col­lab­o­ra­tive, equi­table project. We work with each school to tai­lor the pro­gram to meet each indi­vid­ual school’s needs, as well as each indi­vid­ual teacher’s needs.

Your pro­fes­sional learn­ing com­mu­nity makes selec­tions from the Mosaic Tool Box and our menu of processes to achieve its goals.

The Mosaic Project’s Tool Box includes but is not lim­ited to:

  • Anti-bias Work: The Mosaic Project has a mul­ti­tude of activ­i­ties that explore the sys­tems in the world that unfairly favor or mar­gin­al­ize spe­cific groups of peo­ple.  Using empa­thy as a foun­da­tion, we moti­vate par­tic­i­pants to help cre­ate a more peace­ful, just, and inclu­sive world.
  • Assertiveness Skills: The Mosaic Project defines assertive­ness as “being strong with­out being mean.”  The “fight or flight response” can be deeply ingrained in us. Often, we feel we must respond to con­flict by fight­ing (being aggres­sive) or run­ning away and/or hid­ing (being pas­sive).  When we are assertive, we are respect­ful to our­selves and every­one around us. Body lan­guage, what you say, and how you say it are impor­tant fac­tors to con­sider when being assertive. The Mosaic Project pro­vides meth­ods to explore being pas­sive and aggres­sive and the con­trast of being assertive. We also explore how to be an assertive ally to oth­ers. Perhaps most impor­tantly, we sup­port teach­ers in mod­el­ing assertive­ness so that stu­dents have clear exam­ples of what assertive­ness looks like.
  • Conflict Resolution Protocols:  Teachers will learn how to model and teach Mosaic’s  5 Tools for Conflict Resolution: 1) Stop, cool off, and take a deep breath; 2) Talk using “I Statements”; 3) Listen; 4) Empathize; 5) Make a plan that works for every­one.  We pro­vide lessons (includ­ing songs) for each of the tools that sup­port both teach­ers and stu­dents in using the process to resolve con­flicts peace­fully.
  • Empathy Enhancement: Empathy is at the core of Mosaic’s work. Empathy is defined as the abil­ity to “put your­self in some­one else’s shoes.” Our lessons help to build the capac­ity for empa­thy in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions and to over­come the bar­ri­ers to empa­thy that  both teach­ers and stu­dents face.
  • Language:  Having com­mon lan­guage to dis­cuss chal­leng­ing issues is essen­tial when cre­at­ing an equi­table class­room. Words such as stereo­type, prej­u­dice, dis­crim­i­na­tion, and ally are defined. Lessons and analo­gies are also used to sup­port both under­stand­ing and the use of the words.
  • Peer Mediation:  We sup­port your teach­ers in cre­at­ing a school-wide pro­gram in which stu­dents help their peers to resolve con­flicts. 
  • Setting the Stage for Success:  We pro­vide a mul­ti­tude of activ­i­ties to sup­port the class­room com­mu­nity in mak­ing agree­ments and set­ting up sys­tems that set the stage for a suc­cess­ful school year.
  • Team Leadership:  In cre­at­ing a healthy school cli­mate where every­one works together as a com­mu­nity, it is essen­tial that the school’s fac­ulty model the behav­ior they expect to see from their stu­dents.  Mosaic pro­vides meth­ods and activ­i­ties to inspire a school fac­ulty to become a strong com­mu­nity and an exam­ple for the younger mem­bers of the school com­mu­nity.

The Mosaic Project’s Menu of Processes includes but is not lim­ited to:

  • Professional Development Workshops and Retreats:  We can pro­vide train­ing for your entire fac­ulty through work­shops and retreats.  
  • Individual Coaching:  We can work with indi­vid­ual teach­ers one on one.
  • Video:  We can video teach­ers in the class­room and pro­vide detailed feed­back as we ana­lyze the video together.
  • Classroom Observations:  We can observe your stu­dents and teach­ers in action.  This can help us deter­mine which tools might best serve your school.
  • Co Teaching:  We can co-teach lessons on Mosaic Tools with your teach­ers.
  • Setting Up Safe Spaces: The Mosaic Project can give sug­ges­tions and work with teach­ers to cre­ate spaces for stu­dents to take breaks (cool off) and resolve con­flicts.
  • Training Mentors:  We can train selected teach­ers to men­tor other teach­ers within your school in using Mosaic tools.

The Comprehensive Mosaic Professional Development Project includes:

  • 26 hours of facil­i­ta­tion, tai­lored to a school’s needs, which is gen­er­ally dis­trib­uted as fol­lows:
    • 1 two-hour goal set­ting meet­ing
    • 1 six-hour staff workshop/retreat
    • 1 three-hour staff work­shop (focused on a theme or topic of your choice)
    • 3 one-hour focused small team work­shops
    • 10 hours of indi­vid­ual observation/coaching
    • 1 two-hour wrap up/next steps meet­ing