In each school, there are educators with whom students naturally form good relationships, go to for help, and feel comfortable talking to about their problems. Based on this observation, the “Go-to” Educator Professional Learning trains “go-to” educators in the early identification, support, triage and referral of students who may be exhibiting substantial mental health problems and/or mental disorders.
Go-To Educators are not trained to be counselors or work outside of their scope of practice. They learn how to complement and collaborate with student service providers in school settings, enhancing the development of a whole-school support network that can better meet student needs. Research has demonstrated that this approach can improve access to mental health care for those students with severe disorders or more complex needs, while concurrently decreasing total number of referrals to specific mental health services.
Go-To Educator Professional Learning is a companion program to the Guide Professional Learning, and can be implemented independently, or as part of a package that includes the Guide. “Go-to” educators can be subject or classroom teachers, student service providers (guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses, etc.), principals, or other staff members identified by the school.
The learning session can be delivered in one day by a Go-To Trainer or a Core Trainer. Trainers build capacity in their jurisdictions (e.g. regions, boards, districts) for ongoing professional learning. They are trained either over a two-day period as Go-To Trainers, or a three-day period as Core Trainers (see below for details).
Some of the many benefits of Go-To Educator Professional Learning include:
- Student, teacher, and administration friendly
- Easily integrated into existing school curriculum in any jurisdiction
- Sustainable, affordable, capacity building and research proven to be effective for both teachers and students
- Helps develop a whole-school approach for students who need additional help and support
Typical in-person Go-To Educator Professional Learning sessions:
- One full day
- 10 – 100 participants
- usually run from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
- Held at school site
Online Sessions Available:
Due to the current situation with COVID-19, we are offering online sessions as well. They are:
- two, 2 hour sessions (via zoom) that take place on separate days of your choosing
- no limit on number of participants
- can include everyone related to your school/school division
- free within the province of Alberta