On January 19th 2016, I completed my 12 hours of Response Abilities Pathways (RAP) training at the University of Regina. RAP training gives me unique insight into working with “at-risk” children and youth in a productive manner. RAP training is designed to respond to the needs of students rather than react to their actions. This course has taught me how to identify where a student is having problems through using the Circle of Courage, where similar to the Medicine Wheel, each quadrant represents specific characteristics, in this case belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. Some of the worlds most amazing minds were thought of as bad students, only to change history. Identifying where the circle is broken allows the teacher to use specific strategies to help and guide the student in a more positive direction.
RAP training questions things like teaching students the Tit-for-Tat way of socializing, or using rules such as “treat others the way you want to be treated”, because many of the students who have broken circles do not necessarily believe they deserve happiness, or have been in very bad situations where they are not familiar with how to handle being cared for, every situation is different, making the response needed to be different.
The course demonstrates different ways to help students with their behaviors. In a reactive classroom or school problems are dealt with in a coercion method, often treating a bad behavior with a negative treatment, however, when you use RAP training methods you respond proactively with supports. In all situations people respond in one of three ways, with a physical response, an emotional response, or a mental response, but how you respond makes a different.
Physical Responses (Coercive vs supportive)
Punishment vs Protection
Deprivation vs Nurturance
Restraint vs Freedom
Emotional Responses (Coercive vs Supportive)
Treat vs Trust
Hostility vs Respect
Blame vs Understanding
Social Responses (Coercive vs supportive)
Exclusion vs Belonging
Frustration vs Mastery
Domination vs Independence
Unconcern vs Generosity
Being able to take this Professional Development allowed me to practice using the supportive techniques, but to also watch examples of the impacts that using coercive methods has on people both long term and short term. A lot of focus was put on the social responses but digging into the full meaning of Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity, and how they impact a person, and different ways to determine if an element is missing from their circle, as well as how to bring that piece back into their circle.
This event gave me so much insight into the actions of students, and different ways to respond to different behaviors. Being able to understand human behavior better will help me be more supportive towards students who are needing something extra to guide them on a positive and productive path to success and happiness.
I believe that all administrators and teachers should have this training, to help them build connections with all students.