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Gentle Teaching has provided me with a framework to build meaningful connections

Becoming educated in the Gentle Teaching Philosophy has provided me with a framework to build meaningful connections with the individuals I support. Since learning of my tools that the Gentle Teaching Philosophy has awakened me to, I have grown to have a support style that is built upon patience, a healthy dose of humour, and a strong belief in the power that positive human connections can hold in someone’s life. I have developed into a support that seeks understanding beyond the surface of each situation and searches for the opportunities to create further connection with those I support each time spent together.

Gentle Teaching has provided me with the framework to build meaningful connections

Gentle Teaching has given me the knowledge needed to be a positive presence in the lives of others. It has allowed me to create and maintain connections with those I support and helped me to guide my actions with understanding and kindness when faced with difficult situations. I believe the knowledge I have gained from COR in it’s entirety will allow me to continue to grow in my ability to connect with all people, and in turn influence positive change in the disability services sector as a whole.

Lexi
COR family member

 

Gentle Teaching Stories: “I’m empowered to new heights as a leader, support, and friend.”

Instead of just being nice, I’m mindful of my 4 Gentle Teaching tools.

My everyday interactions with the people around me are changed for the better because of this new mindset that I have from Gentle Teaching

When I first learned about COR and its culture of gentleness, I thought it was common sense to “be nice,” but after joining COR and taking the many relational workshops that are offered, I found that it is so much more than just “being nice.” Gentle Teaching has taught me to build meaningful relationships with those around me. To support them in their daily lives, learn about what they are working to achieve, offer them help, but also help them help themselves so that they have the tools they need in the future.

Instead of just being nice, I’m mindful of my 4 Gentle Teaching tools. Ensuring that my presence is strong, but welcoming and safe. Ensuring that my gaze is non judgmental, understanding and interested. Using my words to lift others up and ensuring that my tone and expression matches my message. Even though I carry these gentle teaching tools with me everywhere I go, they are not heavy. They do not weigh me down. I am proud to carry these tools to every environment and situation that I encounter. With my family, with my friends, with the individuals I support and with strangers that I meet. My everyday interactions with the people around me are changed for the better because of this new mindset that I have from Gentle Teaching. I am so excited to continue learning and growing from Gentle Teaching.

Hailey,
COR family member

 

Gentle Teaching has taught me to build meaningful relationships with those around me

Lucas’ Story – 4to40 (DEAM 2021)

University of Regina graduate, accomplished athlete, active in the community, valued employee of the Ministry of Justice, and consummate team builder. These are just a few words to describe Lucas Faye. These are accomplishments that we, as Lucas’ parents, dreamed for him. But when Lucas was diagnosed as a toddler with limited motion in his heel cords, delayed speech and underdeveloped cognitive abilities our dreams turned to worries. How successful will he be in school? Will he be marginalized and bullied? How independent will he become? Will he have friends, a meaningful job, and a good life?

During his primary school years, Lucas participated in the Elementary Functional Academic Program (EFAP) at St. Jerome school. He also received speech therapy and physical therapy in an effort to stretch out his heel cords to address his toe walking. In high school at Michael A. Riffel, Lucas blossomed and achieved success in many mainstream classes. With a love for music and musicals, Lucas joined That’s Possible Theatre, choir, music and drama clubs. Through hard work and the kindness of amazing teachers and classmates, we watched his confidence level, attitude and work ethic grow by leaps and bounds.

Lucas has always had a passion for sports and became very involved in Special Olympics – participating in track and field, curling, soccer, floor hockey and golfing. Lucas excelled in track and field, winning medals in provincial and regional meets and qualifying for Team Saskatchewan for the 2013 and 2014 Canadian Special Olympic National Games, winning two National Bronze medals in 2014. This is very impressive for someone who a decade earlier, couldn’t walk (let alone run) and required intensive surgery. Lucas’ coaches, fellow athletes and cheerleaders inspired him to never give up. Encouraging his fellow athletes is just as important to Lucas, and he loves watching his teammates compete and try their best.

Lucas celebrated his high school graduation in 2016 and applied to the University of Regina Campus for All program. He audited one class each semester (mostly Kinesiology classes), completed modified assignments and exams, and participated in presentations, class discussions, and group work. After four years of study (eight classes), Lucas graduated in 2020 with a Certificate in Inclusive Post-Secondary Education.

One huge advantage of being supported by the Campus for All program is the 4to 40 partnership with Creative Options Regina. While Lucas was still taking classes, 4to40 connected him to his first part-time job working with Special Olympics Saskatchewan. Not long after, he began performing administrative tasks, giving tours to new students and planning for a graduation event at the Campus For All office.

During Lucas’ final university semester, 4to40 arranged another interview for him with the Government of Saskatchewan – Ministry of Justice. Lucas is currently working as a General Program Assistant, performing data processing and various administrative duties. 4to40 provided a job coach for Lucas that worked alongside him until he was able to work independently to the Ministry’s standards. Aaron Orban, Executive Director of the Access and Privacy Branch had the following to say about Lucas:

“Lucas has had such a positive impact on our workplace. We weren’t just adding another person to the team but it gave everyone on the team an opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s lived experience. And that’s not something in our world that we necessarily see every day. The team really rallied around Lucas – and his positive energy, work ethic and his ability to see things as ‘cool’ that others may see as routine has really rubbed off on everybody. We are a stronger team as a result. People are being more supportive of each other, which is another result of just having Lucas around.”

At the start of 2020, Lucas was completing his final semester at the University of Regina while continuing to work. Unfortunately, due to COVID, Lucas had to complete the final month of class from home. During this time, it was extremely difficult for Lucas to be without work, structure, and friends. Despite these difficulties, we experienced an outpouring of kindness. Lucas received video messages from his colleagues, who shared beautiful messages congratulating him on his graduation and mentioning how much they missed him at work. Some messages included comments about Lucas’ favourite things (Riders, Leafs, Raptors and Jays) which showed us that Lucas had connected with his co-workers in a special and meaningful way.

The past year and a half has reinforced how important it is for all of us to feel valued, loved, needed and included. Lucas’ accomplishments have been many and his positive impact on others, immeasurable. We are so thankful for all of the difference-makers in Lucas’ life, including 4to40 and his remarkable employers. But we, and others who have the privilege of knowing Lucas, feel he is the one who makes the real difference!

– ALLEN & TILDA FAYE