Professional Learning

Adrienne combines a diverse High School teaching experience and private practice with extensive learning through the Neufeld Institute to make sense of complex child and adolescent behaviours.

Most courses run as standalone 60 minute or 90 minute presentations and are targetted as Whole Staff professional training. Time will be given time during presentations to discuss, workshop and ask questions of the material. For a fuller exploration of the material, courses may be tailored into one day workshops for your school or organisation. To enquire about booking Adrienne for a training event, use the contact form below.

Fostering Resilience in the Classroom

Emotional wellbeing is dependent on a healthy relationship with our emotions. In this presentation Adrienne will discuss how to foster resilience in students. It includes:

  • the importance of feelings
  • Understanding emotional defence
  • Optimal functioning and the “bounce-back”

Emotional Dynamics at Play in the Classroom

Emotional wellbeing is vital to ensure healthy growth and learning in our tamariki. In this presentation Adrienne will discuss three key dynamics that can threaten emotional wellbeing in the classroom.

  • Anxiety
  • Counterwill
  • The Alpha Dynamic

The Alpha Dynamic at Play in the Classroom

In this presentation Adrienne will discuss the alpha dynamic and how it can threaten a healthy teacher-student relationship. It includes:

  • the Alpha Complex
  • the Bully Dynamic
  • Coming Alongside the Alpha Child

Emotions Room Workshop

How can we manage volatile emotions in the classroom without shaming and punishing the student or risking the safety of others? In this workshop Adrienne explains to key staff how to best use an Emotions Room in the school environment in order to facilitate emotional outbursts safely.

    This workshop covers

  • How to set up an Emotions Room
  • Protocols in the Emotions Room
  • Facilitating Emotional Outbursts Safely
  • Learn More

Teachability Factor

Teaching doesn't always result in learning and this discrepancy seems to be widening. This, despite the fact that students have never been smarter, teachers have never been better trained, our curriculum has never been more honed, and our technology has never been so advanced. According to Dr. Neufeld, the problem has to do with the diminishing teachability of our students.

This full day training gives a comprehensive overview of the Neufeld Approach for teachers and assists them in understanding the developmental roots required for maturation and learning.

Learn More

Using Play to Set Things Right

Play is a child’s first language and play is the best way to set things right when complex behavioural issues interfere in the parent-child relationship. This one day training makes sense of the complexity of behaviours that emerge as the result of emotional wounding and looks to play and attachment as the answer. It includes:

  • Anxiety
  • Counterwill
  • The Alpha Dynamic
  • Aggression

This training targets professionals who support whanau working with vulnerable tamariki and rangatahi with a history of trauma.

Anxiety at Play in the Classroom

Anxiety has the potential to overthrow learning for some students. In this presentation, Adrienne will outline the underlying roots of childhood anxiety and introduce key strategies teachers may use to effectively support the anxious child. It includes:

  • Underlying roots of anxiety
  • A relational pegagogy
  • Surprising solutions

Frustration at Play in the Classroom

Aggressive outbursts can be one of the most daunting things we face in the classroom. In this presentation Adrienne will discuss the key factors underlying emotional eruptions and will outline key guidelines for handling aggression including:

  • Bridging Aggression
  • Coming Alongside Emotion
  • Using an Emotions Room

The Bully Dynamic at Play in the Classroom

In this presentation Adrienne will discuss the Bully Dynamic and how it can threaten healthy student to student relationships. The complexities of cyber-bullying will be addressed where often victim and bully are one and the same. It includes:

  • Underlying roots of the Bully Dynamic
  • The problem of Peer Orientation
  • The "Unmaking" of a Bully

Attention Issues at Play in the Classroom

In this presentation Adrienne will outline two basic types of attention problems. She will then outline a relational-developmental approach to supporting children with:

  • Impulsiveness
  • Alarm
  • Restlessness

About Adrienne

Adrienne has spent many years as a High School Teacher in low decile, multi-cultural schools. She went on to do her Masters focussing on the power of the teacher-student relationship to support disaffected learners. She spent time as a lecturer in Human Development training teachers, counsellors and youth workers. She now runs her own business, Heartsync NZ, working privately with parents of children and teens with complex behaviours. She also runs events and presentations for educators, professionals, youth workers and parents to help them understand relational dynamics in children and youth.

Adrienne's Research

Adrienne spent two years researching the importance of the teacher-student relationship when engaging disaffected learners. She ran an intervention in a low-decile multi-cultural high school, inviting intervention teachers to see their most disaffected as their most vulnerable students (using Gordon Neufeld's Teachability Factor course). Findings showed that the teacher-student relationship improved as a result of the intervention.

One teacher commented,“I have a lot of compassion for him now that I might not initially have had...”  Another said, “I come back to compassion. Having more compassion. And trying to make our space at least a non-confrontational, softer space.”  One teacher described a massive transformation in one of her toughest students, as a result of finding his tears about a troubling situation. Asked if it changed his behaviour she replied, “Oh like 100%. Wouldn’t be the same kid. Completely different. Had we not worked on ... relationships ...he would be exhibiting worse behaviour."

View Dissertation

View Adrienne present on her research below. This presentation is taken from the 2021 Neufeld Institute Annual Conference.

Contact Adrienne

To enquire about pricing, availability or to tailor a course for your school requirements, contact Adrienne here. You should expect a reply within two working days.

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