Policies

Do I really need to check my email?
Deep’s primary method of communication is email. Please make it a priority to check your inbox at least once every few days.

I can’t make it an upcoming workshop. What should I do?
Writing Fellows commit to be present at all workshops. This is a commitment to your kids, not just to Deep. If you’re aware of a date you absolutely must miss, please let the staff know as far in advance as possible (at least a week.) We can arrange for a sub to take your place in the classroom to support your co-Fellow in your absence. It is your responsibility to plan and comment with your co-Fellow to prep for the week you will miss.

Life happens, and sometimes unforeseeable circumstances mean a Fellow must miss a workshop. If you ever need a sub within 48 hours of your workshop, please let your co-Fellow know, then email us and call us. This ensures that we’re aware of the situation, and that a sub will be prepared to make the workshop as Deep as it can be. At the end of the day, everything we do is with our DeepKids’ best interests at heart. When we’ve got strong communication in place, we as a staff are able to better support you as Fellows, and you, in turn, can offer support to our kids.

Our schedules are tough to coordinate. Can we plan via email?
No. In the rare case that it isn’t possible to plan in person (one of you is out of town, perhaps), then Skype or set aside the time for a phone call. E-mailing before you meet is a great idea, (if you want to share readings, ideas) but you really need some voice-on-voice contact to plan effectively. This is the NUMBER ONE reason that workshops fail—because the Fellows aren’t meeting to plan, so there isn’t ownership in the plan from both parties.

This “post-workshop assessment”—when should we do it? Can it wait until we meet again to plan?
Jot something down on your post-workshop assessment worksheet immediately after EVERY workshop. No excuses. This takes 3 minutes if you stay focused and are anticipating it each time. If you want to expand on your assessment when you meet to plan, that’s great, but it is very important to us that you have thought about these questions right after every workshop—it’s an integral part of the Deep method.

What should I wear?
Wear your Deep t-shirt to every workshop. This marks you as a safe adult in the kids’ eyes. Also, please use the  school dress policy for teachers as your guidelines. No short-shorts, ripped up Deep t-shirts, etc.

My DeepKids are showing up late to the workshop. What gives? What should I do?
There are a few things that will help in this situation (besides letting your Director of Programs, Megan, know right away).

  1. As soon as you arrive at the school each week, remind the office to make an announcement that “the Deep program meets today (where & when),” This can help a lot.
  2. Tell your Ed Fellow, and ask him or her what might be happening. In fact, it’s totally fine for one of the Writing Fellows to slip away during the first part of the workshop to trouble-shoot attendance problems and/or track down the Ed Fellow (the Ed Fellow probably won’t be in the room with you, but they will be on-site).
  3. Ask your DeepKids! You’d be surprised at how effective this can be— they can usually help you get to the root of the problem or communication breakdown very quickly. And as always, please let Megan know if you’re having trouble—we’re here to support your good work.

What happens after the workshop is over?
Our post-workshop procedures are important. Please read and heed these. All Writing Fellows are required to follow these procedures:

  1. Dismiss walkers and wait with car-riders at pickup location.
  2. If students are waiting longer than 15 minutes for a ride, Fellows should seek the assistance of the Ed. Fellow, who should be available in person or by phone.
  3. Trouble-shoot with the students who aren’t picked up by talking to them about their plans for getting home, and helping students call their parent or guardian. (Do not take guidance from someone who is not a parent or a guardian.)
  4. Call the Director of Programs for help with trouble-shooting at 912.441.5147.
  5. If Director of Programs cannot be reached, directly call Campus Police at 912.395.5536
  6. Never leave children alone or with an adult who is not authorized to escort them.

If a DeepKid misses more than 3 workshops, do you really cut them from the book? How hard-and-fast is the maximum absence rule?
Honestly, the only person authorized to make an exception to this rule is YOU, the Writing Fellow. It’s something for you to use at your discretion and to empower you to make kids show up, and remind them that there are consequences if they don’t. Our advice is to enforce it so strictly that if a kid feels they are in danger of missing four workshops, they will come to you begging to make an exception (in which case you are authorized to do so). So, we leave this to you, and urge you to use it. We don’t have a lot of rules, but this one is pretty helpful if you use it.

I’m concerned about something a DeepKid wrote or mentioned in class. What should I do?
We are legally and ethically obligated to report any case where we suspect that a child is being harmed by others, or is causing harm to others or to themselves. While DeepKids must feel open and free to share their scary thoughts and experiences with us, we must remember that as adults, our foremost responsibility is to their safety.

Steps to take if you’re worried about a child’s safety:

  1. Talk to the kid. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to get clarification by approaching the DeepKid in a low-stakes, but serious conversation (a semi-private setting is best). The most important thing is to make them feel comfortable enough to be honest. You could ask, “Is this piece based on something that happened in your life? Or is it a metaphor?” Avoid words like “true,” which could make them feel like they’ve done something wrong or bad. Let them know you’re asking because you care about them, and reiterate that they haven’t done anything wrong.
  2. Contact us. (It’s okay to skip #1 if you are really unsure of how to proceed). Contact Megan immediately via email or at 912.441.5147.
  3. Take the next step, as prescribed by the programs staff. If there is need for it, this will likely involve you promptly filling out and submitting this form. If this incident stems from a piece of writing, include a copy with this report.

 A Deep staff member wants to meet with me for support. What’s that?
Support meetings are a semi-formal way to encourage volunteer development to make Deep (and you) awesome. An individual counseling session may be scheduled by Deep staff to address any issues that impact the effectiveness of a workshop, or as staff sees fit.

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