A Culture of Gentleness
What’s the Buzz About Gentle Teaching at WIN?
It’s all about being. Being who we intend to be. Being intentional. Being with the people we serve. It is really who we are, and who we have always been. We are excited to embark on this journey of making it our official guiding philosophy!
Why is WIN embracing this philosophy?
First a little history and the evolution of WIN!
Our Executive Director Greg Morris came to Westlock to assume his current position at the helm as our first and only (to date) Director. His personal philosophy at the time was, in our opinion, years ahead of societal norms. For example, he never opted for the “group home” style of service delivery that was, and continues to be the norm. It was his mission to “rescue” people from institutional care and help them live normal lives in our community.
Without a blueprint, and without a like-minded team, he struggled to implement his vision to its full extent. Discovering Gentle Teaching at this juncture allows him to see his vision through with the framework, structure, and guidance that our collaborating/mentoring agency Creative Options Regina (COR) is offering to provide us.
COVID caused a cultural shift in our agency and we are still feeling the aftershocks from it. The high rate of turnover caused by the pandemic, and continuing today, has resulted in a new workforce. It is a less stable workforce than we had due to many years of experience lost. Our industry in general doesn’t offer an environment that allows for growth and development – attracting and maintaining young talent is difficult. Instead, we spend our time and dollars training them and they move on to other industries. Gentle Teaching will provide job satisfaction that will change that – we know it will because it has for the agencies that have embraced it.
What is Gentle Teaching?
It’s a philosophy, but it’s more than that. It’s a culture. Some may say a movement. We think it’s a lifestyle. We could not be more excited! It is very difficult to express the concepts in written text, or even in short videos. That’s why we will be inviting friends and family members to attend a session and learn about it along with us and our employees!
When is it happening?
The very first Level One training happened in May 2023. We were delighted to have family members, board members and one Director from another agency participate. Our friends, Michael Lavis, CEO, and Jim Temple, COO from COR traveled to Westlock from Regina to deliver this overview of Gentle Teaching.
COR Mentor/Trainers Shannon Weibe and Morianna Fink visited us twice in Fall 2023 and delivered Level 2 training for our Direct Support caregivers. At the same time, our mentors and friends from COR are working with us to build capacity for us to deliver the training ourselves. Our very own in house trainers will be delivering Level 1 overview for new employees, families, and individuals we serve as well as interested community members.
Here we go guys! Buckle up! It’s going to be an exciting ride.