Monday, May 12, 2014

What's it like being a life skills instructor after one month?

By Jonathan Dunnemann

At this time, as a Life Skills Instructor, I engage in respectful, cooperative relationships with youth; being accountable for providing services and safety to youth while empowering them in achieving their chosen goals and objectives.

My other duties and responsibilities include:

  1. Instruct older adolescents / youth in life skills for learning opportunities.
  2. Teach life skills on an individual basis including career planning, communication, daily living, home life, housing and money management, self care, social relationships, work life and work and study skills.
  3. Assess adolescents / youth and develop individual life skills goals and learning expectations for each; assess progress and mastery of life skills goals to identify increased knowledge of essential life skills.
  4. Communicate and document relevant adolescent / youth participation, progress, needs, and behaviors with appropriate personnel, supervisor and case / social worker (i.e., critical incidents, progress notes, progress reports, etc.).
  5. Develop and maintain knowledge of programs / learning opportunities in the Asbury Park / Neptune / Ocean Township, New Jersey area that can be utilized as resources for adolescents / youth.
  6. Adhere to DCP&P / Beacon House (a.k.a. DYFS) rules, policies and procedures, workplace safety, training requirements, code of conduct, and confidentiality.
  7. Other duties as assigned.

This work has already proven to be especially challenging given that this population is greatly affected by their level of capacity to control their emotions and adequately regulate their attention, behavior, decision making / thinking, and positive / negative self-talk.

Looking further ahead, I know that I would like to be able to encourage and train adolescents / youth in integrating all of one's life, knowing oneself, discovering purpose and finding a spiritual path. I see this current career opportunity as one of many preparatory steps leading me in the right direction of more fully becoming myself and learning how best to lead from within.

It is also clear to me, that not all treasures can be found beneath a single stone.

Let the journey continue.