The RAP-T Program
Recent research has shown that school connectedness is one of the most important protective factors against teenage depression. RAP-T aims to increase teachers’ recognition of the importance of school connectedness and to develop strategies to promote four key elements of school connectedness. They form the acronym WISE:
|W||arm relationships, including empathy, respect and the developmental understanding that underlies the ability to establish warm relationships;|
|I||nclusion and the importance of finding a role and a sense of belonging;|
|S||trength focus, including noticing, identifying and encouraging students' strengths; and|
|E||quity and fairness, including not only a lack of discrimination, but a support for difference and a strong sense of fairness.|
RAP-T also discusses the impact of stress on teachers’ ability to promote school connectedness and helps them with strategies to manage stress.
The RAP-T program consists of 3 three hour sessions designed to be delivered once a term in the first year. Weekly newsletters distributed to the teachers help to keep the issues in focus. Three refresher sessions are offered in the second or subsequent years.
The first session, Teachers are the Unsung Heroes, focuses on exploring the concepts of school connectedness and the value of teachers in this regard.
The second session, Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First, looks at recognising and managing stress.
The third session, Revelling in Your Success, revisits successes and explores ways of sustaining the program once the workshops and consultancies are over.
Implementing the program
The RAP-T program emphasises the importance for teachers to promote school connectedness in all aspects of their teaching environments; both in and out of the classroom.
The program is implemented in groups of 10-20 mostly during time set aside for professional development
- 3 x 3 hour workshops delivered in the first year
- 3 x 90 minute refreshers to be delivered in subsequent years
- Weekly newsletters containing a connectedness challenge for the week and an article of interest are distributed as weekly reminders of the core components of the WISE Model
RAP-T group leader’s manual and supplementary CD
This manual describes the theoretical basis of the program, guidelines for facilitation and detailed information about the content of each of the six sessions. The supplementary CD includes a colour flyer to promote the workshops to teachers, 20 newsletters which can be personalised to include the name of the school and information about upcoming workshops and an orientation flyer for teachers who arrive at the school after workshops have been completed. It also includes the PowerPoint Presentation needed to deliver the workshops.
RAP-T participant’s workbook
A Participant Workbook is required for each teacher to write in, and keep at the end of the program. The RAP-T Workbook comprises all of the exercises required for the program's individual and group activities.
RAP-T Resource manual: Get wise
This manual provides ideas for teachers to help promote school connectedness. It has been designed for teachers to get easy, quick access for ideas on different ways of promoting school connectedness as part of their everyday lessons in the classroom as well as all other interactions with students. The manual has been divided into three major areas:
Get WISE in the School
Get WISE in the Curriculum
Games and Activities