fbpx

keynote speaker

Charle Peck — Keynote Speaker and School Mental Health Consultant

Charle Peck — Keynote Speaker and School Mental Health Consultant
About Charle Peck

Charle Peck (@CharlePeck) is the co-creator of Thriving School Community, a revolutionary program designed for schools to improve the mental health of staff and students. She holds an MS in Education and an MS in Social Work as a 20+ year veteran in education (K-12).

As a global keynote speaker, she delivers powerful messages of hope to educators and facilitates meaningful professional development to equip adults with tools that integrate into everyday practice. Her unique lens as a high school teacher turned clinical therapist who has worked closely with adolescents and families in crisis makes her stories relevant and captivating to those struggling in today’s system.

You can purchase her book “Improving School Mental Health: The Thriving School Community Solution” on Amazon. You can also listen to Charle’s podcast “Thriving Educator” and connect with her via email charle@thrivingeducator.org, on Twitter + LinkedIn @CharlePeck.

Connect with Charle: Email | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook

Listen Now

Listen to the episode now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on your favourite podcast platform.

Resources Mentioned

Thriving School Community Program

Graduate Programs at Niagara University

Master of Social Work (MSW) – Wilfrid Laurier University

Improving School Mental Health: The Thriving School Community Solution

Thriving Educator Podcast

TSC Virtual Summit

The Transcript

**Please note that all of our transcriptions come from rev.com and are 80% accurate. We’re grateful for the robots that make this possible and realize that it’s not a perfect process.

Sam Demma
Welcome back to another episode on the High Performing Educator podcast. Today I am so excited. I was connected to this amazing human author and speaker through a past guest named Darren. Today’s special guest is Charle Peck. Charle, please take a moment to introduce yourself to all the educators who will be tuning in today.

Charle Peck
Hi, you guys. Sam, thank you so much for having me. It’s so nice to be connected by people who are genuinely good people like Darren. And, you know, I’m just coming to everybody from a background in education, K through 12, for the past 20 years but I taught high school for 18 years, really saw my students struggling. So I got a Master of Social Work, became a clinical therapist, and I’ve been working with schools and districts across the country to help them solve this darn youth mental health problem. So I’m coming to you with that lens. I’m also a parent. I’ve got three boys, and I just want to make sure that our educators have simple tools and strategies that they can just infuse into everyday practice to manage their own mental health and well-being and then respond effectively to their student needs. That’s what they need the most.

Sam Demma
Well, something that makes you very unique is your specialization in trauma in becoming a clinical therapist. Tell me a little bit about that journey of yours.

Charle Peck
You know, I realized that understanding that brain-body connection through a trauma lens was essential to help mitigate the problems our students are having. And by the way, our educators are coming into our buildings with these same problems that are unprocessed. So once I learned what that was all about neurologically and emotionally how people are responding with that emotional charge as a result. It helped me develop the skills and tools that could actually adapt to the classroom setting. And that’s why I love doing what I’m doing, because it does work. And it works even in crisis. I worked at a crisis unit in a hospital, Sam, and I worked with teens who were really struggling and with their parents and families. And these skills and tools work with them too. So I’m excited to roll it out.

Sam Demma
Tell me more about the tools. As someone who’s excited to hear some of the things that you’re sharing, I’m sure the educators are also.

Charle Peck
Yeah, well, I developed them with Dr. Cameron Caswell. She’s an adolescent psychologist and she and I hooked up because we knew the problems were very similar with what we were each working with. And we had to come up with something that was evidence-based, so they absolutely are evidence-based, but something that would easily be able to recall and use and have visuals that can work for not only the adults, but the kids. So they can work with kids as five years old, but also 15 years old and adults. And I’ll give you an example, Sam. So one of the problems we have is dealing with anxiety, right? Anxiety and then avoidance and so in therapeutic sessions what I would do is talk with talk with people about this and they have what’s called their own narrative now We all know what narrative is right? It’s a story that we tell ourselves And there’s lots of things that are brought into that story But oftentimes they are just a bunch a bunch of lies like we’re not basing them on facts And so we’re walking around our buildings, emotionally charged with these unresolved traumas and all of these thoughts and feelings that are triggering us throughout the day. And it’s based on a story that we’re telling ourselves. So I teach them about the story spiral and how our thoughts and emotions, our responses, or really reactions, are all linked together. And then how people are responding to us can keep a spiraling into that story. Again, that’s not based on fact. We might think somebody is upset with us or mad at us or think that we’re dumb or incompetent, but they’re not actually thinking about us. They’re thinking mostly about who? Who are they thinking about, Sam?

Sam Demma
Themselves.

Charle Peck
Yes, of course, of course. But we’re all egotistical as human beings. And so helping people reframe their thoughts and feelings, emotions around those stories. And really unraveling that story can be so helpful with anxiety, which can apply to anybody. So that’s just one little tool that we use.

Sam Demma
One of many tools that you and many other educators and speakers will be sharing at your upcoming virtual conference. Can you please tell us a little bit about the summit happening on April 16th and how educators can get involved if they’re interested in learning more

Charle Peck
Yes. Okay. So Dr. Kim and I said, listen, we’ve got to provide support to people free, virtually, easily, anything that’s accessible. We’ve got to get it out there as much as we can. And so we decided that we’re going to do a virtual summit. We’ve done it several times before. It’s been great. And so we’ve got eight awesome speakers. We’ve got a speaker talking about crisis response, like how do we respond to youth in crisis? We’ve got a speaker talking about how to manage big emotions so that it will help us as educators, but also we can translate that to parents and students easily. Also leaders are a part of this too. They need to help with that as well. And they absolutely can.

Charle Peck
And so we just, we have like one of my sessions is about how to assert your authority without being mean because we do have struggles with students in that authority position, but we still have to stay connected, Sam. And if we don’t, we’re shutting them down, shutting them out and helping create that disconnect and that divide that is not working in our education system. We need to bring people together and have trust and connection. And so the expert speakers we have are there bringing their true insight and skills and tools, but briefly. So each of them have 20 minutes to talk and share resources. We’re doing giveaways. It’s fun. Dr. Kim and I engage people and people leave with real tools that they can immediately use. And so if anybody wants to register again, it’s absolutely free. You can be a parent or an educator or leader. And if you just go to thrivingschool.org forward slash TSC summit, you can just register for free. So thanks for bringing that up because we do want to support our teachers big time.

Sam Demma
And I know it’s not the first. So there’s a lot of people that are already involved. You’re building the momentum and doing such an amazing job at providing all these resources to so many educators across the country. I think everyone listening right now should pause this recording and go and check it out. It’s a amazing experience from what I’ve heard and I’m excited to hear more about how it goes this year. Tell us a little bit about why. Like why do you do this work that you do? You’ve done a great job explaining some of the things that you do and the tools. Tell me the reason behind it all.

Charle Peck
Oh my gosh, okay. So when I got to teach, I loved what I taught. I got to teach kids about their brain. I got to teach them about their development. I got to teach them about why the heck they were feeling what they were feeling and experiencing what they were feeling and experiencing based on their developmental stage of life. And also all of those influences that they got along the way. And so what that did for them is it helped them learn about who they were, and a lot of forgiveness happened with themselves. So they weren’t carrying the weight of the guilt and the shame and pain that society has put on them, and they were able to make sense of it. And so I knew that after I became a therapist, I knew that this work had to be done on a more massive scale because the youth mental health crisis is everywhere. I mean, it’s global. It’s global.

Charle Peck
And so when I realized I had some great tools that could easily infuse into everyday practice and really work well in a classroom and support staff at the same time with their own mental health, because they’re struggling too, I knew I had to step out of the classroom and just do this work. So I do get to speak around the nation about, and internationally about these tools. One of my sessions is called SOS for School Mental Health, Strategies for Staff and Students in Crisis, because we’ve got to address it. We’ve got to give relief to the whole system. So that is my why I’ve got to do this on a massive scale and help others get the relief that I was seeing in my own students.

Sam Demma
And did you struggle with mental health growing up or have you seen it in your family? Like, I would love to hear a little bit of your personal story as well that brought you into education and even brought you here.

Charle Peck
Yeah, you know, first of all, I’m the baby of six kids. So I had some interesting experiences in the position of my family. And even we had a great, I had a great childhood and a great family system, but I felt alone a lot. And I had a lot of people around me a lot And I was involved in a lot of sports Informing my identity. I wasn’t really sure like am I Only good when I’m playing well in my sport in my I didn’t think I was a good student I could have been but I thought I was dumb and there were lots of things that went on I absolutely struggled with mental health and I think adolescence is something that I always knew I would participate in, in the learning piece there to help adolescents because it’s such a tricky time of life and I think there’s such a disservice out there that they’re not involved in understanding what’s going on with themselves. So I was always compelled to work with teens, but I also have a child development background so that I understand not only as a young child, like what’s important for us to do to support them when we’re pregnant. And I’m not afraid to say that because it’s super important that people understand how impactful it is forever. Okay. And so that’s one of the things that’s a disservice I think I’m doing by not being in a classroom again with teenagers.

Charle Peck
I don’t get to teach them every day about healthy and unhealthy relationships Because we had some really important Conversations there that I wish I would have had So that’s something else that I’m trying to do on a global scale is help Adults teach kids about these healthy and unhealthy relationships and friendships And what does that look like because I don’t want anyone else getting stuck, you know, my first year of teaching. I was not only planning sessions for my students, I was planning an escape to a women’s shelter. And I did that while I was still teaching and holding it together. But I was able to do that because I felt confident about who I was and I had a ton of supports. So yes, I struggled, but the good news is, Sam, we can prevent these problems from happening in the first place. And we can also help people manage that when they’re in it and learn to step out of wherever they are if they’ve reached their limits. I mean, there’s a way to do that and still feel good about who you are. And so that’s why I’m doing this work too.

Sam Demma
There’s the speaking, there’s the summits, and then there’s the book. Tell us a little bit about the journey of the book and what you’re hoping that resource will do in the world.

Charle Peck
Well, it’s meant to be something simple that has a framework that’s easy to relate to, especially in the education world. And so there are nine skills. And the reason there are nine is because we identified nine different areas that were contributing to the youth mental health crisis. For example, insecurity, not recognizing our own strengths and getting stuck in that. Like when I was felt like I was a poor student, I got stuck there. And so that shapes how I performed in school. I mean, I later went on and did better, but that was what I wish I had is that particular skill or polarization, right? There’s so many of us who are polarized and guess what? We can actually work and engage with others, even if we don’t like each other or believe in the same things. But there’s a way to do that, to meet our own needs in that exchange. So that’s another thing. So all of the skills are in the book that explains the rationale, but also we wanted people to walk away being able to use them immediately. So it’s kind of a reference guide that way. That’s what the book is, so anybody can use it, parents, students, but we say educators, you need this. We need to start with you because I think our schools are absolutely the keys to make any kind of change, like, in the masses.

Sam Demma
What can people listening expect from you and the team in the near future?

Charle Peck
Well, we’re doing a lot of professional development in equipping our teachers across the nation with these tools. So if anybody wants that, please, please, let’s help. Like we all need to help you. There’s something for every budget. I know budget is certainly an issue, but there’s something for every budget. And in fact, we want to promote sustainability and autonomy in the schools we work with. And so we have a program for that so that we can equip school counselors, school mental health team members, so they can roll it out. And it’s not even as big as train the trainers, Sam. That’s way too much for people to handle right now. So we know what we can provide is affordable, but also sustainable. So that’s one of the things we’re doing. And I’m also doing some keynotes.

Charle Peck
And so if anybody wants that message of hope, that’s one of the things I’m doing, but I’m really excited to share, and I haven’t said it too much yet, but I’m actually working on another book with a former principal who has a trauma lens and is a foster parent and understands the system really well too. And we’re actually talking more about behavior and how to respond to behavior and where the heck it’s coming from. So I’m excited about that because people need those tangible tools and principles to kind of go by. So yeah, that’s coming up too.

Sam Demma
And if they wanna reach out, ask a question, follow your journey online, what would be the best place for them to get in touch?

Charle Peck
They can just email me charle@thrivingeducator.org or they can just go to my website thriving educator.org. I’m on social media. You can find me @CharlePeck. Just connect. The thing is, don’t let this go. Like if you need some support, let me help you.

Sam Demma
Charlie, such a pleasure to have you on the show. Thank you for taking the time. I look forward to our paths crossing at some point in real life offline. And I’m so excited for your new book, your educator summit, everything that is yet to come.

Charle Peck
Thank you so much for all you do too, Sam, thank you. Thank you so much for all you do too, Sam, thank you.

Join the Educator Network & Connect with Crystina Cardozo

The High Performing Educator Podcast was brought to life during the outbreak of COVID-19 to provide you with inspirational stories and practical advice from your colleagues in education.  By tuning in, you will hear the stories and ideas of the world’s brightest and most ambitious educators.  You can expect interviews with Principals, Teachers, Guidance Counsellors, National Student Association, Directors and anybody that works with youth. You can find and listen to all the episodes for free here.