Monday, May 16, 2011

"Knock Knock, Who's There? WE ARE!"

I was first introduced to this powerful spoken word poem by Daniel Beaty at a Children of Incarcerated Parents training. I have since shared this video in individual sessions and group sessions with children and adolescents who have experienced the incarceration of a loved one.

Beaty's performance is candid and emotional. It doesn't matter how many times I have seen it, I still become tearful each time I watch it. I encourage you to watch it and share it with others!!! I have created a google document with the words to the poem: "Knock Knock."



"Knock Knock" serves as a powerful discussion starter for children who have experienced the incarceration of a loved one. Students often want to watch it over and over because it is so powerful.

The line that seems to stick with children the most is "Although we are our fathers' sons and daugthers, we are not their choices."  Often children experience guilt, shame, and stigma for having a parent or family member in jail. Hearing Beaty talk so openly about his experience and his proclamation that we have "the power to change this world" gives hope to students that they can make a difference.

Children experiencing the incarceration of a loved one are often an invisible population. Facilitating groups and individual sessions gives children a voice and helps them to feel less alone.

In order to identify students for individual and group sessions I make it known that I am a safe person to talk to about incarceration. When I introduce myself to students and/or whole classes I include incarceration in the list of the topics I discuss with students. I also give needs assessments that includes a question about experiencing the incarceration of a loved one.

I love that "Knock Knock" empowers children and gives them a voice. I look forward to your reactions to "Knock Knock" by Daniel Beaty.

Click here for more resources for working with children experiencing the incarceration of a loved one.

How will you utilize "Knock Knock" in your work with children and adolescents? Comment below, email metweet, or share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!

Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources.  Contact Danielle via email, follow her on twitter, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.

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