Speaking Topics and Workshops
Phyllis presents at conferences, sits on panels and speaks at both public and independent schools
Coping With The Mess That Is Middle School
Your sweet kid suddenly turns into an unpredictable, moody tween or teen. And that’s just Monday. By the end of the week, you’re shell-shocked and wondering what happened. In this interactive talk, Phyllis shows you that you’re not alone, and shares tips that will help you preserve your relationship with your child as you guide them through the ups and downs of middle school. Everyone can emerge with their sanity intact!
IDEAL AUDIENCE: Parents of Middle Schoolers, PTOs, PTAs, Middle School Teachers and Counselors
When School Is Your Workplace
Everyone wants kids to treat each other with kindness, and parents, coaches, mentors and educators are role models who can set the tone. The politics, the processes, and the mysteries of working in a school can be difficult to manage. In this talk, Phyllis helps you sort out the do’s and don’ts of life in the grown-up versions of middle school and offers tips and techniques for navigating a complex professional environment with success and grace.
IDEAL AUDIENCE: Middle School Teachers, Administrators, and Counselors
Why Middle School Can Set You Up For Life
Contrary to popular lore, middle school can be a wonderful stepping stone to a successful adolescence and life. The lessons that you can learn from this tumultuous time will set you up for the rest of your working life. In this interactive talk, Phyllis sets out the ways in which a smart navigation of the perils of middle school can provide a map for happiness in adulthood.
IDEAL AUDIENCE: Parents and Educators
What People Are Saying
We were so grateful to have the opportunity for Phyllis to speak at The StudyPro on how to help our students push through frustration. Our audience of 50+ parents left comments such as “Excellent event – we appreciated the practical ‘13 tips’ format”, and “The speaker was terrific – I already see strategies that I can incorporate right when I get home!” With anxiety for students at an all-time high, we are all looking for new tools and approaches to help support our children. Phyllis is a true treasure in our community and we are grateful to her for sharing her expertise so openly and generously with our community.
- Debbie Rosen
Founding Partner at The Studypro
Phyllis said that if we don’t teach our children about love, the outside world will do it for us. That is so true.
- Kim Saulsbery
School Counselor and Speaker
Phyllis Fagell is the kind of counselor every kid deserves. She loves her work and it clearly shows in her dedication to understanding her students' challenges and helping them manage their out-of-control emotions. I especially appreciate her effectiveness as a character educator and her understanding that relationship-building is the most important skill people need in their personal and professional lives.
- Annie Fox
Annie Fox, M.Ed. author of Teaching Kids to Be Good People
The feedback from counselors was excellent! Here are just a few of the comments: ‘Outstanding presentation. You should have her back!’ ‘The presenter was great—very engaging and hands-on.’ ‘This was one of the best presentations that I’ve been to in a long time!’ ‘This training was so useful. I’d love to have many more like this in the future!’ Thank you!
- Jennifer Hitchcock
Phyllis Fagell is my new go-to source for sage advice in child development. She speaks from the heart but also from real experience.
- Michele Borba
Educator, Speaker and Bestselling Author of Unselfie - Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in an All-About-Me World
I loved your presentation on how to build school-wide empathy through design thinking. You provided such wonderful ideas that I can take back to school and use immediately! Thank you for your out-of-the-box ideas in working with both traditional and non-traditional learners.
- Shannon Gruzeski
School Counselor Stanton Elementary Rockwood, School District Saint Louis, Missouri
We had a board meeting this morning and once again, everyone was raving about your talk. Would you be interested in coming back? I wasn't kidding when I told you how well-received you were. Everyone truly values your insight and would love the opportunity for another discussion.
- Ilana Tanowitz
Congregation Beth El
Let me reiterate that you were so amazing on Saturday. You are a talented woman! Thank you for your time and for giving us so many great things to think about.
- Tamara Snyder
Board Member, Zhava
Phyllis spoke to the faculty of Stone Ridge School about her book, "Middle School Matters," and the many ways parents and educators can improve students’ middle school experience.
With AMAZEparents at the Advocates for Youth, talking about friendships, communication, and emotions in relation to middle schoolers.
Education association PDK International invited Phyllis to participate in a panel discussion with National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson, Fordham Institute Senior Fellow Robert Pondiscio, AACTR President and CEO Lynn Gangone, and PDK CEO Josh Starr about the organization's latest poll on what Americans have to say about the public schools. For more on the poll: bit.ly/2iGh3ty
Phyllis and her Washington Post editor Amy Joyce discussed “Middle School Matters” at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC.
“Middle School Matters” at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC.
Phyllis was the keynote speaker and a presenter at the 2019 PBIS Summer Conference: Reaching All Students Through A Multi-Tiered System of Supports. The conference — for educators — was jointly sponsored by Howard County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools, Anne Arundel County Public Schools and Prince George’s County Public Schools. More than 700 people were in attendance.
Phyllis spoke to parents and educators at the Parents Council of Washington 2019 Best Practices Forum, focusing on social and emotional wellness.
Phyllis spoke at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. about how parents can help their kids cope with stress and anxiety. She addressed specific personality types, from the chronic worrier to the perfectionist to the kid with “Eeyore Syndrome.” Phyllis shared many of her favorite concrete strategies, along with general tips about effective communication. As she noted, skills such as emotion regulation and the ability to sit with discomfort and maintain perspective are completely teachable. They’re also particularly important at a time when the CDC is reporting skyrocketing rates of anxiety and depression in kids.
Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C
Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland invited Phyllis to conduct a mindfulness training at their all-counselor meeting in November 2018. The event was oversubscribed, so the organizer invited Phyllis to present again to additional counselors. The hands-on, practical training shows counselors how to implement mindfulness individually, in small groups, and in the classroom. Phyllis shares a variety of real-world scenarios and complementary counseling techniques, and educators leave the session with more than 25 concrete strategies.
Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland
Phyllis and Sheridan Head of School Jessica Donovan presented at the Character.Org National Forum. Educators from around the world--including New Zealand, Canada, Colombia, Oklahoma and Texas--came to hear them talk about how Sheridan, a National School of Character, uses design thinking to increase school-wide empathy.
Character.Org National Forum
Phyllis's audience included educators from around the world, including New Zealand, Canada, Colombia, Oklahoma and Texas.
Character.Org National Forum
Phyllis and Sheridan Head of School Jessica Donovan presented "Less Stress for All: A Schoolwide Approach to Mindfulness" at the ASCD conference in Anaheim, California. ASCD is comprised of teachers, principals, superintendents and administrators.
Phyllis presented to parents, psychologists and educators on "Helping Kids Navigate Homework with More Confidence and Less Conflict"
Presenting at McQuaid Jesuit in New York
Phyllis shows educators at the ASCD conference how blowing bubbles can help kids learn to control their breathing and relax.
Bubble Breathing Exercise
Book Phyllis To Speak At Your Next Event
Phyllis Speaks to Parents, Educators and Professionals