“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.” – Chinese proverb
We are all teachers, and we are all students. In addition to working with organizations that formally identify with education–school communities, school Districts, Universities–I have had the pleasure of working with many community based human service agencies.
One of the most enduring and satisfying professional relationships in community has been providing on-going professional development with the staff of the First Born Home Visiting Program of Taos County. Since their inception in 2009, I have contracted with their fiscal agent, our local hospital, to provide three, half-day in-services to develop EI skills and concepts with both the founding staff and those more recently hired. Working with the entire staff creates an organizational climate and culture that nurtures and models emotional intelligence (EI) in their decision making and in their interactions with one another. The home visitors explicitly teach EI skills to families with newborns, helping parents develop these skills during this sensitive and crucial transition. The home visitors, through families, are integrating into the community the foundational relationship and communication skills. EI (historically called ‘EQ’ in our community) is the framework and container that provides the context for other practices and trainings that the First Steps Program incorporates. These include Reflective Practice, Circle of Security, and Infant Mental Health. Learn more at
For over a decade, the Taos Community Foundation (visit website) has provided invaluable fiscal and emotional support for the EI work seeing its potential reach into the community from a bird’s eye view and making many organizational connections in the state. They understand the application of these skills across organizations and the community and watch for openings and opportunities to assist in their development.