Using Invitation and Position to Reach Every Student

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May 19, 2020 @ 11:00 am - May 20, 2020 @ 12:30 pm EDT


SESSION 1 AGENDA: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 – 11:00am-12:30pm Eastern
– Introduction to Padlet – a place where participants can continue to grow this body of knowledge and possibilities and share stories of what works.
– Presentation: The Idea of Invitations in Schools and Kindergartens.
– Small Group Discussion: In groups of 4, participants will co-create ideas in Padlet.
– Plenary Discussion: Share ideas with the whole group.

SESSION 2 AGENDA: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 – 11:00am-12:30pm Eastern
– Presentation: Positioning and Repositioning
– Small Group Discussion: In groups of 4, participants will co-create ideas for repositioning
– Plenary Discussion: Share ideas for repositioning with the whole group.
– Moving Forward: How to Use Padlet Moving Forward to Continue Collaboration and Sharing of Ideas.

Please note: ALL virtual sessions will be recorded and saved for participants who are unable to attend a scheduled session. Links to the recordings will be provided so that participants can view/listen to the recording at a time that works best for them.


Interactions between students and educators (teachers, counselors, administrators and staff) are embedded with non-verbal messages that convey different positions in the learning environment as well as countless invitations (to see intentions behind behavior and preferred relationships). As educators, we may believe our assumptions are accurate, unaware that we co-construct our relationship with the students in many ways, which embed certain positions in the classroom. How do we position or reposition the students in ways that invite possibility? How might we vitalize our students’ ability to learn and thrive in our classrooms and schools, especially those who struggle?

Professor René Kristensen is committed to challenging the diagnosis model and instead has been developing new possibilities for ways educators might cope and relate with children struggling to join the communities in the classroom. He draws upon Appreciative Inquiry and the field of social constructionism to reimagine ways to support our most vulnerable and challenging students. His graduate students are discovering a great deal more potential among their students who’ve been labeled learning or behavior disabled.

René is interested in sharing his ideas with teachers, principals, counselors, consultants and others who want to develop possibilities for their students to flourish. René will share some success stories, provide information about “invitation and position” and then participants will engage in conversations about application. He hopes everyone will share stories of what is working for them in order to ignite cross-cultural learning to support children everywhere.


After this event, you will walk away with:

  • New ways to invite relationship, learning, and engagement with struggling students;
  • New ways to position students that create possibilities;
  • Stories that illustrate different ways to support student flourishing;
  • Practical plans to take new knowledge and information forward; and
  • Ability to use an online platform to share ideas across contexts.


Webinar series will be delivered and recorded using Zoom. You can participate in the webinar series using any device: computer, tablet, or mobile. Please participate using the dial-in method you feel most comfortable with. You can find the virtual log-in information below:

Meeting ID: 925 6096 4847 / Password: 008198
Join Zoom Meeting:
One tap mobile: +13017158592,,92560964847#,,1#,008198# US (Germantown) OR +13126266799,,92560964847#,,1#,008198# US (Chicago)

If you have any questions about this event or experience difficulty connecting in Zoom, please contact Cheri Torres.


Event Registration

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Registration Includes

Registration includes:

  • Two 90-minute Zoom sessions with applied learning and practice after each session.
  • Access to recorded webinar sessions (should you miss a session or wish to revisit content covered)
  • Access to Padlet platform to share ideas, stories, articles, and videos to continue dialogue and learning with series participants.

AI Practitioners

René Kristensen, MSc., is an Associate Professor at University College Lillebaelt in Southern Region, South Jutland, Denmark. He works with supportive teaching, social inclusion issues, special education and more. He trains teachers and pedagogues (specialists and special education teachers) within different pedagogical frames and contexts. His primary approach is a systemic, constructionist approach, inspired by Peter Lang, Ken Gergen, and Karl Tomm.

He is interested in developing new possibilities to cope with children struggling to join the communities in the classroom in schools, instead of diagnoses. René has both experience and interest in appreciative pedagogical issues in schools. He is a former member of the Editors’ Board at the Danish Magazine, Kognition & Paedagogik. René is the author of several articles and books. His most recent book is Fantastiske Forbindelser (Great Connections).

Areas of specialization: Supportive education, social constructionist ideas, Appreciative systemic constructionist approach, special education, pedagogical observation methods, good stories, and dreams of the future. To learn more about René’s research, teaching and writing visit the English version of his website.


Jackie Stavros’ passion is working with others to discover their strengths, identify opportunities and create a plan with meaningful results for positive change! She is internationally recognized for her creation of SOAR, a positive approach to strategic thinking, planning, and leading that focuses on strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results in strategic conversations. The heart of her work is using Appreciative Inquiry (AI), one of the most popular approaches to positive change – that is bringing out the best in people, their organizations, and communities to fuel conversations worth having that produce meaningful engagement and results. She has presented her research and work in over 25 countries.

Jackie has been integrating strengths-based, whole system practices into her research, teaching, training, coaching, and consulting work to strengthen relationships, impact performance, and create positive change. She works with organizations in leadership development, team-building, and strategic planning. She helps organizations identify and articulate their values, vision, mission, strategy, and strategic initiatives and build collaborative teams and communities for results-oriented action. She has worked across all sectors including for-profit, non-profit, government, and a wide spectrum of industries.

Cheri Torres understands that relational dynamics inform any group or organization endeavor; therefore, she works with leaders and teams to co-create positive, strength-based relationships capable of achieving extraordinary outcomes. She emphasizes excellence and success as an evolving target that is best achieved through continuous appreciation and inquiry. Working with Cheri means learning to use a simple set of tools and practices that generate human connection, positive relational dynamics, broad-based inclusion, creativity, collaborative action, and collective impact.

Cheri also partners with communities and organizations for whole systems change and strategic planning, bringing all stakeholders together for planning, design and collaborative action. She has worked across all sectors: education, social profit/NGOs, government and corporate, supporting their capacity for learning and innovation, shared leadership, teamwork and collaboration. She has trained thousands of trainers and teachers in the use and practice of Experiential Learning, Appreciative Inquiry and other strength-based practices with a particular focus on leadership development, teamwork, creativity, and collaboration. In addition to North America, she has worked in Mexico, South America, Europe and India.

Event Cost

This event is FREE for all who wish to participate.


Melissa Robaina – Center for Appreciative Inquiry
View Organizer Website