Meet RESPECT Education & Training Director Kathleen Sorensen McGee

What is your favorite RESPECT educational play?
That’s a tough question, because all of our shows and characters impart such important messages. But if I had to choose my favorite, it’d be Cracked but Not Broken. I’ve spent the better part of my career teaching teens and young adults how to recognize and avoid “red flags” in relationships, as well as how to create and maintain healthy relationships. Cracked but Not Broken addresses issues related to red flags an intimate partner violence in a way that is accessible, meaningful and powerful for young people.

What is the best part of your job?
As RESPECT’S Education and Training Director, I really enjoy being able to put my 35 + years of experience as a Classroom Teacher, Trainer, Public Speaker and Author to use as I help train our staff in how to best work with people of all ages.

What is the best part of your interactions at RESPECT workshops?
The best part is hearing from the students themselves – their questions, what they’ve learned from our workshops, the kinds of challenges they are facing in their daily lives, as well as being part of the solution- providing them with new ways of thinking about situations and new skills that can help them improve all of their relationships.

What is something that you’ve learned by being part of RESPECT?
During my time at RESPECT, I’ve seen time and time again just how vital it is that we teach the next generation relationship and communication skills. In a world of sound bytes and instant communication, many young people are NOT getting enough “face time”- in person, real-life, face to face communication with peers or significant adults. As one research study aptly explained, “Humans are hardwired to connect” and without healthy connections and communication, our mental health suffers. At a workshop a few weeks ago, several teens lamented, “It’s like no one knows how to just talk in person anymore”. RESPECT staff, we have work to do!