Helping Washington Kids Navigate Tough Times

McKee holds these workshops around the country for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). She says even the smallest interaction with a youngster can make a big difference in how they feel and act at school, and uses bus drivers as an example.

"If you open up the bus door and you say something mean, then you’ve just set the tone for that student. But if you open up the door and you’re teaching a skill – and social skills are easy to teach – you’re teaching children how to interact with adults."

The workshop also covers conflict resolution. It is not open to the public; it’s part of professional development courses offered to union members. AFT-Washington says it is expecting the largest turnout in several years for this Saturday’s course in Tacoma.