Professional Development

Wondering what kind of work I do with schools and teachers? Below find a sampling of some of the topics I most often support in educational communities, as well as the most common learning structures used. Want more details? Curious about something different? Send an email!


Kid's First: Crafting classrooms with a culture of empathy, joy, and impact

This workshop is often divided into four parts. Participants will first learn the research based mindsets that can help them become the most effective and impactful teacher they can be. We will take a look at integrating play, empathy, growth mindset, belief systems and reflection into our daily practice as teachers and humans. We will then use these mindsets to study how physical environments can impact learning and community. Moving from a study of classroom design to the learners that inhabit them, teachers will learn the latest research on teaching socials skills, building community, helping children with trauma, and supporting children with emotional needs. Finally we will turn our lens to teaching structures and responsive planning to ensure our classrooms center on children. Participants will gain practical step by step strategies appropriate for a range of learners.

Purposeful Play: Igniting Deep and Joyful Learning Across the Day

Too often play is set in direct opposition to work, when in reality, play is the engine of learning for children. This session will help teachers reclaim a playful and joyful spirit by teaching the myriad of ways play can be used to facilitate social emotional and academic growth. This session will outline the ways play can be infused within a day, as well as the instructional strategies teachers can utilize to support children’s learning at this valuable time. Teachers will learn how strategies like focused lessons, conferring, small group play, and whole class conversations can build literacy skills, STEM skills, and critical social emotional skills. Charts and tools will be shared alongside lessons that can be used in classrooms. Teachers will see demonstrations and photographs of how a playful spirit can extend to any teaching by utilizing student interests, props, videos, and joy.

Reading and Writing Workshop

Workshop teaching is an empowering and intellectually challenging method of instruction for both teachers and students. The experience of being a classroom teacher, and a former Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Staff Developer, enables me to work side by side with teachers and districts as they take on this important student-centered work. The study of workshop teaching can range from studying student work to lesson development to classroom practice

Writers Workshop Is For Everyone

“How do you spell…?”, “What should I write about?”, “I don’t know what to do!”

In this workshop, teachers will learn the latest in cutting edge research to support all types of writers. Accessible and easy to implement strategies will be shared to overcome the multitude of challenges writing workshop can present in an early elementary classroom. Teachers will get to the core of the problems that arise and see how individualized schedules, tools, and adaptations can support each learner. The importance of components like interactive writing, storytelling, and play workshop will be covered to support each learner’s growth. Participants will leave with a toolkit of possibilities to refuel their writing workshop with joy, play, and rigor for every writer.

Crafting Powerful (and Useful) Instructional Charts

Charts are an instructional tool in every classroom, yet their power is often underutilized. Teachers in this session will learn the science behind these powerful tools for independence and learning, as well as how these tools can be used to help children set goals, reflect on their learning, and become more independent in all areas. Videos, photographs, and demonstrations will support teachers as they learn how to make charts that serve as billboards for their teaching, as well as the most powerful ways to use them in lessons, small groups, and conferences.

Mindset for Learning

In this session, teachers will learn how they can leverage the powerful instructional strategies of storytelling, self talk, reflection, and goal setting to teach students to have positive, powerful mindsets. Teachers will learn the research that supports  teaching stances like flexibility, empathy, optimism, resilience and persistence. Teachers will learn how structures like conferring and whole class conversations can be used to teach create classroom communities of joyful effort, while still meeting benchmarks along the way. Classroom charts and lessons will be shared alongside  tools to ensure teachers can keep this powerful work going all year long.

Learning with Heart: The Power and Potential of Schools Built with Empathy

Empathy is more than just a feel good word, it is a classroom imperative. What exactly is empathy? How do we cultivate in ourselves, our classrooms and our communities? What is its impact on students, teachers and schools? This session will answer these questions with research and classroom tested strategies and techniques. In this session, participants will learn the following:

  • Types of empathy
  • Strategies to build and refine our own empathy for our students and communities
  • The role of teacher empathy in cultivating classrooms of growth and reflection
  • The influence of empathy on school and classroom design, social emotional environments, and daily scheduling
  • Strategies to build and refine empathy in our students within a classroom setting

The importance and impact of play in the development of empathy.  This session will integrate research, classroom examples, visuals, and personal reflection to empower participants to create the best possible worlds in their classrooms and schools, one with empathy and compassion at its core.

Learning Structures:

School Based Coaching

In school based coaching, I work in your school, side by side with you and your kids! This work can be around a topic (Growth mindset! Writing conferences! Responsive unit planning!) or general goal setting and reflective practice. School based coaching services are available for just one day, or multiple days across the year. Contact me for more information!

Workshops and Conference Days

Looking for an engaging, thought-provoking session or full conference day? I provide workshops ranging from one hour to two days on a variety of topics. All workshops pull from the latest in educational research and provide actionable strategies you can implement the very next day. I draw on my experience as a classroom teacher and as a coach in classrooms to keep the learning relevant, fast paced, and fun.

Virtual Learning

Sometimes a workshop of school based coaching is not in the cards. Thank goodness for virtual learning! I can present workshops via skype, google hangout and other platforms, as well as provide ongoing follow-up support. Contact me for more options!

Bonus Option!

Interested in a Mindset for Learning or Kids First? My co-author and I are able to present together on these topics allowing for break out groups, more intimate learning, and double the jokes.