Our Signature Classes may be booked as Interactive Keynotes, stand-alone workshops, or as part of a more rigorous institute across the school year.
Do You Truly Embrace Diversity?
Everyone says they embrace diversity, but do they really? What exactly does ‘embracing diversity’ mean? How can school leaders authentically assert that diversity is acknowledged and respected in their school community? It’s much more complicated than hanging a few colorful posters around the school buildings. In order to accept the diversity that surrounds us, participants will explore the deep cultural values and attitudes that drive how we judge and interact with others. Participants will emerge from this class with more questions than answers. Questions upon which they must critically reflect, and then take back to their districts to embark on an honest journey toward creating a truly inclusive school community. Participants will gain tremendous insight into how they perceive themselves and others, and how that perception translates into building a school culture that is authentically inclusive.
Don’t Tell Your Kids They Are Smart
You read that correctly. Don’t tell your kids they are smart. And stop with the stickers, trophies, and extrinsic motivators that have contributed to a generation of entitled and disillusioned young people who lack mastery, purpose, and passion. Let’s focus together on what really matters: learning! Let’s create a culture and climate in our schools wherein students will think strategically and thoughtfully as they take risks in their learning and embrace challenges in order to realize their full potential. Participants will learn how to promote a growth mindset and a strong sense of efficacy. Participants will be inspired to cultivate an authentic learning culture wherein faculty and students will become intrinsically motivated to learn through mastery, purpose, and passion.
Metacognition and the Self-Regulated Learner
Student Learning Standards focus on the critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills students require in order to be college and career ready. In order for students to excel at these standards, they must become self-regulated learners. That is, students must possess the learning strategies to become autonomous, self-efficacious thinkers who know how to plan and set goals, monitor and adjust their strategies, and evaluate their outcomes. 'Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.' - E.M. Forster
Participants in this class will discover the cycle of the self-regulated learner, and how a thoughtful, strategic approach to learning will empower them and their school community to become critical thinkers and problem solvers who are intrinsically motivated to succeed. Principals will become models of self-regulated learning as they plan and set goals, monitor and adjust their strategies, and evaluate their outcomes.
Creating and Implementing Authentic Academic Language Objectives
Authentic access to academic language is critical to the success of English language learners. Moving beyond tips, make-and-take strategies, and vocabulary games, educators who learn how to create meaningful academic language objectives at the word, sentence, and discourse levels create optimal learning environments wherein all of their students will access content concepts, and the language associated with that content. During this class, participants will understand the value of academic language objectives and they will engage in the how-to for creating academic language objectives, including the value of differentiated scaffolding supports.
Building Bridges through Biliteracy
Teaching for biliteracy focuses on the strategic and thoughtful ‘bridging’ between the Spanish and English languages. It is based on the premise that the native Spanish language deserves to be nurtured and fortified before language learners can effectively ‘bridge’ into English. Once they are ready, these learners engage in a metalinguistic contrastive analysis wherein they learn to appreciate the similarities and differences between their two languages. Teaching for biliteracy solidifies a Spanish foundation in order to more successfully build English language acquisition. As a result of this class, participants will learn how to engage in a bridge between Spanish and English, with a strategic focus on the metalinguistic contrastive analysis. Participants will be engaged in a highly interactive and dynamic series of learning scenarios wherein they will be taught, and then they will engage in, the essentials of teaching for biliteracy.
How to Elevate the Status, Accessibility, and Value of Spanish Language Learning?
In this compelling six-part program, participants will collaboratively explore current realities and data related to foreign language teaching, receive insight into current best practices and efficient program design and implementation, and understand current policy, with recommendations for elevating L2 status, accessibility and value in the classroom and for the workplace.
Micro-session topics include:
Student-Driven Data: Placing the Focus Back on the Student
Has ‘data' become the new four-letter word in education? Are you currently experiencing death-by-data? Why not consider placing the data in the hands of those who can make the most use of it? The students! Together we will explore how students can ‘own' their learning, becoming self-regulated learners who know how to set goals, track their progress, and critically evaluate their outcomes through the strategic analysis of their own data. We will authentically align with the NJ Student Learning Standards, as we motivate students to cite evidence of growth based upon their own performance and develop perseverance as they develop a growth mindset. Designed for administrators, this class will ‘up the bar’ by focusing on the most important component to student achievement: the student.
Work/Life Balance: An Educational Imperative
Let’s get right to the point: During our class, you will explore what is urgent and what is important, what adds value, and what wastes time. You will assess what your time management style is at the moment. You will learn strategies for effectively managing tasks, delegating when appropriate, and breaking down larger tasks into more manageable bite-size chunks. You will decide upon routines and habits that will propel you forward, at work and at home. You will learn how to invest time now in order to save time later. It’s a quality of life issue that you deserve to explore, not only for your sake and for your family’s sake, but for the sake of the school district in which you serve.
How Well Do You KYS (Know Your Students)?
Effectively and strategically integrating a diversity of learners into the school community requires an understanding of and an appreciation for students' backgrounds. During this intensive and highly interactive class, you will learn how to KYS – Know Your Students. You will learn how to build strong relationships with your students, which will in turn allow for more precise differentiation of instruction, which will in turn lead to greater learning and
academic success for ALL of your students.
KYS topics to be explored:
English Language Learners Make Schools Stronger
English language learners (ELLs) compel teachers to consider how their students can succeed in the delicate balancing act of acquiring both content and language. Engaging in the process of sheltered English instructional scaffolds, teachers learn to thoughtfully plan their lessons complete with visuals, meaningful tasks, and effective learning strategies in a culturally responsive and collaborative environment. Teachers of ELLs become stronger, more creative, and more competent as they rise to the challenge of creating equitable access to education for all of their students. As they experience the sheltered English instructional scaffolds, participants will emerge with a renewed appreciation for the richness that results from cultural diversity.