Professional Development Course Catalog

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EDU 526 - A Practical Approach to Assessing and Managing Challenging Behavior


Behavior never happens in isolation. It always occurs within a complex integrated context of variables and interactions. One of the most difficult challenges that today’s educators need to meet is developing and implementing effective and practical programs to meet the needs of behaviorally challenged students and integrate them into the larger school community. This is particularly true for students classified as Emotionally Disturbed, Conduct and Behaviorally Disordered. This course is designed and conducted by a veteran school principal and an emotional support teacher who have collaborated together for the past nine years. This partnership allows us to view the topic of Behavior Management with a unique perspective. The course will explore behavior management in a contextual framework of contributing variables and practical techniques to manage these variables. Instruction will stress an empirical approach and be based on actual cases and experience. The course combines a mixture of lecture and experiential learning as well as participant driven projects. The course is taught by practitioners for practitioners.

EDU 526 - Adolescent Development and Secondary Schools


This course is designed to examine adolescent development, from both the theoretical and practical perspectives. Various theories of learning and human development will be explored, in relation to adolescents (i.e. youth aged twelve and older). The cognitive, social, emotional, physical, moral, and motivational domains will be examined in order to provide a comprehensive, integrative approach to working with adolescents in secondary schools. Course participants will also examine various models for secondary education that are consistent with 21st century teaching and learning. Through research-based readings, case studies, conceptual designs, discussions, and theoretical analyses, course participants will develop a thorough understanding of the developmental processes that affect the decisions, behaviors, and learning outcomes of adolescents. In turn, participants will be better positioned to positively impact secondary school students.

EDU 526 - Adventure Education


Classroom teachers, physical educators, counselors, and administrators are provided with a broad based knowledge of the Adventure Education field. The “hands on” nature of the instruction provides practical experience in the content areas of classroom skills development; trust activities, group initiatives, processing and facilitation skills, safety, and low and high ropes. You will develop a confident style of imparting knowledge to your students implementing this valuable teaching method. Due to the nature of the activities, participants need to be jewelry-free and chewing gum-free throughout the course. Medical situations may preclude a participant from certain activities.

EDU 526 - Assisting Young Adults to Understand Themselves Through Literature


This course is designed to help educators of middle and high school students assist teenagers with reading material both in and out of the classroom. With the many issues that young adults have to face plus having to be present for the learning process, teachers are paramount in guiding a student through the minefields of adolescence. The course will focus on both in class materials that will support the understanding of readings and literature outside of the classroom that will support and nurture adolescent questions and concerns. A wide variety of young adult literature will be available for perusal. Experience and guidance will be given on constructing a diverse set of materials that will provide each teacher with a collection that can be used by the student.

EDU 526 - Bringing Learning to Life Through Children’s Literature


This course will offer an exploration of children’s and young adult literature written for students in grades K-6. Through interactive discussions and group activities, participants will leave inspired to infuse picture books and novels, both new and classic, into their lesson planning. Each of the 4 sessions will include a presentation of different literary genres paired with meaningful classroom application. Additionally, there will be an emphasis on providing participants with opportunities to find literature that will supplement their existing grade level curriculum, support cross-curricular connections and foster multicultural and character education. Participants will walk away with interactive, hands-on strategies for utilizing children’s and young adult literature to enhance instruction in all subject areas, promote reading and response to literature in the classroom and ignite a passion for life-long learning among students.

EDU 526 - Coaching: A Values-Driven Model


Being a coach is having the opportunity to impact the lives of young athletes through role modeling, authentic feedback, and encouraging intrinsic motivation.  This hybrid model course will give coaches the opportunity to work in a community to craft and reflect on their personal coaching philosophy.  We will look deeply at the values of play, beauty, respect, reflection, and balance as foundations for character development in student athletes.  The skill and art of coaching reaches beyond the court, pool, or field.  It stretches into classrooms, homes, and communities.

EDU 526 - Communication: Creating a Message of Understanding


This course is designed to create more effective communicators.  You will learn to influence with integrity when delivering your desired message.  The perception by others of the message you provide will be examined and critiqued.  Your skills will be assessed, improved, and redirected, creating a renewed method of universal understanding when dealing with anyone you encounter, regardless of their personality type, learning style, or frame of reference.  After intense interpersonal exercises, and much self-reflection, you will develop a new set of skills in the areas of both written and oral communication.  Skills designed to enhance your ability to craft an effective message.  A message which elicits the desired response you had hoped for.  Imagine the possibilities.

EDU 526 - Crafting a Legacy: Making a Difference in Students Lives through Inspired Living (Online)


Teachers were born to make a difference. To be a difference maker requires intentional living. Teachers that will sustain, inspire, and leave a legacy in their student’s lives require detailed personal and professional action plans. Written blueprints are necessary if we are to contemplate our purpose and live our lives with integrity. Unwritten goals and dreams are simply hopes. A life blueprint is a detailed, written, fluid document that inspires action. Whether a young professional in need of guidance or a seasoned veteran poised to leave a legacy, the life blueprint is an excellent tool for personal, student, or classroom-wide use. This course will provide the theoretical basis and practical tools for fully engaged living and life blueprint construction interwoven with throughout our lives.

EDU 526 - Creating an Effective Differentiated Mathematics Classroom


This course is designed to help educators build a highly successful, differentiated community which accommodates the diverse needs of today’s math students. Participants will walk away with a variety of researched-based, instructional strategies that support and enhance lesson content. Cutting edge concepts of study include: curriculum compacting, flexible grouping, anchoring activities, plus tiered lessons and cubing techniques. Through interactive discussions, group activities, and research on-line, you’ll be able to decide how you will utilize, maintain, and organize the differentiated approach to mathematics instruction. Count on helpful tips on management, rotations,  and routines that help bring successful mathematical differentiation to your classroom. Each of the four sessions will dedicate time to “make and take” any, or all of the original ideas presented. Participants will leave with a binder full of ready to go materials that are guaranteed to help teachers improve their mathematics instruction. This course is a must for today’s mathematics teachers who want to put differentiation into practice. You’ll be reaching your diverse learners in no time flat, with countless and practical materials to utilize in your classroom immediately.

EDU 526 - Creating Connection: Reading and Writing K-12


It has been heard over and over again in classrooms across the nation:  Why do we have to read this?  Why do we have to know how to write an informative essay? Recognizing a student’s prior knowledge and life experience contributes to new learnings in the classroom and helps to build motivation and interest. In the course, Creating Connections through Reading and Writing, participants will discover strategies that will make the content relevant and meaningful within the framework of a student’s social, emotional and physical development, thereby increasing student motivation in the learning process. The skills and strategies that will be developed in this class will allow for teachers to utilize this in their own practices in working with students, especially in preparing them for state standardized tests and other crucial assessments. This course will provide relevant lessons that will help teachers connect the curriculum to students’ abilities and their lives.

EDU 526 - Critical Connections in K-12: Teaching Through Passion and Purpose


Do you remember your favorite teacher?  In crafting your response, can you recall the sixth lesson that he/she taught?  How about the thirty-fifth lesson?  Most times, we can remember the subject and general topics, but what resonates is the type of person he/she was.  What we remember is the Human Being.  And chances are, what we most remember was his/her passion!

What is your passion for teaching?  When one begins to explore motivation theory, cultural context, consensus building models, higher order thinking strategies, character education and our connection to the world around us, we can start to build a bridge that extends from us to our students to define what truly matters together. 

This course will focus upon the later topics and a host of others in a fast-paced practical format.  Theory will marry usefulness, and discourse will extend from case study analysis, cooperative learning structures, and authentic methodologies.  At the end of the course, students will be able to operationalize these topics to improve instruction, classroom culture, and also define and sustain a passion for teaching.

EDU 526 - Developing Mathematical Habits of Mind in the Elementary Classroom


Students will learn how to provide the opportunities for developing the habits of mind when teaching mathematical content. Students will become familiar with the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practices and how they align with Costa and Kallick’s Habits of Mind. Additionally, the mathematical practices/habits of mind will be incorporated into lesson plan development. Best instructional practices which emphasize mathematical practices and habits of mind will be modeled and will reflect the pedagogy of good instruction i.e. the gradual release of responsibility; which includes accountable talk and cooperative groupings; collaborative lesson planning using the universal design for learning (UDL); development of the conceptual understanding for using manipulatives, effective questioning, and effective feedback; etc. Students will be assigned an application project to assess their understanding of the mathematical practices/habits of mind.

EDU 526 - Diversity Awareness in Education Level 1 (Online)


This course will help educators gain a greater awareness of the racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender and cultural diversity of their school community and beyond. Participants will be involved in insightful and interactive learning that will place a great emphasis on personal world view and the world view of others. In the end, participants will be equipped with the knowledge to create effective strategies for use in any curriculum relevant to your position.
 

EDU 526 - Diversity Awareness Level 2: How To Make Positive Change (Online)


This course is designed to take the knowledge and awareness gained in "Diversity Awareness in Education : Level 1" and put it to use through action. During this course, participants will not only get a deeper understanding of diversity but also be equipped with the tools to successfully facilitate everything from advanced classroom activities to district-wide policy implementation around the topic. Course participants will also leave with the ability to overcome challenges and setbacks that may arise, plus the knowledge and skills necessary to create constructive educational and social change on a scale that can extend beyond the classroom.

EDU 526 - Dynamic Dialogue: Theory and Practice in Schools


Dialogue is a powerful educational tool, whether in a classroom or in a professional development setting. When students feel empowered through active participation in a class meeting, behavioral concerns and management issues begin to disappear. Content-based discussions flow more smoothly and reach greater depth. Norms and conversational protocols help adults fully engage and maximize effectiveness in professional conversation. This course is designed to delve into the theoretical basis and practical application of ten research-based forms of dialogue proven to produce results in all aspects of an educator's daily routine.

EDU 526 - Engaging with Autism: A Unique Social -Relational, Interactive, “Hands-on” Experience


Beyond the behavioral and biomedical lenses through which autism is commonly viewed, this course will explore and help develop the high level of curiosity and creativity needed to successfully navigate a social emotional relationship with a person who has autism.  Participants will explore various commonly held views, beliefs and myths about autism, and will experience a unique and integrative hands-on approach to the social-relational aspects of working with parents and children with autism.  Participants will reflect upon case studies, anecdotes, and real-life interactions, and have the opportunity to examine and reflect upon the internal attitudes, beliefs and perceptions they hold about themselves and the children, parents and teachers in the world of autism and the influence on behavior.  Participants will cultivate an internal sense of freedom, joy and ease when working with those on the spectrum we call Autism.

EDU 526 - Essential Wellness: Compassion, Connection and Courage


This is an advance level wellness course.  It is recommended that participants have attended “Wellness K-12: Practices, Research, and Strategies” and/or “Stress Management.”  This course is for teachers, nurses, and all staff who want a deeper level of experience in self-reflection, self-awareness, courageous conversations, the willingness to explore vulnerability as the core of meaningful human experience and spirituality as the essence of wellness.  Participants will be introduced to the essential need for play, authenticity, resilience, compassion, relationship, gratitude, trust and faith, creativity and calmness. We will experience how having meaningful work increases our longevity.  Each class there will be time devoted to yoga, nutrition, exercise, meditation, and play.
 

EDU 526 - Exploring Women's Studies: Social and Cultural Constructs


Girls, ladies, women, she, her…approximately 50% of the world’s population identifies with these descriptors.  Through small and large group conversation, media exploration, readings and experiential learning we will examine and engage with women’s historic and contemporary issues in the United States and around the world.  Important constructs in examining  women’s experience include role of gender, relationships, equality/inequality and stereotypes.  As educators, we either identify as a woman or we are related to at least one.  Participation in this course will shine a new light on understanding women.

EDU 526 - Fostering Creative Thinking and Innovation in the Classroom


This course is designed to demystify creativity and innovation.   Students will discover that all human beings have a great deal of creative potential and will employ techniques for tapping into this immense, cognitive resource.  Participants will research, learn, and discuss the most recent and widely accepted creativity theories:  the thoughts of Keith Sawyer, Ronald Beghetto, and Mihaly  Csikszentmihalyi will be examined.  Coursework will include students/instructors learning how to, and putting into practice: brainstorming techniques, team problem solving practices, and applying these methods to examine, dissect, and solve problems they face in life and in their classrooms.  Through these highly engaging, interactive, and reflective activities we will change the way teachers and administrators view creativity, and ultimately reshape classroom pedagogy.
Making American students more innovative and better problem solvers will be the end goal of the course experience.
 

EDU 526 - Gamification and Game-Based Learning to Increase Student Motivation (Hybrid Design)


This course is focused on the use of gamification and game-based strategies in the classroom increase student engagement and achievement.  Through experiential activities, participants will explore dozens of ways in which to capture student interest and formatively assess learning.   Students will learn, perform, and create instructional activities without technology, as well as with technology, to meet the diverse needs of learners in every grade and across content areas to increase engagement and achievement.  This class is offered as a hybrid; class 1 will meet face-to-face while classes 2, 3, and 4 will be online in both synchronous and asynchronous formats.

EDU 526 - Growth Mindset in Students and Classrooms


This course explores the components critical to fostering a Growth Mindset based on research by Carol Dweck. Class participants will investigate ways to develop a Growth Mindset within themselves as a model, the students, and the learning environment. Attendees will participate in experiential activities, personal and collaborative reflection, and action planning to develop innovative practices and procedures as well as engaging instructional strategies that can be immediately implemented.

EDU 526 - High Tech, High Touch:The Intersection of SEL and Instructional Technology (Online)


Creating a classroom that fuses 21st Century Skills into a rigorous, standards-based curriculum is vital to ensure our students’ success in today’s ever-changing and interconnected world. The integration of technology into the classroom is one method of meaningfully and purposefully reaching our students “where they are.” Before moving forward with technology integration, it is important to consider the “High Tech, High Touch” concept developed by John Naisbitt. During an era where technology development rules our lives, the High Tech, High Touch concept encourages us to question the role of technology in our lives. It suggests that we consciously select technologies to enhance and “add value to our human lives”. It also suggests that we acknowledge when to step away from technology for the betterment of our social and emotional well-being. This course is designed to assist educators in developing meaningful, engaging, standards-based classroom activities that foster 21st Century Skills, increase achievement and address our students’ social emotional learning.

EDU 526 - Human Sexuality


This is an introductory level human sexuality course with an overview of the concepts from current research in human sexuality.  Focus is placed on the extent to which sexual beliefs are culturally determined.  Students identify their own values, identify those of others, and become at ease discussing the many different topics of sexuality.  This course is for counselors, teachers, nurses, coaches and all staff who want a deeper level of experience in self-reflection, self-awareness, courageous conversations, and the willingness to explore vulnerability and biases as the core of meaningful human experiences in sexuality.

EDU 526 - Interpersonal Communication in the 21st Century Classroom


Come share your experiences in this interactive, dynamic course! Through role-play,
communication-building activities, and thoughtful discussion, we will analyze and evaluate the
impact of interpersonal communication in an educator’s world. Teachers in the 21st Century are held accountable at an increasingly higher rate than they ever were before. The advent of digital technology has made teachers accessible around the clock, which poses further challenges for interactions with students, families and staff. Furthermore, the nature of technology takes away from the personal connection that in-person communication has always ensured. This class will be a study of the dynamics of interpersonal communication including teacher: student, teacher: parents, teacher: teacher/administrator. Emphasis will be placed on appropriate, efficient and professional face-to-face, phone and digital communication.

EDU 526 - Learning Through Movement: Kinesthetics in the Classroom (K-12)


What do you do with those children who are constantly restless and seem not to pay attention to your content? Infuse simple movement activities that allow students to engage more completely in classroom activities. This course will help teachers seamlessly apply research-proven movement activities into their day-to-day routines. We will explore movement frameworks including Brain Gym and Sensorsises. Also, we will examine how right-and-left-brain dominance impacts teaching and learning. We will investigate the place implicit and explicit learning has in today's classrooms. This course is interactive by nature; we encourage comfortable dress.

EDU 526 - Least Restrictive Environment- Finding the Balance


This course explores accommodations and modifications for special learners within the Least Restrictive Environment and enhances educators’ understanding of how best to address the individual needs of special learners. This course also looks at the importance of educators finding a balance and team approach for all students and adults involved.  There will be a strong focus on creating appropriate accommodations,integrating accommodations into a general education classroom, and understanding the legal requirement for accommodations. The roles of the general and special education teachers within the Least Restrictive Environment will be explored. Course participants will contribute to discussions regarding beliefs, best practices, challenges, current research, and ways these affect their own teaching practice.  Participants will leave this class with a balanced approach to the Least Restrictive Environment.

EDU 526 - Making Diversity Work:How to Have Difficult Conversations in the K-12 Classroom (Online)


The fear of conflict and an inability to initiate healthy dialogue are frequently the reason why diversity initiatives fail in schools. This course is designed to introduce educators to the concepts of initiating healthy dialogue, utilizing conflict resolution strategies, and enhancing critical thinking skills in students as they directly relate to the broad topic of diversity. Subsequently, participants will complete this course confidently equipped with skills and strategies to make the classroom and their personal lives an environment eager for peaceful and productive outcomes.
Our culture has changed a great deal in the last twenty years. Part of this change includes the reduction of unstructured playtime in the lives of youths in America. In 1981 a child’s day included 41% of unstructured playtime. Today, less than 17% of a child’s day is made up of unstructured playtime. The significance of this data is that unstructured playtime is the primary way that a child learns how to peacefully resolve conflicts and to accept differences in others. As a result, the need for educators to model healthy communication skills and to have an awareness of diversity is of the utmost importance. This course can provide strategies for educators to enhance their skills for facing difficult conversations and topics, initiating healthy dialogue and to enhance critical thinking for students relating to diversity without invasive methods for minimizing classroom instruction.

EDU 526 - Making Schools Safe for The Invisible Minority (LGBT Youth)


As educators, we are honored and obligated to meet the needs of all students. Research shows students who are gay, lesbian or perceived to be gay or lesbian experience a greater risk of suicide, substance abuse, dropping out of school and are often targets of violence and bullying. This course is designed to help teachers understand the backgrounds and needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students and staff. We will also develop strategies that insure a safe and productive environment for all students.

EDU 526 - Making Web Based Technology Easier for 21st Century Teachers and Learners (Online)


Making Web Based Technology Easier for 21st Century Teachers and Learners is designed to meet the needs of the net generation. This course was created to allow learners of all different technological levels to grow and maximize their practice utilizing freely available web based software to maximize their teaching impact. This course will gradually and systematically break down all of the nuances of the web, and shatter barriers that hinder 24/7/365 learning. This course will bring the participant to the awareness level of many new and exciting products that will reach the students in their classroom and reconnect them intellectually, socially and emotionally to any content area.
In this course we will require the use of any net connected device, such as a laptop, Ipad, Chromebook etc. This course was designed to meet the needs of the most technologically challenged teacher to the most tech savvy. Each participant will be

EDU 526 - Management & Decision Making:Cultivating Relations between Teachers, Students, and Admin


Dynamic social-emotional development includes the skill to build and maintain constructive relationships. In fact, relationships are everything in successful systems, and connections are cultivated by our actions and our words. Within our decisions, we contain the power to build relationships or bury them. Those who look for opportunities to connect on significant issues sustain and prosper. However, often times these connections are cut short by our inability to discover the hidden meanings behind our chosen words. In today’s school systems, educational clichés are ending essential dialogue when they should begin and maintain it. Messages like, “I am proud of what you did, that’s why you make the big bucks or it is what it is” hinder our capacity to construct critical connections with each other. Likewise, the decision making process around ethical decisions is rarely discussed or brought to consensus. The focus of Management and Decision Making – Cultivating Relations between Teachers, Students, Families and Administrators is to unveil these situations and explore alternatives that will foster connections.

EDU 526 - Managing K-12 Adolescent Health Issues


There is a growing body of health related concerns affecting our K-12 students. These concerns vary from nutrition concerns, eating disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, general fitness, innate and acquired childhood diseases and concussions. Managing these health related issues include not only understanding the general workings of the individual disease processes but understanding both the secondary concerns and the anatomy and physiology driving these concerns. This course will provide a detailed working knowledge of anatomy and physiology aimed towards addressing some of the health concerns affecting our student population. Additional information will include developing plans to assist affected populations in succeeding in the academic environment.

EDU 526 - Mindfulness in the Classroom


Mindfulness is defined by Jon Kabat­Zinn as “...awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in a present moment, non­judgmentally.” Mindfulness is a form of attention and awareness training that helps people relate more effectively to their experiences. It involves paying attention to thoughts, feelings, and body sensations in a way that increases awareness, acceptance, and self­compassion to help manage difficult experiences, and create space to make healthy choices. This course will take you through personal mindfulness meditation practices to enhance your awareness of emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Students will practice formal and informal meditation practices and learn how to incorporate them into their life. Practices will include sitting and walking meditation, loving­kindness meditation, body awareness, methods for integrating awareness into ordinary activities, and explore emerging research on the beneficial effects of mindfulness for mental health.

The second half of the class will explore how to integrate mindful awareness practices into the classroom environment. We will examine how mindfulness affects the brain in students, core mindfulness skills, mindful movement activities, and guided relaxation practices. We will explore current mindfulness programs in education and practice implementing activities during our class time together. Topics covered will support students to build empathy, awareness, compassion, attention skills, impulse control, and emotional regulation.

This experiential course is designed for beginners, which means that no prior experience with meditation is necessary, but the course is also suitable for those with meditation experience who want to refine their skills and implementation practices in the classroom. 

EDU 526 - Mindfulness: Self-Care for Educators


Through the practice of Mindfulness, participants will be given time to pause and focus on their own care and well-being.  This class is designed for the self-care of educators.  This is an opportunity for educators to reduce stress, recharge, reflect, and reconnect.  This time together will be both educational and experiential.  This will be a shared experience of discovery, awareness, and care.  Self-care is at the heart of everything we do: the way we feel, think, and act.  When we take care of ourselves, we can be at our best, have more balance in our lives, and be more present for the people in our lives.  This enhanced presence allows us to better connect with our families, friends, colleagues, and students.   In addition, as adults, we want our children to lead healthy lives, to learn healthy coping skills, and to make healthy choices.  When we care for ourselves, we can be more present for our children and we can model healthy behaviors for them. Self-care allows us to better connect with ourselves and with the individuals who may cross our paths each moment of the day.  We can actively enhance our lives and the lives of others.

EDU 526 - Movement Through the Common Core Standards (Bringing Fun and Excitement to the Common Core)


Movement Through the Standards utilizes the latest brain research along with the best teaching practices of differentiated instruction and multiple intelligences to provide examples of how movement can be used to teach academic concepts, build community in the classroom, and energize the learning environment.  Each of the academic concepts are tied into state and common core standards.

In this course we will be using movement to encode information in the brain differently than strictly explicit traditional teaching methodologies.  Using movement to model academic concepts in Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and the Related Arts that can be used right away in the classroom.  We will be also looking at curriculum and common core and national standards through the lens of cross-curricular applications.  This being an active class, it is recommended to wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

EDU 526 - Multi-Tiered Positive Behavioral Support System with an Inclusion Paradigm


Ever changing diversity presented in our inclusive contexts charges educators and  administrators to employ responsive and systematic approaches to instruction and learning. Across the country, many quality educators leave the profession due to the increasing demands of managing behavioral issues in their classrooms. This course will not only posit additional Positive Behavioral Methods to their repertoire, but allow participants to analyze, evaluate, and transform their own practices to reach diverse learners. Respective participants will review principles grounded in Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Positive Behavioral Supports (PBS) to support students within an inclusive setting. Several techniques and instruments will be disseminated to support a whole class multi-tiered system.

EDU 526 - Parent-Teacher Conferencing:How to Build Cooperative & Supportive Relationships with Parents


This course will offer an exploration of how family dynamics impact all of us; teachers, students and parents. Time will be spent on the varying educational perspectives by gaining insight and knowledge of how the stages of healing enter into the teaching and learning environment. We will also tackle the biggest roadblock in education; something we call admiring the problem. It is possible to move from admiring the problem to becoming intervention specialists. Through interactive discussions and group activities, participants will be better equipped to handle the stress involved in the parent-teacher partnership. Participants will walk away with effective strategies that will transform even the most complex parent relationship.

EDU 526 - Personality Styles at Work: The Impact on Students and Teachers


In this high-energy course, we will focus our exploration on the personalities that surround us every day. Personalities influence everything we think, believe and do. Have you ever stopped to think about “who” is in your world? Think about your students, your colleagues, and even your friends and family, do you ever wonder why they do what they do? In this course, we will look at the personality styles that are at work in our lives. By examining and understanding these predispositions, we will learn to appreciate each others’ differences without judgment. Some of our biggest needs in life are to be loved, accepted and understood. All people think and behave differently, and there is a reason for it. Understanding these fundamental differences will undoubtedly transform your relationships whether at school or at home and everywhere in between. The infusion of this information in your professional and personal lives will create a greater sense of peace and joy in your lives.

EDU 526 - Qualitative Case Study Analysis: The Key to Student and Teacher Success


How do we know learning has occurred? This essential question has been relevant in identifying successful teaching for decades; however, only recently have we embraced this concept in our day to day practice. To be most effective, we realize that formative assessment are critical in identifying learning patterns when it comes to anticipated outcomes. Yet, despite the use of such tactics, there still remains the dilemma of what to do when a child is not demonstrating growth.

One of the most time-tested tactics for analyzing human behavior exists in qualitative research, specifically case study methodology. In this class, students will examine the case study approach as it relates to human development, social and emotional intelligence and learning stages. Likewise, students will be exposed to various learning patterns that look to identify key characteristics is learning behavior.

EDU 526 - Respectful Tasks in the English Language Arts Classroom K-12


The Common Core Standards outline a shift in how reading should be taught to prepare all students for the demands of college and the workforce. Yet, most curriculum and reading programs focus too much on whole group methodologies. Most children withdraw from reading when they perceive that success is not possible, especially when the perception is based on the real life experience of repeated failure. Respectful tasks are learning experiences matched to the diverse needs of the student. In other words, ”tasks which are respectful of the learner.” These tasks help bring kids on board so they’re willing to be part of an ELA classroom in which teachers provide multiple and flexible means of engagement to motivate students to learn.

This course is designed to help educators, K-12, incorporate respectful, differentiated tasks into their current reading programs. Participants will walk away with a variety of researched-based, instructional strategies that support and enhance specific grade level content. Through interactive discussions, group activities, and research on-line, you’ll be able to decide how you will utilize, maintain, and organize the differentiated approach to reading instruction. This course is a must for 21st century educators, who want to motivate students to become life-long readers. You’ll be reaching your diverse learners with respectful tasks in no time flat, with countless take away materials to utilize in your classroom immediately.

EDU 526 - Safe Schools: Conflict Management, Anger Control, and Violence Prevention (Online)


This course is designed to provide concrete, immediate, experiential, prevention/intervention skills to deal with the issues of conflict, anger, and violence. Conflict is constant in the lives of ever-changing human beings, but conflict, left unchecked, becomes unhealthy. Anger and subsequent violence have brought fear into our schools, classrooms, and our children’s daily experience. No one is perfect. It is unrealistic to think we can avoid conflict and anger completely. Furthermore, it is unrealistic to think these emotions cannot be harnessed in a safe, healthy manner. In this course, we will cognitively and experientially understand the “seeds” of violence and develop healthy individual and school system responses.

EDU 526 - Strategies for Gifted and Struggling Learners (online)


This course is designed to challenge educators to consider essential knowledge, practices and skills for the wide range of student abilities in today’s classrooms. Through modeling and hands on activities, the participants will learn practical strategies to implement in the classroom. There will be particular emphasis on the gifted learner, often overlooked as teachers attempt to meet the needs of struggling learners. We will explore critical thinking, habits of mind and additional strategies to help challenge the gifted learner. This class is for all K-12 educators who wish to bring out the giftedness for all learners.

EDU 526 - Strategies for Teaching Reading in Middle and High School


In this course, candidates will further their comprehension of the relationship between literacy and different subject areas within secondary education. Students will closely examine a range of different strategies for teaching reading available to the middle and high school teacher. We will examine a wide range of assessments and instructional methods to support the development of grade 6-12 learners experiencing difficulty with reading. In addition, the course focuses on the use and value of reading assessments, differentiation within the classroom, and the overall benefits of teaching literacy across content areas. The study and implementation of a wide range of assessments and how these build on and extend the methods to support literacy development will be explored throughout the course. In this course, we will investigate topics such as: fluency, decoding, comprehension, balanced literacy, close reading, scaffolding, differentiation, etc. Furthermore, we will discuss how to utilize specific reading strategies and skills within diverse content areas, as well as how to respond to the needs of those specific students with reading disabilities in our classrooms.

EDU 526 - Strengths-Based Living (Online)


Positive Psychology is built on three basic strands of research:
1. Positive experience/Positive emotions
2. Positive character traits or strengths
3. Positive social contexts that enable the first two strands to manifest

The goal of positive psychology has been to develop a “Science of Human Strengths” by empirically studying the attitudes and actions that lead to well-being and human thriving.  In effect, positive psychology studies what is right with people. This course will introduce the basic concepts for a positive psychology, and encourage the application of its proven methodologies.  Participants will be able to apply the principles and practices of positive psychology to their lives, including with their students and colleagues.

EDU 526 - Stress Management: Specific Solutions for Educators


The course is designed to help teachers, administrators, and support staff assess their stress levels, identify primary causes of excess stress in both their professional and personal lives, and learn specific, realistic stress reduction strategies. Participants will learn how and why stress levels, burnout, and job dissatisfaction are disproportionately high in the educational field. Educators will explore the most appropriate and necessary choices facing anyone in high stress occupations: change your skills, change your position, change your attitude, or change jobs. Participants will learn and practice relaxation and visualization techniques, safe and simple exercise options. and other strategies that are under their control.

EDU 526 - Teaching in the 21st Century Classroom: K-12


Do you crave an abundance of practical classroom ideas and applications to prepare students to achieve and be successful in today’s world? By integrating 21st Century skills into your classroom, you can help students acquire life-long learning skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in an increasingly complex and connected world. Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, identifies what he calls “The Six Senses”, or essential aptitudes for success. They are: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning. “The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind. The era of “left brain” dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a new world in which “right brain” qualities-inventiveness, empathy, meaning-predominate (Pink).” Additionally, the Five 21st Century Fluencies and Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy and their place in the 21st Century mindset are emphasized in this course. This is the educational challenge that 21st Century teachers face daily. This course offers all that and more—practical applications of 21st Century Theory to use in an assessment-centered educational system.

EDU 526 - Teaching Students with Disabilities


This course is not designed for experienced Special Educators.  It is an introduction to education programming for people with special needs.  Special education law, history, and current practices are emphasized with a focused study on students who learn in a variety of ways.  We will discover how students with disabilities require a unique response to their education and examine educational systems and services that respond to learners’ with very special needs.  Teachers and educational professionals can make a real difference in the academic, social, and emotional outcomes of students with disabilities.   In this class, we will investigate topics such as: student-centered learning, co-teaching, Individual Education Plans, Functional Behavior Analysis, and Positive Behavior Support Plans. Furthermore, we will discuss specific disabilities (i.e. Intellectual Disability, Autism, Social and Emotional Disorders, Other Health Impairment) and how to respond to the needs of those specific students in our classrooms. 

EDU 526 - The English Language Learner: Supporting Their Academic and Social­ Emotional Needs


This course is designed to support students’ understanding of the unique and diverse needs of the English Language Learner (ELL). The students will interact with language development theories and participate in active and hands­on experiences to learn applicable and useful strategies tailored for ELLs. Participants will learn research­based methodologies to support their current classroom instruction. They will examine their own history and beliefs related to the cultural background of their students. 

EDU 526 - The Hero’s Journey: Identifying and Living Your Heroic Story


There is a potential hero/heroine in us all. Our heroic journeys take us through life’s most transformational moments. Whether facing our teenage years or facing retirement. Whether facing graduation or facing a cancer diagnosis. Throughout life, we are called to adventure, wittingly or unwittingly, suffer through challenges, and hopefully emerge with wisdom and strengthened character.

This course utilizes Joseph Campbell’s 17-stage monomyth structure, made famous in his book The Hero with 1,000 Faces. Participants will analyze ancient myth, classic literature and contemporary children’s literature, compose personal and professional reflections, analyze photographs and movie clips, and participate in problem solving initiatives, each tied to an individual monomyth stage. Throughout, participants will explicitly discuss use of monomyth to meet Language Arts, Social Studies, Health & Wellness, and Social Emotional standards.

EDU 526 - The Power of Care: Emotion & Ethics in Educational Practice


This course is designed to examine how emotion and ethics manifest in educational practice. Various constructs from the fields of psychology and leadership will be explored in order to examine the potentialities of educational practice from the social, emotional, and ethical domains. Specifically, such concepts as: emotional intelligence, social intelligence, emotional labor. the ethic of care, immediacy behavior, resonance, transformational leadership, relational leadership, and moral leadership will be offered as viable constructs to better understand student learning, classroom leadership, and school-wide leadership practices. Through analysis and discussion of literature reviews, conceptual designs, learning pathways, and leadership theory, course participants will develop an understanding of the role that emotion and ethics play in all facets of educational practice. At the end of the course, participants will possess the awareness and knowledge that is necessary to be effective classroom teacher-leaders, department leaders, and/or school-wide educational leaders.

EDU 526 - Understanding and Intervening with At Risk Youth Behaviors


This course will examine in great detail the most significant at-risk behaviors involving young people today. We will explore the physical, psychological and social implications of these potentially destructive behaviors. Topics will include current trends in the use/abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs by young people today. We will look in depth at concerns around childhood and adolescent depression and suicide. We will examine grief, trauma and loss and the effect on learning. Another area of concern for educators today is violence and bullying. It is critical we understand the causes, markers and strategies that work to mitigate this pressing issue. Self-injury and eating disorders also affect some young people today. We will explore the signs and symptoms and what educators can and can’t do. Intervention efforts with each area of concern and with each individual student will be based on Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets (DA) model and on the Positive Behavioral Instruction and Support (PBIS) model, which we will label and understand as “Strength Based Intervention”. Each topic will be addressed through large group instruction, large and small group discussion, video clips and personal reflection. Plans will be developed by participants so they may be better prepared to identify and address at-risk behaviors they suspect in their students. We will stress the fact that educators are not treatment providers but by having a working knowledge of at-risk behaviors they are better prepared to identify and refer to the proper resources.

EDU 526 - Understanding and Teaching Children Affected by Poverty


This course is designed so that educators can better understand children coming from poverty. Poverty will be discussed from a variety of viewpoints; including: financial, emotional, mental, spiritual and physical. We will examine the critical role that support systems, resources, relationships and role models play as intervening factors. We will explore the hidden rules and habits of poverty situations. Some key beliefs of this course are: poverty is relative, poverty occurs in all races, economic class is a continuous line not a clear cut distinction, there is a difference between generational and situation poverty. Participants will experience research-based strategies to assist children affected by poverty.

EDU 526 - Understanding the Mental Health Needs of Youth & Intervening to Promote Positive Outcomes


This course is designed to help educators become more effective in recognizing and understanding mental health concerns present in their students.  Focus will be placed upon common mental health disorders affecting school-age children, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), Anxiety Disorders, Substance Use Disorders, Eating Disorders, and Mood Disorders, specifically depression. Further study will be placed upon the abused or traumatized child, the grieving child, suicidal students, and those who engage in non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors.  Focus will be placed upon intervention techniques, proactive approaches, building resiliency, and driving down stigma related to mental health concerns in our society.  Through close examination of our views regarding mental health combined with our own experiences, participants will define strategies and develop tools to create a climate of acceptance, understanding, and change for our students who are dealing with mental health concerns. 

EDU 526 - Weaving Social Emotional Learning into Reading/Writing Across the Curriculum


This course is designed to guide teachers in shifting from implicit conversations about character to explicit strategies for weaving the Six Pillars of Character into Language Arts activities across the curriculum. Teachers will create lessons that challenge students to examine a text and character in authentic ways and ultimately transfer that learning tangibly beyond the classroom community. Using the Backward Design Model, the course will guide teachers in creating lessons that explicitly teach Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Justice and Fairness, Caring, and Civic Virtue and Citizenship through the Language Arts Curriculum. The course defines “text” as anything that can be read and “reading” as the act of making sense of something or gaining an understanding from it. With these definitions teachers will recognize that virtually anything can be viewed as text for teaching character. Teachers in this class will become proficient in learning how to use a wide variety of texts (novels, plays, short stories, poems, quotations, lyrics, advertisements, paintings, film, television, any text in their content area, etc) as a vehicle for fostering character education in their students.

EDU 526 - Writing to Heal, Empower, and Build Community


Always a favorite of those who take it, this course guides participants through the process of building a community of writers. The core of this class is grounded in the beliefs that the best teachers of writing are engaged in writing for themselves, that writing is a social endeavor, and writing can provide a venue for healing and processing life. Using a variety of strategies and elements from the Freedom Writers’ Institute, the power of the healing pen will be introduced as a tool to promote both written and personal growth in students. This powerful approach builds a cohesive classroom and can reduce discipline issues, due to the focus on the social and emotional needs of each person in the classroom writing community. Because this course guides teachers through the process first hand, they are often pleasantly surprised to find that they, too, have found renewal.

EDU 526 - Writing to Inspire Creative Work, Engage Students, and Foster the Importance of Awareness


Engagement occurs when students are motivated and engaged in active learning. Writing is the cornerstone to active learning, specifically in the era  of online learning and new media. However, both educators and students have to practice awareness while writing. The tradition of minding ones manners; is lost in the rapid shuffle of information. Manners are filtered out of the 40 character tweet, non existent in the short hand banter of an email or discussion board and replaced with a wink face emoji or emoticon. Vague communication creates confusion. With so much communication depended on the written word, now more than ever, the focus needs to shift back to being polite, direct and professional. We have to make sure we express ourselves properly. We have to Write it Right and Be Polite.