PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

WORKSHOP CATEGORIES

Strategies to Engage Students in Distance learning

Access to technology is only half of the learning equation when it comes to distance learning. Students miss the in-person interaction within the traditional classroom. Learn strategies teachers around Connecticut and the country are using to successfully engage all learners in a virtual learning space, including SEL activities, project-based learning opportunities, personalized feedback, and strategies to safely encourage online collaboration among classmates.

Lesson Differentiation in Distance Learning

For many students, the pandemic and resulting school building closures have resulted in learning gaps and skill deficits, problems exacerbated by economic and social inequities like lack of access to technology and food insecurity. While teachers are adept at differentiating instruction for students with different needs under ordinary circumstances, doing so in a virtual setting is especially difficult. Learn practical differentiation strategies developed by teachers around the state and the country to help individualize instruction and assessment to address individual skill deficits and narrow learning gaps.

Developing Meaningful Social Emotional Learning Goals

Student mental health and emotional wellbeing were a serious concern before the pandemic, but levels of anxiety and feelings of alienation and loneliness have skyrocketed as a result of school closures. Fostering SEL is now a top priority for educators across the country, and many districts are now encouraging educators to adopt an SEL goal rather than a purely academic one. Learn how to set SEL goals that are meaningful to students and teachers, and embedded within the curriculum. SEL is inherently difficult to measure, and this workshop will provide practical, holistic strategies to help make SEL progress visible to students, educators, and parents/guardians.

Visible Learning for Teachers: Designing and Assessing Lessons

This workshop uses the step-by-step guidance of renowned education expert John Hattie to help teachers implement practical strategies for visible teaching. As a result of their participation, teachers will learn to spot visible teaching and learning and utilize strategies and interventions to help improve student achievement.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Robin DiAngelo

This powerful and often provocative book invites readers to explore white cultural dominance and what that means not only for white people in America, but all races. The author encourages her readers to ask tough questions of themselves and society around us, and use the answers to help deconstruct systems and affect positive change, but in a way that most readers will find engaging and straightforward.

So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo

This book takes readers through subjects pertaining to race, and the systemic racism that has been embedded in America society since its founding. The book explains terms like intersectionality and affirmative action, and discusses myths such as the “model minority” in an attempt to spark and promote honest conversations, understanding, and awareness about bias and racism that afflicts our country.

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D

In this book, a renowned expert on trauma uses scientific advances and the research he and other experts in the field have conducted to explain how trauma impacts body, brain functions, and individual responses in daily interactions. The book explains how caring relationships can mitigate the negative impact of trauma, such as those that compromise sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust.

Happy Teachers Change the World, Thich Nhat Hanh and Katherine Weare

This book is a practical guide to cultivating mindfulness in education. It focusses on teacher wellbeing as a prerequisite for student success and offers simple activities and strategies to help educators restore a healthy work-life balance, reduce stress, and find moments of joy in the even the most difficult of days.

LEADERSHIP AND COLLABORATION

Adult Learning Theory

This session is for local trainers or presenters who want to become familiar with the principles of adult learning, gain an understanding of different learning modalities, revitalize their training, become more aware of their presentation style, and discover and address generational differences in their training design. This highly energized, interactive session will help presenters and trainers add to their toolkits and become refreshed and ready to provide professional learning to their peers. (4 hours)

Constructive Feedback Strategies

This workshop is designed for complementary evaluators, peer coaches, department chairs, TEAM mentors, and anyone who wants to improve his or her skills at giving (and receiving) feedback. Constructive feedback encourages reflection and creates reciprocal pathways to improved performance. This workshop provides educators with specific, practical questioning strategies to build collegiality and empathy, encourage self-reflection, and help teachers enrich their practice and enhance student achievement. This session will be highly interactive, and participants will practice constructive coaching with several different partners.

Difficult Conversations

When a professional or personal relationship goes into a rut or when you’re having trouble achieving results with your team or organization, it’s time to have a difficult discussion. In this interactive session, participants will learn the principles of a difficult discussion, how to recognize the need to have one, and how to conduct one while keeping the personal or professional relationship—as well as your emotions and dignity—intact. (2 hours)

Dispute Resolution Strategies for Teacher Evaluation

This highly interactive workshop is designed to provide teachers with practical strategies and structures to defuse and resolve disputes in an impartial, healthy, transparent way.
Useful for department chairs, PDEC representatives, dispute resolution committee members, and classroom teachers, these strategies can be applied to a variety of situations and contexts. Disputes resolved openly and fairly help foster trust and collegiality and promote a positive school culture. This workshop will involve role-play, and participants will practice resolving common disputes.

ESSA: Implications for Your District – Title I Accountability

The Every Child Succeeds Act, or ESSA, replaced No Child Left Behind, giving states greater autonomy over their accountability plans. This session focuses on Connecticut’s Title I ESSA plan and what it may mean for your district. Learn what flexibility and choices exist for districts and how to identify and overcome some of the challenges associated with quantifying non-academic indicators such as social-emotional growth.

Getting from HERE to THERE: Collaborative Visioning Toward a Common Goal

This introductory workshop is designed for any school, district, department, or team of educators who would benefit from identifying, setting, and planning collaborative goals. Participants will be prepared to move forward on the path to success and consider the assets and possible roadblocks they might encounter along the way

Improving School Climate to Support Student Achievement

School climate describes the quality and character of school life, with a particular focus on the relationships within the school community between and among students and adults and cultural awareness by staff of the students, the students’ families, and the local community. In this multi-session workshop meant for school climate committees or teams of staff interested in furthering a positive climate, participants will explore the importance of establishing relationships, creating community and acceptance, and research-based options for improving the culture and climate of your school. (16 hours: two days or 8 two-hour sessions)

Innovative Group Facilitation Methods

Whether your local has a problem of practice that members want to explore or a professional practice issue that a skilled facilitator could help navigate, CEA has you covered. Learn some different facilitation methods that can be used in the classroom, at a PD session, or in a meeting. Create a toolbox of facilitation methods—such as Open Space, World Café, Appreciative Inquiry, and Circle Conversations—that you can use to keep students and adults engaged, on-task, fully participating, and contributing. Move beyond PowerPoint and traditional “sit and get” sessions to highly interactive, deep conversations that tap into the collective knowledge that already exists in your classroom or school building.
CEA also offers facilitation tools training and simulation for members looking to hone listening and communicating skills and practice facilitating conversations with ease.

Teacher Leadership

Teacher leadership is about building your capacity to lead and collaborate with peers to tackle bigger issues facing teaching and learning than you can tackle on your own in your classroom. This workshop uses project-based learning to build strategies, confidence, and competencies in Domain 4 of the Common Core of Teaching regarding professional responsibilities and teacher leadership.

Based on CEA’s partnership in the Teacher Leadership Fellowship Program at CCSU, this program offers customizable options that range from an introductory workshop to more long-range facilitation of project-based learning designed to help teams of educators promote sustainable improvement. Our trainer will help teams identify school- or district-level needs and develop plans to create positive change. (First session is 1.5 hours; additional follow-up sessions may be scheduled as needed.)

Just a few potential project-based areas are noted below:

  • Social justice and equity
  • Community school development
  • Toward school-based decision-making
  • School climate
  • Student behavior and restorative practices
  • Community engagement and partnerships
  • Grant development
  • Action research and innovative lesson study
  • Minority teacher recruitment
  • Toward a trauma-informed community
Theory of Change Facilitation

Part workshop and part facilitated work session, this training is perfect for a group of colleagues, aspiring teacher- leaders, or formal committees interested in identifying and working through problems of practice. Participants will identify a problem and the issues, strategies, goals, and tactics that will help them tackle it, as well as approaches for engaging constituents (stakeholders) in working toward the goal.

Examples of groups that could benefit from this facilitation include PDECs, school climate committees, NEASC accreditation committees, school improvement teams, school- community partnership groups, and other teacher-driven groups. This workshop can be the beginning to building lasting change and is ideal for three hours; with additional follow-up sessions scheduled as needed.

Thinking Outside the Clock: PDEC Strategies to Save Time and Promote Collaboration (1.5 hours)

“We don’t have time for this” is a common refrain uttered by teachers and administrators in school districts across the country. Common Core, standardized test preparation, a complex educator evaluation process, and ever-changing professional development mandates consume so much time that little remains for teachers to engage in meaningful collaboration focused on teaching and learning. This session identifies creative ways to rethink existing time without shortchanging instruction or infringing on teacher prep periods. This session is most useful for PDEC members, as many of the strategies focus on streamlining and simplifying the teacher evaluation process.

TEACHER EVALUATION, SUPPORT, AND GROWTH

Bloom and Beyond: HOT Questioning Techniques that Promote Total Class Participation

This interactive workshop is appropriate for teachers of all subjects and grade levels and is designed to foster higher- order thinking and total participation from all students. It offers practical tools and strategies to encourage students of all abilities and temperaments to think deeply about a topic and feel confident making contributions that enrich class discussions. Tools include Bloom’s Taxonomy, Depth of Knowledge Charts, Socratic Questioning, and Dialogic Methods, all of which are designed to promote imagination, wonder, creativity, and collaborative problem-solving.

Participants will role play to practice strategies with their peers and will leave the workshop armed with practical tools they can begin to use immediately to elevate class discussions.

Classroom Management

There are so many things new educators need to know and be able to do, but perhaps the most important is how to manage a classroom. This interactive, informative training, based on the “I Can Do It!” program, addresses seven practical and immediately actionable aspects of classroom management, including cultural responsiveness and—everyone’s favorite— dealing with difficult behaviors. (2 hours for overview; 8 hours for entire training with modules

Constructive Feedback Strategies

This workshop is designed for complementary evaluators, peer coaches, department chairs, TEAM mentors, and anyone who wants to improve his or her skills at giving (and receiving) feedback. Constructive feedback encourages reflection and creates reciprocal pathways to improved performance. This workshop provides educators with specific, practical questioning strategies to build collegiality and empathy, encourage self-reflection, and help teachers enrich their practice and enhance student achievement. This session will
be highly interactive, and participants will practice constructive coaching with several different partners.

Cultural Competence in Lesson Planning

Cultural competence involves awareness and understanding about cultural diversity in one’s classroom, school, and community. The information and learning tasks in this workshop are designed to help you along the path toward becoming an even more culturally competent educator, learning about and working to end racial and cultural bias, being open to norms that are different from your own, and helping students and families feel comfortable in school.

Dispute Resolution Strategies for Teacher Evaluation

This highly interactive workshop is designed to provide teachers with practical strategies and structures to defuse and resolve disputes in an impartial, healthy, transparent way.
Useful for department chairs, PDEC representatives, dispute resolution committee members, and classroom teachers, these strategies can be applied to a variety of situations and contexts. Disputes resolved openly and fairly help foster trust and collegiality and promote a positive school culture. This workshop will involve role-play, and participants will practice resolving common disputes.

Exploring the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility

All teachers, especially preservice teachers and those going through TEAM, must demonstrate knowledge of the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility. This highly interactive workshop delves into relevant competencies and themes, including building relationships and fostering student well-being and community engagement. Public school teachers are vested with the public’s trust, their responsibilities to their students extending to the community as a whole. Maintaining the highest ideals of professionalism, as outlined in the code, reinforces the professional status of teaching and serves as a building block to success in the classroom

Making the Most of Home-Teacher Communication

Home-teacher communication can be stressful. This session provides tips to help you develop and promote a working partnership with families prior to parent-teacher conferences, review different types of conferences, assist you with strategies to use during the conference itself, and provide ideas for sustained family contact and engagement throughout the year. You will also learn valuable approaches for handling conferences where student misbehavior or challenging parents are a factor, with lots of time built in for discussion and perhaps even some role-playing.

Promoting Student Autonomy in the Classroom

This workshop is designed for teachers of all levels and focuses on encouraging students to gradually take ownership over their learning goals and take a more active role in achieving them. Practical classroom tools include total class participation strategies, student-generated performance rubrics, student-led parent conferences, and more.

Social Media Safety

Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Social media sites are popular not only with teachers but also students, parents, and community members. In this interactive session, participants learn how to keep information private and ensure that they are as protected as they can be if they choose to use social networking sites.

Thinking Outside the Clock: PDEC Strategies to Save Time and Promote Collaboration (1.5 hours)

“We don’t have time for this” is a common refrain uttered by teachers and administrators in school districts across the country. Common Core, standardized test preparation, a complex educator evaluation process, and ever-changing professional development mandates consume so much time that little remains for teachers to engage in meaningful collaboration focused on teaching and learning. This session identifies creative ways to rethink existing time without shortchanging instruction or infringing on teacher prep periods. This session is most useful for PDEC members, as many of the strategies focus on streamlining and simplifying the teacher evaluation process.

INSTRUCTIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL ENHANCEMENT

Adult Learning Theory

This session is for local trainers or presenters who want to become familiar with the principles of adult learning, gain an understanding of different learning modalities, revitalize their training, become more aware of their presentation style, and discover and address generational differences in their training design. This highly energized, interactive session will help presenters and trainers add to their toolkits and become refreshed and ready to provide professional learning to their peers. (4 hours)

An Introduction to the Principles of Restorative Practice

Restorative Practice (RP) is a hot-button topic. When done with fidelity, it can transform behavior and learning, but when implemented haphazardly, it can prevent a great opportunity from coming to fruition. Participants will explore RP as a mindset and learn about school-based strategies, policies, and practices that promote positive school climate, reduce, exclusionary discipline, and improve learning outcomes.

This two-hour introduction focuses on relationships and community building as a means of helping students feel more connected to their schools. Contact CEA for more information and check out additional resources at cea.org/pla/rp. (2 hours)

Bloom and Beyond: HOT Questioning Techniques that Promote Total Class Participation

This interactive workshop is appropriate for teachers of all subjects and grade levels and is designed to foster higher- order thinking and total participation from all students. It offers practical tools and strategies to encourage students of all abilities and temperaments to think deeply about a topic and feel confident making contributions that enrich class discussions. Tools include Bloom’s Taxonomy, Depth of Knowledge Charts, Socratic Questioning, and Dialogic Methods, all of which are designed to promote imagination, wonder, creativity, and collaborative problem-solving.

Participants will role play to practice strategies with their peers and will leave the workshop armed with practical tools they can begin to use immediately to elevate class discussions.

Building Community Using Relational Circles in Your Classroom

Circles have long been a way for groups to connect, solve problems, and build community. Take a deeper dive into relational circles and learn how to use them with your students and your colleagues. You’ll have an opportunity to participate in a few yourself!

Classroom Management

There are so many things new educators need to know and be able to do, but perhaps the most important is how to manage a classroom. This interactive, informative training, based on the “I Can Do It!” program, addresses seven practical and immediately actionable aspects of classroom management, including cultural responsiveness and—everyone’s favorite— dealing with difficult behaviors. (2 hours for overview; 8 hours for entire training with modules.

Constructive Feedback Strategies

This workshop is designed for complementary evaluators, peer coaches, department chairs, TEAM mentors, and anyone who wants to improve his or her skills at giving (and receiving) feedback. Constructive feedback encourages reflection and creates reciprocal pathways to improved performance. This workshop provides educators with specific, practical questioning strategies to build collegiality and empathy, encourage self-reflection, and help teachers enrich their practice and enhance student achievement. This session will be highly interactive, and participants will practice constructive coaching with several different partners.

Cultural Competence in Lesson Planning

Cultural competence involves awareness and understanding about cultural diversity in one’s classroom, school, and community. The information and learning tasks in this workshop are designed to help you along the path toward becoming an even more culturally competent educator, learning about and working to end racial and cultural bias, being open to norms that are different from your own, and helping students and families feel comfortable in school.

Building a Culture of Empathy

Appropriate for teachers of all grades and subjects, this workshop focuses on building a schoolwide culture of empathy. Learn practical approaches, exchange ideas, and devise opportunities for students to become involved in creating positive social change at the local, national, and international levels. The session will be interactive and include group discussions as well as role-playing activities to explore how we learn to empathize.

Developmentally Appropriate Instructional Strategies for Students in Grades K-2

Cognitive science suggests that children learn best through experiential, hands-on activities and that their brains develop at very different rates in the early grades. Play is an important stress reliever for young children, but it also teaches important interpersonal skills and is considered essential for healthy brain development.

Surveys conducted by CEA’s Commission on Instruction and Professional Development found that children in grades K-2 are under significantly more pressure than in the past.

Demanding academic programs coupled with increasing time on direct instruction in the early grades has resulted in less time for play and hands-on learning. This shift appears to be contributing to unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety, and aggression in young children, especially among boys, low- income students, EL students, and students with disabilities.
This research-based workshop reviews developmentally appropriate instructional strategies for students in the early elementary grades and provides practical examples of hands-on, play-based learning activities that help reduce stress, develop executive function, and enhance the learning environment for our youngest learners.

Difficult Conversations

When a professional or personal relationship goes into a rut or when you’re having trouble achieving results with your team or organization, it’s time to have a difficult discussion. In this interactive session, participants will learn the principles of a difficult discussion, how to recognize the need to have one, and how to conduct one while keeping the personal or professional relationship—as well as your emotions and dignity—intact. (2 hours)

ESSA: Implications for Your District – Title I Accountability

The Every Child Succeeds Act, or ESSA, replaced No Child Left Behind, giving states greater autonomy over their accountability plans. This session focuses on Connecticut’s Title I ESSA plan and what it may mean for your district.

Learn what flexibility and choices exist for districts and how to identify and overcome some of the challenges associated with quantifying non-academic indicators such as social-emotional growth.

Exploring the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility

All teachers, especially preservice teachers and those going through TEAM, must demonstrate knowledge of the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility. This highly interactive workshop delves into relevant competencies and themes, including building relationships and fostering student well-being and community engagement. Public school teachers are vested with the public’s trust, their responsibilities to their students extending to the community as a whole. Maintaining the highest ideals of professionalism, as outlined in the code, reinforces the professional status of teaching and serves as a building block to success in the classroom.

Helping Students Navigate in the Age of Alternative Facts

Note: This workshop is designed for middle and secondary teachers but can be modified for elementary level teachers upon request.

Ever find yourself checking multiple sources before you decide if a news story is real or not? How do we really know what’s true when we’re constantly bombarded with misinformation and “fake news”? If it’s hard for us to know for sure what’s true and what’s false, imagine how our students feel! They have grown up with access to an unprecedented volume of content, so much so that they struggle to process even a fraction of it, much less understand it deeply. How do we help our students navigate this sea of (mis)information?

This workshop will provide strategies and activities to help students think critically, detect media bias and tone, gauge reliability of sources, and synthesize information from multiple sources to develop and defend a position.

Implicit Bias 101: Its Powerful Effect on Instruction and Learning

Social psychologists and scientists have found that all of us, regardless of race, have cognitive biases that influence how we perceive and make decisions about other people. Implicit attitudes regarding race, stereotyping, and prejudice are a few of the many factors that can prevent African American, Latino, and EL students from achieving in school at the same level as their white counterparts. This workshop will raise participants’ awareness of unconscious bias and its powerful effect on student learning and teacher/educator performance, while explaining how unintended thoughts can contradict our beliefs and how acting according to our values can require more than good intentions. (4 hours)

Implicit Bias – Whole-Day Workshop

This is a full-day, in-depth exploration of implicit bias that incorporates the same information as the 4-hour session but with time built in for additional activities, deeper discussion, and thought-provoking videos. This session examines school practices, policies, and curricula through the lens of cultural responsiveness, racial equity, and social justice and challenges participants to effect changes in their classrooms and districts with the goal of ultimately impacting larger cultural and societal institutions. (8 hours)

Improving School Climate to Support Student Achievement

School climate describes the quality and character of school life, with a particular focus on the relationships within the school community between and among students and adults and cultural awareness by staff of the students, the students’ families, and the local community. In this multi-session workshop meant for school climate committees or teams of staff interested in furthering a positive climate, participants will explore the importance of establishing relationships, creating community and acceptance, and research-based options for improving the culture and climate of your school. (16 hours: two days or 8 two-hour sessions)

Innovative Group Facilitation Methods

Whether your local has a problem of practice that members want to explore or a professional practice issue that a skilled facilitator could help navigate, CEA has you covered. Learn some different facilitation methods that can be used in the classroom, at a PD session, or in a meeting. Create a toolbox of facilitation methods—such as Open Space, World Café, Appreciative Inquiry, and Circle Conversations—that you can use to keep students and adults engaged, on-task, fully participating, and contributing. Move beyond PowerPoint and traditional “sit and get” sessions to highly interactive, deep conversations that tap into the collective knowledge that already exists in your classroom or school building.

CEA also offers facilitation tools training and simulation for members looking to hone listening and communicating skills and practice facilitating conversations with ease.

Introduction to Student Trauma: Developing a Trauma- Sensitive Classroom

Nearly 7 out of 10 children experience trauma, and many experience multiple traumatic experiences. The impact of trauma on children and adolescents is pervasive and presents challenges in every school and community in the state. We are collectively learning more about the challenges trauma presents to classroom teachers and how to help those who experience trauma overcome its effects. Developed in partnership with Hartford Behavioral Health, JoAnn Freiberg of CSDE, the Traumatic Stress Institute, and CSI, this workshop is the first step on a continuum of becoming a skilled practitioner in a trauma-informed school community. Participants will learn how to identify the signs of trauma and better understand its impact on students and the school community. Participants will also learn practical skills and where to access additional resources and training that can help educators master strategies to address student trauma.

In addition to this introductory workshop, CEA can connect you and your district to a continuum of trainings that foster trauma-informed schools and communities. Contact CEA for more information, and check out additional resources at cea.org/pla/tip.

Making the Most of Home-Teacher Communication

Home-teacher communication can be stressful. This session provides tips to help you develop and promote a working partnership with families prior to parent-teacher conferences, review different types of conferences, assist you with strategies to use during the conference itself, and provide ideas for sustained family contact and engagement throughout the year. You will also learn valuable approaches for handling conferences where student misbehavior or challenging parents are a factor, with lots of time built in for discussion and perhaps even some role-playing.

Maps Are Cool: Integrating Mapping into Your Classroom

Mapping Series Workshop 1: A Review of Free Mapping Software for Grades 9 to 12
Mapping Series Workshop 2: Integrating Mapping into the Common Core Curriculum
This two-part workshop is taken in succession on separate days. Expanding a teacher’s toolbox can improve instruction by extending the reach of intelligences and learning styles. Teachers will learn to use mapping software to incorporate visual representations of information. The applications from math to science to social science and history are endless.
Note: Mapping workshops require participants to have access to a computer with a robust Internet connection and the authorization to download the necessary software.

Maximizing Your Time

Planning, grading, chaperoning, and committee work are just a few of the responsibilities teachers take on. In this workshop, designed for newer teachers, participants will learn strategies for managing their time, staying organized, and identifying and coping with stressors.

Mind the Moment: Practical Mindfulness Activities for Students and Teachers

Mindfulness is receiving much-needed attention right now, in part due to the pressures of living in an increasingly complex world. Smartphones, busy schedules, and a 24- hour news cycle can be distracting for even the most focused individual. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter connect us with strangers around the world but also threaten to isolate us from those closest to us. You may find yourself spending more time worrying about the future or dwelling on something that happened in the past rather than on fully experiencing the present moment. This is also true for our students, many of whom struggle to concentrate in class and have difficulty learning as a result. Learn how to integrate mindfulness activities into your existing classroom routines without losing instructional time or sacrificing the curriculum. Mindfulness activities can enhance the quality of life for young and old, improve mental focus and classroom behavior, and enhance learning outcomes.

Mythbusters: Understanding Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities in the Special Education Process

This workshop focuses on the laws regarding special education, with a particular emphasis on regular and special education teachers’ rights and responsibilities when participating in the special education process. Participants will learn what the law requires of them as well as what they can and cannot do in such areas as PPT meetings, drafting IEPs, and accommodating students in the regular education environment. The impact of special education laws on teachers’ working conditions will be integrated throughout the workshop.

Parent Teacher Home Visits: Educators and Families on the Same Team

CEA offers you and your colleagues an introductory workshop on the Parent Teacher Home Visits program (pthv.org), a proven, cost-effective, and replicable preK-12 family engagement strategy transforming public schools across the U.S. Developed in partnership with local unions, the home visitation model has become a proven strategy to increase students’ academic and developmental growth and cultural competence; improve school climate, behavior, and attendance; and enhance community support for public education. Key characteristics of the program include voluntary participation, paid stipends, and visits done by pairs of educators.

To learn more, CEA provides two levels of training. CEA will provide an introductory workshop on how the program works, how to assess its potential value for students in your classroom, and how your school can adopt the program. CEA has partnered with the Capital Region Education Council (CREC) to also provide deeper training to districts that seek to implement the program in one or more of their schools.

Promoting Student Autonomy in the Classroom

This workshop is designed for teachers of all levels and focuses on encouraging students to gradually take ownership over their learning goals and take a more active role in achieving them. Practical classroom tools include total class participation strategies, student-generated performance rubrics, student-led parent conferences, and more.

Reworking Homework: Maximize Student Achievement and Minimize Stress on Students and Families

Homework is a hot topic. When relevant, carefully designed, and given in moderation, homework has been shown to increase student achievement (at the high school level). It can also, however, contribute to high levels of stress, anxiety, and family discord. This workshop provides an overview of the extensive research into the subject of homework and offers practical tips for minimizing the harmful impact while maximizing the positive outcomes. Designed for middle and high school teachers, this workshop can be customized for any grade level.

Strategies to Foster Social-Emotional Well-Being in School

Students need more than just academic skills to be successful in college and career. While they do need strong content knowledge in core subjects, they also require a wide array of non-cognitive skills, behaviors, and attitudes to help them meet the unknown challenges of the future. Students who are experiencing trauma, poverty, hunger, anxiety, or bullying are unlikely to perform well academically. Learn what school districts in Connecticut and across the country are doing to promote the social-emotional health of students and how that is translating to improved academic outcomes. Teachers will identify strategies and programs that can be adapted to suit the unique circumstances of the students in their school or district.

Teacher Leadership

Teacher leadership is about building your capacity to lead and collaborate with peers to tackle bigger issues facing teaching and learning than you can tackle on your own in your classroom. This workshop uses project-based learning to build strategies, confidence, and competencies in Domain 4 of the Common Core of Teaching regarding professional responsibilities and teacher leadership.

Based on CEA’s partnership in the Teacher Leadership Fellowship Program at CCSU, this program offers customizable options that range from an introductory workshop to more long-range facilitation of project-based learning designed to help teams of educators promote sustainable improvement. Our trainer will help teams identify school- or district-level needs and develop plans to create positive change. (First session is 1.5 hours; additional follow-up sessions may be scheduled as needed.)

Just a few potential project-based areas are noted below:

  • Social justice and equity
  • Community school development
  • Toward school-based decision-making
  • School climate
  • Student behavior and restorative practices
  • Community engagement and partnerships
  • Grant development
  • Action research and innovative lesson study
  • Minority teacher recruitment
  • Toward a trauma-informed community
The Gender Achievement Gap: Why Boys Are Falling Behind and What Can Be Done About It

Boys are falling behind girls academically at every level, from kindergarten through graduate school. Girls dramatically outperform boys on every standardized measure of reading and writing achievement and have reached rough parity with males in math and science, except at the very top of the curve. Boys are also far more likely to get into trouble at school and experiment with drugs, and they are three times more likely to drop out of school. Sixty percent of students graduating from college are now female, and for the first time in history we see more women than men getting advanced degrees. What is the trouble with boys? Learn what schools can do to support males academically and emotionally and begin to close the growing gender achievement gap.

Theory of Change Facilitation

Part workshop and part facilitated work session, this training is perfect for a group of colleagues, aspiring teacher- leaders, or formal committees interested in identifying and working through problems of practice. Participants will identify a problem and the issues, strategies, goals, and tactics that will help them tackle it, as well as approaches for engaging constituents (stakeholders) in working toward the goal.

Examples of groups that could benefit from this facilitation include PDECs, school climate committees, NEASC accreditation committees, school improvement teams, school- community partnership groups, and other teacher-driven groups. This workshop can be the beginning to building lasting change and is ideal for three hours; with additional follow-up sessions scheduled as needed.

Using Improv to Enhance Your Practice

Improvisation and the use of theater games can enhance teachers’ and students’ performance, boost creativity, and lower anxiety. They can also be fun tools to enhance skills or lessons you’re already delivering. Participants will learn the basics of improvisational theater and experiment with theater games that are suitable for circle time, can be adapted for various grade levels and subject areas, and can take the place of traditional team-building activities or icebreakers. Comfortable clothing and footwear are recommended.

EDUCATION LAW AND LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS

ESSA: Implications for Your District – Title I Accountability

The Every Child Succeeds Act, or ESSA, replaced No Child Left Behind, giving states greater autonomy over their accountability plans. This session focuses on Connecticut’s Title I ESSA plan and what it may mean for your district.

Learn what flexibility and choices exist for districts and how to identify and overcome some of the challenges associated with quantifying non-academic indicators such as social-emotional growth.

Knowledge Is the Best Protection: Preventing and Responding to Aggressive Student Behavior

As the demands to address all of a student’s academic and emotional needs have increased, it is vitally important that all teachers are informed of their legal rights and duties related to aggressive student behavior.

In this timely workshop, you will learn:

  • What preventive actions you should take to protect yourself and your students before an incident occurs.
  • What procedures you can and should take in the event you are assaulted by a student.
  • Why it’s important to report any assaults or threats of assaults to your principal – and the reporting requirements of principals if there is an assault.
  • What your Association can do to help you take whatever steps are appropriate to protect your rights as an employee, including measures to provide a safer workplace for everyone in the building.
  • What safety provisions can be negotiated in your collective bargaining agreement related to aggressive student behavior. (1.5 hours)
Mythbusters: Understanding Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities in the Special Education Process

This workshop focuses on the laws regarding special education, with a particular emphasis on regular and special education teachers’ rights and responsibilities when participating in the special education process. Participants will learn what the law requires of them as well as what they can and cannot do in such areas as PPT meetings, drafting IEPs, and accommodating students in the regular education environment. The impact of special education laws on teachers’ working conditions will be integrated throughout the workshop.

Section 504: An Emerging Issue for Educators

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is receiving increased attention in schools as more teachers than ever before are working with 504 students on a daily basis. This workshop will provide an overview of this civil rights law, including the 2008 changes, its procedural requirements (with an emphasis on the eligibility process) and relationship to the IDEA, and its applicability to such timely issues as AD(H)D, field trips, and allergies.

Social Media Safety

Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Social media sites are popular not only with teachers but also students, parents, and community members. In this interactive session, participants learn how to keep information private and ensure that they are as protected as they can be if they choose to use social networking sites.

Teachers and the Law

This presentation examines the rights and responsibilities of educators regarding a variety of legal issues, including DCF and state mandatory reporting laws, DCF investigations, Weingarten meetings, physical assaults on teachers, FOI, and other related matters.

SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUITY

An Introduction to the Principles of Restorative Practice

Restorative Practice (RP) is a hot-button topic. When done with fidelity, it can transform behavior and learning, but when implemented haphazardly, it can prevent a great opportunity from coming to fruition. Participants will explore RP as a mindset and learn about school-based strategies, policies, and practices that promote positive school climate, reduce, exclusionary discipline, and improve learning outcomes.

This two-hour introduction focuses on relationships and community building as a means of helping students feel more connected to their schools. Contact CEA for more information and check out additional resources at cea.org/pla/rp. (2 hours)

Building Community Using Relational Circles in Your Classroom

Circles have long been a way for groups to connect, solve problems, and build community. Take a deeper dive into relational circles and learn how to use them with your students and your colleagues. You’ll have an opportunity to participate in a few yourself!

Classroom Management

There are so many things new educators need to know and be able to do, but perhaps the most important is how to manage a classroom. This interactive, informative training, based on the “I Can Do It!” program, addresses seven practical and immediately actionable aspects of classroom management, including cultural responsiveness and—everyone’s favorite— dealing with difficult behaviors. (2 hours for overview; 8 hours for entire training with modules.

Cultural Competence in Lesson Planning

Cultural competence involves awareness and understanding about cultural diversity in one’s classroom, school, and community. The information and learning tasks in this workshop are designed to help you along the path toward becoming an even more culturally competent educator, learning about and working to end racial and cultural bias, being open to norms that are different from your own, and helping students and families feel comfortable in school.

Building a Culture of Empathy

Appropriate for teachers of all grades and subjects, this workshop focuses on building a schoolwide culture of empathy. Learn practical approaches, exchange ideas, and devise opportunities for students to become involved in creating positive social change at the local, national, and international levels. The session will be interactive and include group discussions as well as role-playing activities to explore how we learn to empathize.

Developmentally Appropriate Instructional Strategies for Students in Grades K-2

Cognitive science suggests that children learn best through experiential, hands-on activities and that their brains develop at very different rates in the early grades. Play is an important stress reliever for young children, but it also teaches important interpersonal skills and is considered essential for healthy brain development.

Surveys conducted by CEA’s Commission on Instruction and Professional Development found that children in grades K-2 are under significantly more pressure than in the past.

Demanding academic programs coupled with increasing time on direct instruction in the early grades has resulted in less time for play and hands-on learning. This shift appears to be contributing to unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety, and aggression in young children, especially among boys, low- income students, EL students, and students with disabilities.
This research-based workshop reviews developmentally appropriate instructional strategies for students in the early elementary grades and provides practical examples of hands-on, play-based learning activities that help reduce stress, develop executive function, and enhance the learning environment for our youngest learners.

Implicit Bias 101: Its Powerful Effect on Instruction and Learning

Social psychologists and scientists have found that all of us, regardless of race, have cognitive biases that influence how we perceive and make decisions about other people. Implicit attitudes regarding race, stereotyping, and prejudice are a few of the many factors that can prevent African American, Latino, and EL students from achieving in school at the same level as their white counterparts. This workshop will raise participants’ awareness of unconscious bias and its powerful effect on student learning and teacher/educator performance, while explaining how unintended thoughts can contradict our beliefs and how acting according to our values can require more than good intentions. (4 hours)

Implicit Bias – Whole-Day Workshop

This is a full-day, in-depth exploration of implicit bias that incorporates the same information as the 4-hour session but with time built in for additional activities, deeper discussion, and thought-provoking videos. This session examines school practices, policies, and curricula through the lens of cultural responsiveness, racial equity, and social justice and challenges participants to effect changes in their classrooms and districts with the goal of ultimately impacting larger cultural and societal institutions. (8 hours)

Implicit Bias – World Café

This discussion-based session is good for anywhere from 10-60 participants. Participants will begin by reading two articles on bias and stereotypes and then answer thought- provoking questions in small groups based on those articles, with time left after each question for whole-group discussion and debriefing.

Improving School Climate to Support Student Achievement

School climate describes the quality and character of school life, with a particular focus on the relationships within the school community between and among students and adults and cultural awareness by staff of the students, the students’ families, and the local community. In this multi-session workshop meant for school climate committees or teams of staff interested in furthering a positive climate, participants will explore the importance of establishing relationships, creating community and acceptance, and research-based options for improving the culture and climate of your school. (16 hours: two days or 8 two-hour sessions)

Introduction to Student Trauma: Developing a Trauma- Sensitive Classroom

Nearly 7 out of 10 children experience trauma, and many experience multiple traumatic experiences. The impact of trauma on children and adolescents is pervasive and presents challenges in every school and community in the state. We are collectively learning more about the challenges trauma presents to classroom teachers and how to help those who experience trauma overcome its effects. Developed in partnership with Hartford Behavioral Health, JoAnn Freiberg of CSDE, the Traumatic Stress Institute, and CSI, this workshop is the first step on a continuum of becoming a skilled practitioner in a trauma-informed school community.

Participants will learn how to identify the signs of trauma and better understand its impact on students and the school community. Participants will also learn practical skills and where to access additional resources and training that can help educators master strategies to address student trauma.

In addition to this introductory workshop, CEA can connect you and your district to a continuum of trainings that foster trauma-informed schools and communities. Contact CEA for more information, and check out additional resources at cea.org/pla/tip

Parent Teacher Home Visits: Educators and Families on the Same Team

CEA offers you and your colleagues an introductory workshop on the Parent Teacher Home Visits program (pthv.org), a proven, cost-effective, and replicable preK-12 family engagement strategy transforming public schools across the U.S. Developed in partnership with local unions, the home visitation model has become a proven strategy to increase students’ academic and developmental growth and cultural competence; improve school climate, behavior, and attendance; and enhance community support for public education. Key characteristics of the program include voluntary participation, paid stipends, and visits done by pairs of educators.

To learn more, CEA provides two levels of training. CEA will provide an introductory workshop on how the program works, how to assess its potential value for students in your classroom, and how your school can adopt the program. CEA has partnered with the Capital Region Education Council (CREC) to also provide deeper training to districts that seek to implement the program in one or more of their schools.

Strategies to Foster Social-Emotional Well-Being in School

Students need more than just academic skills to be successful in college and career. While they do need strong content knowledge in core subjects, they also require a wide array of non-cognitive skills, behaviors, and attitudes to help them meet the unknown challenges of the future. Students who are experiencing trauma, poverty, hunger, anxiety, or bullying are unlikely to perform well academically. Learn what school districts in Connecticut and across the country are doing to promote the social-emotional health of students and how that is translating to improved academic outcomes. Teachers will identify strategies and programs that can be adapted to suit the unique circumstances of the students in their school or district.

Theory of Change Facilitation

Part workshop and part facilitated work session, this training is perfect for a group of colleagues, aspiring teacher- leaders, or formal committees interested in identifying and working through problems of practice. Participants will identify a problem and the issues, strategies, goals, and tactics that will help them tackle it, as well as approaches for engaging constituents (stakeholders) in working toward the goal.

Examples of groups that could benefit from this facilitation include PDECs, school climate committees, NEASC accreditation committees, school improvement teams, school- community partnership groups, and other teacher-driven groups. This workshop can be the beginning to building lasting change and is ideal for three hours; with additional follow-up sessions scheduled as needed.

HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

Dealing with Secondary Trauma: Self-Care Strategies for Teachers

Teachers care deeply about their students and take their “in loco parentis” responsibilities quite seriously. So when a student endures a traumatic event, the experience of trying to help the student cope may cause distress for the teacher as well. This phenomenon is called secondary trauma, and it can have serious physical and mental health repercussions if left unaddressed. Teaching is widely regarded as one of the most stressful occupations in the country, and it is also one of the most emotionally exhausting. This workshop provides an overview of the causes and symptoms of secondary trauma, self-care strategies for teachers looking to restore their emotional balance, and resources for those seeking additional information or professional support.

Knowledge Is the Best Protection: Preventing and Responding to Aggressive Student Behavior

As the demands to address all of a student’s academic and emotional needs have increased, it is vitally important that all teachers are informed of their legal rights and duties related to aggressive student behavior.

In this timely workshop, you will learn:

  • What preventive actions you should take to protect yourself and your students before an incident occurs.
  • What procedures you can and should take in the event you are assaulted by a student.
  • Why it’s important to report any assaults or threats of assaults to your principal – and the reporting requirements of principals if there is an assault.
  • What your Association can do to help you take whatever steps are appropriate to protect your rights as an employee, including measures to provide a safer workplace for everyone in the building.
  • What safety provisions can be negotiated in your collective bargaining agreement related to aggressive student behavior. (1.5 hours)
Maximizing Your Time

Planning, grading, chaperoning, and committee work are just a few of the responsibilities teachers take on. In this workshop, designed for newer teachers, participants will learn strategies for managing their time, staying organized, and identifying and coping with stressors.

Mind the Moment: Practical Mindfulness Activities for Students and Teachers

Mindfulness is receiving much-needed attention right now, in part due to the pressures of living in an increasingly complex world. Smartphones, busy schedules, and a 24- hour news cycle can be distracting for even the most focused individual. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter connect us with strangers around the world but also threaten to isolate us from those closest to us. You may find yourself spending more time worrying about the future or dwelling on something that happened in the past rather than on fully experiencing the present moment.

This is also true for our students, many of whom struggle to concentrate in class and have difficulty learning as a result. Learn how to integrate mindfulness activities into your existing classroom routines without losing instructional time or sacrificing the curriculum. Mindfulness activities can enhance the quality of life for young and old, improve mental focus and classroom behavior, and enhance learning outcomes.

Social Media Safety

Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Social media sites are popular not only with teachers but also students, parents, and community members. In this interactive session, participants learn how to keep information private and ensure that they are as protected as they can be if they choose to use social networking sites.

Contact CEA’s Professional Learning Academy