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Staff Developers

Adult Learners: Some Things We Know

Do adults prefer learning alone? Do they seek learning as its own reward? Are adults eager to try new materials, learn through real-world problems and adapt ideas?  Just what do adult learners look for in their professional learning experiences? This session is based on, the book, The Adult Learner: Some Things We Know.

Using interactive strategies that “model the model” of working with the adult learner, this workshop delineates the characteristics of the adult learner, explores the complexities of change theory, and explains the essences of successful professional development. Leave with tools for immediate use and an understanding of how to design professional development in ways that honor the experiences adult learners bring to the learning.

Anatomy of a Workshop for School Leadership

To design professional development experiences that are systemic, practical, job-embedded and sustained over time, leaders need to tap into the research on creating a community of learners. With this structure in place, the leadership works with an entire faculty, or teacher teams, as they problem solve various instructional concerns.

Leaders learn how to design professional development that embraces the essential elements of Joyce and Shower’s training model. In addition, participants learn the presentation skills of sage on the stage, and the facilitation skills of guide on the side and the mediation skills of coach in the field.

Aspiring Teacher Leaders

Help the districts you know and work in (or with) to meet a primary goal of NCLB... a qualified and quality-minded teacher in every classroom.   To provide these quality teachers, we need to offer professional development experiences that are systemic, practical, job-embedded and sustained over time.  That kind of professional development occurs when districts build their own capacity, on site, to manage the practice, feedback and coaching necessary to create real and lasting change in instruction. This leadership team will be fully prepared as a “teacher to teacher cadre” to provide training, on site, at your schools. They will be prepared to design, present, facilitate and coach other teachers in their buildings.

Coaching for Transfer

The coaching piece looks deeply into transfer theory, visits the six levels of transfer and elaborates on the seven strategies that foster transfer.  As the role of mentor/coach is unpacked, participants experience classroom coaching, practices (modeling and observational skills), reflective practices (journaling, video analyses, and portfolios), and collaborative planning models (curriculum mapping and unit planning).  Finally, participants are exposed to book studies and action research models, with a final piece on professional writing and professional organizations.

From metacognitive questions that guide reflective practice, to understandings about the various levels of transfer, to tools to enhance the coaching conference, participants leave with practical strategies for immediate use in the work setting.

A Highly Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom: Conceivable, Believable, and Achievable!

Some say teachers are born, not made?  Yet, the vision of a highly qualified teacher in every classroom is conceivable, believable and achievable. The research is clear and undeniable. All teachers can learn the skills and strategies of effectiveness.  All teachers, through sound professional development practices, can amass a repertoire of best practices that get positive results with all students. To look at the qualities of effective teachers, four areas are framed for investigation: setting the learning environment, teaching the skills and concepts and content, structuring the learning for differentiating and assessing the learning.

A Look at Transfer

"Can I use this in my classroom?" That’s the question teachers ask in every workshop. Take a look at this concept of transfer as it is presented "in a nutshell" for educators to read and to ponder.  Examine the six levels of transfer and the adult learner. Explore the seven bridging strategies to use with adult learners as they learn how professional development content they are learning does, indeed, transfer into their classrooms and into their life situations.

Metacognition and Reflection: Active Brains, Engaged Minds:

Active brains lead to mindful student engagement when teachers mediate for "conscious and unconscious" processing through interaction, dialogue and reflection.  This session focuses on research that targets the brain’s search for meaning and how teachers facilitate that process.  Participants will differentiate between activity and engagement as they move from structured interactions as they move toward mindful reflection. Participants will experience the shift from activity to mindful engagement, learn strategies to foster mindfulness, use techniques to promote metacognitive reflection.

Presentation Skills: Sage On the Stage

Did You Know? Presenters have 90 seconds to capture the audiences' attention!
Presenters captivate the audience with emotion, to enhance understanding!
Presenters close with targeted points that recap the key information!

How does the expert present information with wit, with authority and with ease? What makes an effective, "Sage on the Stage"?  How does the presenter share his/her knowledge base with skill and grace? These are the questions addressed in this highly interactive session. The content focus is on three distinct skill sets: capturing attention, captivating audiences and closing appropriately. Using a fine and full bag of tricks, that includes:  creating credibility, demonstrating “stage presence”, sharing compelling stories, using unforgettable quotes, creating tempo and pacing, implementing engaging activities, demonstrating the power of humor, stunning them with visuals, and packing closures with a punch, this session is a must for presenters to excel at their craft.

Transfer for Adult Learners

"How can I use this in my classroom?"  “How does this work with my kids and my content?” These are the question teachers ask as they anticipate applications back in their classrooms. Based on Fogarty and Pete’s research, A Look at Transfer: Seven Strategies that Work, become aware of transfer by looking at six levels of transfer that occurs with adult learners.

Starting with that knowledge base about the various kinds of transfer that occur, explore the seven bridging strategies to use with adult learners as they learn how the professional development content they are learning, does indeed, transfer into their classrooms and into their life situations. Leave with tools to increase the transfer from the workshop setting to the classroom setting.

A Walk Around the Block

It's not about time! It's about learning! Take a walk around the block and investigate the rationale behind flexible block scheduling, the myths and the realities of this concept, and key strategies that work in the larger blocks of time.  Explore three lesson formats for the 4X4 / 90-minute blocks that include designs for: 30/30/30 or 45/45 or 90 minutes, respectively.  Learn about essential teaching techniques: cooperative learning, multiple intelligences and higher order thinking.  Walk around the block and embrace the culture of learning that is represents.

Ten Things You Need to Know about Adult Learners

Do adults prefer learning alone? Do they seek learning as its own reward? Are adults eager to try new materials, learn through real-world problems and adapt ideas?  Join this highly interactive session and learn ten things you need to know about the adult learner. Learn what motivates the adult learner; the type of curricular designs they prefer; and the instructional methods that work. Leave with tools for immediate back home use and an understanding of how to shape professional development in ways that honor the reservoir of experiences adult learners bring to the learning.

Ten Things New Teachers Need

What are the ten things new teachers need? What are the things that make or break that beginning teacher?  As you make your list of ten things and compare that list with other educators, and with the listing in the text, you begin the discussion about how to support the novice both in practical and in emotional ways.  Lots of user-friendly ideas are presented "in a nutshell' format, for teachers just beginning and for those mentoring the novices.  Teachers will identify the ten things new teacher need, prioritize the things that seem most critical, and plan action steps for supporting the new teacher.

Middle Level Education: Foundations

The focus of Middle Level Education: Foundations of the Middle Years is centered on the basic precepts that under gird the middle school concept.  The program begins with a definition of Middle Level Education and an in-depth look at the characteristics and transformations of the early adolescent.  The session proceeds with a comprehensive discussion of the unique components of the middle school and elements of middle level classrooms. The session ends with a look at the characteristics of quality middle level teachers and the community of advocates who support the middle level child. In describing that middle level student, characteristics are described, critical transformations are explained and generalizations emerge for the middle level educator.