Professional Development Opportunites
Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Course
(20-hour ESE re-certification course)
Florida has mandated that every teacher take some type of 20-hour ESE course upon recertification. This course provides teachers with useful information, strategies and tools to design quality learning experiences for the exceptional needs students (ESE) in their classrooms. It also includes information to assist their work with colleagues and parents who support students with disabilities.
Foundations of Effective Teaching I: Organizing the Classroom Environment for Teaching and Learning
(60 total hours) or (30-hour mini course)
Foundations is a core course which addresses the fundamental aspects of teaching and learning which are relevant for teachers in all grade levels and subject areas. It examines proven practices for establishing and maintaining classroom management, maximizing use of learning time, questioning and feedback skills, homework, interactive guided instruction strategies, and scaffolding techniques. These core topics are critical to a successful classroom bursting with students who are engaged in the curriculum.
General Knowledge Test Tutorial
This course will help prepare teachers to pass the General Knowledge test which is necessary for achieving teacher certification in Florida. It will also have an impact on teachers’ practice leading to improved student performance and increased investment in the teaching profession.
Strategies for Student Success Series (SSS)
(3-hour courses, unless homework is added)
The SSS modules are a part of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) professional development program. Content is taught with activities which require reflection on daily practice, debate over research and current practices, utilizing modeling, and experiential learning approaches. Engaged discussions augment the relevance of the research-based classroom strategies and instruction is designed to facilitate immediate use. Each course will benefit both new and veteran teachers.
BEYOND CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
Beyond Classroom Management places educators at the center of the debate on compliance over motivation; autonomy; and examination of how conventional structures (rewards, sanctions and punishments) are in place primarily to keep order. This course explores how growth mindsets, grit, peace building, compliance, autonomy, educator behaviors, and classroom layout all affect the learning environment. It invites educators to look beyond rules and procedures to maintain a classroom environment conducive to learning.
CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE PEDAGOGY
Research suggests that students from diverse cultures may need to be engaged differently in ways which support their self-efficacy, esteem, and their learning. In this course, we will establish the connection between culture and learning, and explore research-based strategies, such as cultural competency, high expectations, and critical consciousness.
Despite the fact that students learn at different rates, have different interests, and different levels of motivation, many instructors overlook these differences and treat students as if they were all alike. This course is designed to raise awareness of research which supports differentiation and examine three models; Tomlinson’s tiered lessons, Conklin’s choice boards, and Sternberg’s triarchic model.
Stress is inevitable. Educators face many challenges, especially the desire to be the best for their students. Unmanaged stress, however, can cause irreparable health issues. This course examines research findings to address and identify ways of handling stress more successfully and provides tips on how to turn challenges into opportunities—not more stress.
It is important to identify behavior that impedes learning and apply interventions that promote positive student attitudes to learning and the acquisition of social skills. Through hands-on and reflective activities, participants will learn how to identify the root cause of behavior by determining the questions they should ask in order to implement an appropriate intervention.
Student Learning Objectives (SLO)
(3-hour course, unless homework is added)
SLO is a process for measuring student growth. Participants will receive the knowledge and resources needed to have an in-depth understanding of the components which include assessment, setting learning goals, conferencing, and then engage in developing their own process to help students. Understanding the SLO process will give participants the confidence to take control of it and ensure its use as a tool for success in the classroom as well as demonstrate its impact on student learning.
Student Debt Clinic (members only)
This AFT course provides information on how to enroll in income-driven student loan repayment programs and help in enrolling in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. We will offer assistance which may help student loan borrowers lower their monthly payments and, in some cases, even have their debt forgiven.