Staffers Anne Palmer and Dr. Kara G. Hollins recently provided a series of professional development workshops for teachers in the Collaborative School Communities (CSC) program. Each workshop was developed specifically for educators working within a co-located school and aligned to the communicated goals and objectives articulated by members of the CSC program. Paraprofessional: Critical Partners for Student Growth and Learning focused on how to support and encourage the engagement and participation of children with IEPs in classroom activities. Paraprofessionals learned about the impact of active listening on communication and collaboration with other adults and students.
Additional topics explored included: executive function skills, the importance of movement and breaks on learning, and different ways to support students’ literacy development. Participants cited how learning about executive functioning shifted their thinking of students who exhibited challenging behavior, and how they feel more equipped to support those learners. Additionally, all participants committed to using movement breaks with students in their classrooms. Participants studied and were able to bring important bodies of knowledge that impact many students back to their schools, including executive functioning skills, trauma-informed practices, and holistic literacy instruction.