Professional Development Courses: Schedule

All three credit courses require 42 hours of instructional work throughout the duration of the course. Whether it is in-person class time or online alternative instruction, it is your opportunity to put your new knowledge into immediate practice. The frequency of online discussion/interaction with instructor and classmates is throughout the course. It is available 24 hours a day. For course descriptions simply click on the course name or visit our course catalog. 10 days prior to the course you will receive a Welcome email with directions and any other instructions for the course. If you have any questions about our scheduling please feel free to contact us at info@thomstecher.com.

Registration for courses closes 5 days before the first day of class or if the course is filled.

An official Grade Receipt Letter will be mailed by Neumann University at the conclusion of the course. Official transcripts can be ordered by visiting Transcripts and Forms page found here.

Filter Courses

Summer 2017

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

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: June 19 - July 28, 2017.
  • Professors: Scott Heydt
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day.

This course is full

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 - Mindfulness: Self-Care for Educators

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: June 19 - 22, 2017 class meetings. Course end date July 7, 2017.
  • Professors: Danielle Nuhfer
  • Location: Cocalico High School, Denver, PA

Registration period has ended.

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

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: June 26 - 29, 2017 class meetings. Course end date July 14, 2017.
  • Professors: Celeste Ross and Jen Moyer
  • Location: Homewood Suites, Malvern, PA

Registration period has ended.

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 - Diversity Awareness II: How To Make Positive Change (Online)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: July 3 - August 11, 2017.
  • Professors: Alex Fizz and Aaron Jones
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day.

This course is full.

This course is designed to take the knowledge and awareness gained in "Diversity Awareness in Education" 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 - Respectful Tasks in the English Language Arts Classroom K-12

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: July 10 - 13, 2017 class meetings. Course end date July 28, 2017.
  • Professors: Lenore O'Donnell
  • Location: McDonald Elementary, Warminster, PA

Registration period has ended.

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 - Fostering Creative Thinking and Innovation in the Classroom

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: July 10 - 13, 2017 class meetings. Course end date July 28, 2017.
  • Professors: Mark Eisenhuth and Chris Palochak
  • Location: Chester County Intermediate Unit, Downingtown, PA

Registration period has ended.

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 - Mindfulness: Self-Care for Educators

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: July 17 - 20, 2017 class meetings. Course end date August 4, 2017.
  • Professors: Josh Gansky
  • Location: Staybridge Suites, Glen Mills, PA

Registration period has ended.

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 - Strength Based Living (online)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: July 17 - August 25, 2017
  • Professors: Peter Thompson
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day.

This course is full

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 - Understanding and Teaching Children Affected by Poverty (Online)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: July 31 - September 8, 2017.
  • Professors: Alex Fizz
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day.

This course is full.

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

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: August 7 - 10, 2017 class meetings. Course end date August 25, 2017.
  • Professors: Joe Brancoccio and Alex Fizz
  • Location: Homewood Suites, Malvern, PA

Registration period has ended.

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.

Fall 2017

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

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: September 4 - October 29, 2017
  • Professors: Alex Fizz
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day.

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 - Mindfulness in the Classroom

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: September 4 - October 29, 2017 In class meeting dates - 9/9, 9/23, 10/7, 10/21
  • Professors: Brian Aikens
  • Location: Homewood Suites, Malvern, PA

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 - Movement through the Common Core Standards (Bringing Fun and Excitement to the Common Core)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: September 11 - November 5, 2017 In class meetings- 9/16, 9/30, 10/14, 10/28
  • Professors: Phil Hochman
  • Location: The Concept School, Westtown, PA

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 - Parent-Teacher Conferencing: How to Build Cooperative and Supportive Relationships with Parents

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: September 18 - November 12, 2017 In class meetings- 9/24, 10/8, 10/22, 11/5
  • Professors: Scott Heydt and Matt Rogers
  • Location: Villa Maria Academy, Malvern, PA

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

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: October 2 - November 26, 2017
  • Professors: Scott Heydt
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day.

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 - Effective Classroom Management Strategies and Skills (online)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: October 16 - December 10, 2017
  • Professors: Larry Newman
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day.

This course has been developed for the classroom teacher. It combines theory and practical application. Participants will be challenged to share their gifts and talents with the class and also examine areas they feel they need to improve. Teaching the children of today in the classrooms of today within the culture of today demands a retooling of the concept of teacher. Teaching factual information is easy. The true question is – are the students’ actively learning what is being taught? In order to bridge the gap between teaching and learning it is critical teachers possess effective classroom management strategies and techniques. “Essential Strategies…..” explores every aspect of managing a classroom from kindergarten through grade twelve. We start with the basics and using a variety of teaching and learning strategies we allow participants to develop the necessary skills to be a more effective teacher.

EDU 526 - Communication: Creating a Message of Understanding

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: October 23 - December 17, 2017 In class meetings- 10/28, 11/11, 11/18, 12/9
  • Professors: Joe Brancoccio and Phil Hochman
  • Location: Chester County Intermediate Unit, Downingtown, PA

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 - Exploring Women's Studies: Social and Cultural Constructs

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: October 30 - December 24, 2017, In class meeting dates- 11/5, 11/19, 12/3, 12/17
  • Professors: Krista Leh and Donna Wolfert
  • Location: Homewood Suites, Malvern, PA

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 - Strategies for Empowering Gifted Learners (Online)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: October 30 - December 24, 2017
  • Professors: Alex Fizz and Dennis Smyth
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day.

This course is designed to challenge educators to consider essential knowledge, best practices, and strategies for the wide range of gifted students strengths  and interest in classrooms. Through practical simulation activities, researched based resources and job integrated learning, the participants will be engaged in making real the learning that takes place during this course. There will be particular emphasis on the differentiated classroom and school model to meet the goals and specially designed instruction of gifted learners and high-achieving students. This class is designed for all Pre K-12 educators who wish to empower gifted learners and support their areas of strengths and interests.

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

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: October 30 - December 24, 2017, In class meetings- 11/18, 12/9
  • Professors: Pam Gregg and Jim Duey
  • Location: The Concept School, Westtown, PA

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.