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.

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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.

Registration period has ended.

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

Registration period has ended.

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 - 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.

Registration period has ended.

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.

Registration period has ended.

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 - 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 and Online

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.