Programs: Educators:
Professional Learning

Over my 42 years working in education I am often asked to help administrators, board members and staff problem solve, see different perspectives and grow personally and professionally.

My work has always emphasized that building trusting relationships is the key to success.  We must model trust to receive trust.  Great leaders are empathetic and willing to listen more than they speak.  It is essential to believe in the goodness of people.  Leaders are wise to devote time and energy to develop a culture of caring.  The culture of school must be based on emotional safety.  I work with leaders to help them inspire, fulfill and be grateful.

Thom Stecher

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Now you can have the best of both worlds...great programming and nationally acclaimed professionals. Offering you informative and enlightening programs laced with fun and humor, advice and experience. It's all encompassing, efficient and experiential. Whether you select a full day, or half-day's program, we think you will be impressed.

Thom Stecher and Associates has a unique gift tailoring our programming to meet the goals of your school or district. Below are some of our most successful programs.

Let's talk about which ones fit your audience, size and time frame! E-mail Us!

Programs: (click the titles to expand content)

This informational session will explain the importance of Whole Child education. It will be an interactive workshop explaining the practical applications of social emotional learning. Research will be woven throughout the presentation. Administrators and teachers can hope to leave this workshop with the tools in hand to do a self evaluation of their district, school or classroom to see where their strengths are and where school atmosphere can be improved.

This program is designed to address the most critical issues in schools today—climate and community. Respect for one's self and others has been documented by research over the past thirty years as being lacking in children with developmental, behavioral and learning problems. It is impossible to teach and learn successfully in an environment that is less than safe. Educators, K-12 are invited to participate in this highly experiential classroom community building program. We will work through a developmental program designed to identify, model and practice strategies for team, group, and community building, self respect and social skill building.

This workshop has been carefully designed to help teachers enhance student's self respect and social skills by teaching students proven strategies for improved academic skill development and performance.

Structuring a supportive, goal-oriented classroom environment that encourages self reliance and improved academic skill development and performance, this course combines formal instructions, based on current research and practice, with hands-on activities. Through this combination of instructional methods, teachers will learn specific, practical techniques to improve students' skills. Using these techniques, teachers will be able to help their students learn and study better, experience higher rates of academic success, and thus, improve their self confidence and self respect.

This workshop is designed to have participants experience the multiple intelligences as researched by Gardner, Armstrong and Buzan. Particular emphasis will be place4d on activities, experiential learning and strategies for developing logic, linguistics, music, spatial, kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. The workshop will include assessments, resources and challenging growth opportunities. We will celebrate intelligence strengths and provide interventions in areas of weakness. We will also explore the human characteristics of genius and draw from ten historical figures as role models for our discussions.

This program is interactive, generating active participation that results in learning and uplifting of spirits. This is an opportunity for your group to experience things that were only heard about before and now are becoming widely accepted as they pertain to the wellness concept.

This workshop is designed to provide concrete, immediate, experiential, prevention/intervention skills to deal with the issues of conflict, anger and violence.

We will learn what triggers conflict and anger, examine various conflict styles, explore competition as a possible root of conflict, anger and violence, offer concrete information and experiences on appropriate limits and boundaries, make clear the difference between assertive and aggressive behavior.

We will offer concrete steps to problem solving and conflict mediation, provide participants an opportunity to assess internal conflict, and experience how our thoughts, beliefs and perceptions can lead to conflict or peace.

This training program provides participants with an awareness of essentials of valuing diversity in schools, and the community. It will address beliefs, values and behaviors regarding differences and their effect on school environments. Participations will learn the latest research and data on diversity in our culture and the changing demographics in schools. The development of values, biases and prejudice will be explored in relation to their impact on racism and sexism. Approaches to increasing tolerance and celebrating diversity will be reviewed.

This workshop 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 workshop are: 1) poverty is relative, 2) poverty occurs in all races, 3) economic class is a continuous line not a clear cut distinction, 4) there is a difference between generational and situational poverty. The inspiration for this workshop is Dr. Ruby Payne and her book A Framework for Understanding Poverty.

In this experiential workshop participants will examine their current attitudes and perceptions of stress. We will explore both positive (eustress) and negative (distress) responses to stress. Participants will practice twenty proven strategies for managing time and reducing distress. We will present a problem solving model that offers strength, hope and fellowship.

As caretakers we are constantly on the giving end of helping and healing. Many of us risk burnout and worse, complacency. In this highly experiential workshop, we will examine our current perspective on life and our role in the lives of people we service. We will utilize the tools of humor, risk and change to assess and renew our perspective.

We will assess our purpose, our mission statement and how to keep a healthy balance between the professional and personnel. We will experience five essential tools for keeping balance.

We will experience a formula to choose between the various possibilities in our life. Stress or Eustress: you choose. What do we control and what must we let go of.

We finally explore the passion in our work lives. Our sense of commitment. What do we "pour ourselves into"? What is on our "Joy List"? How does what we give service to bring us strength?

This program offers the participant tools, skills, strategies, activities, laughter and real life experiences.

The intent of this workshop is to increase the awareness of teachers, school administrators, school personnel and parents regarding issues of sexual harassment and at-risk sexual behavior in youth. Children at younger ages are exposed to and experimenting with these behaviors and it is vital that adults are aware of the latest trends. Participants will also learn to identify what constitutes sexual harassment, how to maintain an environment free of harassment and steps to take if harassment occurs in school or in the classroom. Legal guidelines will be shared as well as data and statistics about this growing problem in education.

Teaching the children of today in the classrooms of today within the cultures of today demands a retooling of the concept of teacher. Our task in education is a formidable one. We are asked to be teachers, sometimes parents (in loco parentis), counselors, social workers and, in certain extreme cases, primary care givers. By the way, while we do all of this please make sure we are raising the Reading and Math scores! There are some in our profession who would argue this basic premise. They will tell you they have been hired to teach a subject rather than teach a child a subject. Before we can teach a child we must reach and touch the child. The mere teaching of factual information is easy. The true magic in the classroom occurs when the teacher inspires the child to learn. The teacher makes the connection between the content and the applicability to the child's life. This program offers ideas and strategies to assist you in your day to day classroom management.

High quality learning, curriculum and instruction focus on: comprehensive health; physical and emotional safety; full engagement in relevant learning; supportive relationships and a challenging learning environment.

To close the achievement gap we must recognize and support all underserved populations: students affected by poverty, students with special learning needs, students of different cultural backgrounds, non native speakers and urban and rural.

All students must have access to:

  • Innovative, engaging and challenging course work with appropriate academic support that builds on the strength of each learner and inspires students to reach their full potential.
  • High quality teachers supported by an ongoing professional development program.
  • Resources that strengthen Whole Child Success in schools, families and communities.
  • Display leadership skills that inspire others to achieve, serve and cooperate.

This workshop will examine strategies and practices that bring students success.

This program encourages educators to embrace resiliency skills to help deal with stress, cope with challenges, bounce back from disappointments, adversity and trauma, develop clear goals and treat themselves and others with respect. We focus on the 4 keys in creating in creating a resilient child; social competence, problem solving skills, authenticity and social purpose. In this fully engaging program, educators will leave having experienced the essential building blocks of resilience.