Trainings and webinars for education support professionals

ESP Sparks_0547

The WEA ESP's Professional Development 'TEAM' program aims to provide transformative engaging applicable meaningful training that supports all students.

Fall 2022 Courses

All classes will be held virtually. Participants can enroll in either a one-day or two-day class. It is highly recommended that members attend Part A prior to attending Part B to ensure content relevancy and continuity.

Clock hours: 4 clock hours are available for each class unless otherwise noted.

Contact Cristi McCorkle and Lama Chikh if you have questions about course offerings.

FCS01 Introduction to Cultural Identity and Diversity

Offered Nov. 12 (both 9 a.m.  to 1 p.m.) for paraeducators.
Participants will gain an awareness and deeper understanding of ways to engage, build relationships and communicate with  the diverse backgrounds of their students. This course is designed to help ensure that students experience a positive, consistent, safe, unbiased and equitable classroom experience. This course is for paraeducators.

Objectives:

  • Describe ways to identify and respond to racism, discrimination and stereotypes in the classroom 
  •  List strategies for supporting cultural responsiveness and anti-biased instruction 
  • Describe ways to foster and support a safe, positive, and culturally inclusive environment 
  • Explain ways students’ family, language, ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic background, and other cultural assets impact behavior and learning  
  • Describe strategies to support cultural inclusion and responsiveness when assisting in instruction 
  • Demonstrate respectful behavior when working with diverse students 

Register for the Nov. 12. session

FCS02 Educational and Instructional Support

Offered: Nov. 12, (both 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) for paraeducators.
Participants will learn classroom and building based instructional strategies and supports to assist classroom teachers in various learning environments and with diverse learning styles. This course is intended to enhance the instructional practices of paraeducators in order to increase student achievement and educational outcomes.

Objectives:

  • Identify basic instructional support methods to assist classroom teachers (small group work, one–to-one, computer aided learning programs)
  • Introduce diverse learning styles and strategies best suited to enhance and complement student learning requirements various learning styles
  • Review Washington Learner Standards and have basic awareness of academic achievement goals
  • Demonstrate various instructional support strategies to assist classroom teachers
  • Identify strategies to support classroom environments and apply materials to meet the goals of multicultural requirements
  • Recognize appropriate instructional support materials which represent and support various cultures and abilities 

Register for the Nov. 12 session

FCS06 Equity

Offered Oct. 15 and Nov. 19 (both 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) for paraeducators.
Participants will gain an awareness of the legalities, polices, procedure and practices surrounding discrimination and how to respond to such violations. This course is designed to help foster a learning environment that is unbiased, safe and promotes the academic success of all students.

Objectives:

  • Identify the basic regulations and polices that apply to the civil rights of students
  • Describe ways to respond to racism, discrimination, and stereotypes based on family, language, ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic background, or other elements of culture
  • Define discrimination and recognize unlawful practices 

Register for the Oct. 15 session

Register for the Nov. 19 session

FCS11/12 Communication Basics and Challenges

Offered Oct. 15 and Nov. 19 (both 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) for paraeducators.
Participants will gain an understanding of essential communication strategies, conflict management, conflict resolution and how to effectively work in a team environment. This course is designed to help enhance collaboration and communication between paraeducators and other applicable stakeholders that will enhance student success and achievement.

Part A: Communication Basics (2 hrs)

  • Identify communication skills required for working with team members
  • Explain the importance of decision making as it applies to school-based teams
  • Explain the four stages of developing effective teams
  • Describe questioning strategies which improve performance, productivity and clarify misunderstandings
  • Identify strategies used to initiate and receive feedback regarding student learning and/or personal performance
  • Describe ways to apply conflict resolution strategies 

Part B: Communication Challenges (2 hrs)

  • Identify and give examples of the types of strategies used to seek, provide and clarify information and feedback to staff, students and families
  • Discuss the nature and possible sources of conflict among team members, students and families
  • Identify strategies for repairing relationships after conflict
  • Identify and apply problem solving processes to various case studies and scenarios 

Register for the Oct. 15 session

Register for the Nov. 19 session

Tier 1 Behavior Interventions Differentiated for Students Part A

Offered Nov. 12 (both 9 .am. to 1 p.m.) for all ESPs.
The course is focused on how to work with students who are  demonstrating unsuccessful behaviors. Participants will learn why student expectations for behavior should be high and how  to redefine discipline as a growth and teaching opportunity rather than punishment. Participants will learn Tier 1 redirection and intervention learn skills (Symbolic, Physical, Verbal and Non-Verbal) that will support positive relationships with all students, and how to be culturally and socially responsive to issues. 

Course Objectives:

  • Identify the various communication styles that are represented in the classroom to develop ways to be responsive and respectful of students’ communication needs
  • Understand the value and impact of implementing student focus groups
  • Understand the guiding principles for developing a Tier 1 culturally responsive behavior approach through a relational lens 

Register for the Nov. 12 session

Tier 2 Behavior Interventions Differentiated for Students Part B

Offered Oct. 15 and Nov. 19 (both 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) to ALL ESPs.
Participants will learn guiding principles of TIER 2 interventions in a culturally responsive approach and how to implement  them at their building. They will also learn how to change interactions with students positively through courageous conversations so that students feel included, valued and respected.

Objectives:

  •  Understand the guiding principles for developing a Tier 2 culturally responsive behavior approach
  • Increase awareness of opportunities we have as educators to ensure our interactions with students promote safe inclusive buildings
  • Develop an understanding of Tier 2 interventions that can be applied to our school context
  • Demonstrate an understanding for how to apply the protocol for Courageous Conversations for individual students to your context educators to ensure our interactions with students promote safe inclusive buildings 

Register for the Oct. 15 session

Register for the Nov. 19 session

Communicating Effectively with Diverse Students and Families 

Offered Nov. 19 (both 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) for those in clerical services.
Participants will gain an awareness and deeper understanding of ways to engage, build relationships and communicate with the diverse backgrounds of students and families. This course is designed to help ensure that students experience a positive, consistent, safe, unbiased and equitable space wherever they are in schools.

Objectives:

  • Describe ways to identify and respond to racism, discrimination and stereotypes in schools
  • List strategies for supporting cultural responsiveness and anti-biased ways
  • Describe ways to foster and support a safe, positive, and culturally inclusive environment
  • Explain ways students’ family, language, ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic background, and other cultural assets impact behavior and learning
  • Describe strategies to support cultural inclusion and responsiveness
  • Demonstrate respectful behavior when working with diverse students 

Register for the Nov. 19 session

Building Winning Teams: Effective Comm, Collaboration, and Instruction

Offered Nov. 12 (both 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) for paraeducators.
Participants will learn about their personality types and how those characteristics impact their roles as team members. The  characteristics of highly effective teams will be examined, and attendees will participate in a variety of activities to build strong, cohesive teams. Participants will also apply what they learn about themselves and how that relates directly to their  current classroom.

Participants in this course learn tools and resources to better support students and increase student achievement. 

Topics include:

  • Characteristics of new paraeducator and teacher teams
  • Guiding principles for paraeducators
  • Paraprofessional responsibilities
  • Planning and working together: strategies for clear communication between teacher and paraeducator

Register for the Nov. 12 session

WEA - BWT ll: A deeper dive to focus on collab discourse/scenario-based immersion

Offered Nov. 19 (both 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) for paraeducators.
Follow-up to Building Winning Teams. Participants will take a deeper dive into the paraeducator- teacher relationship/partnership and work effectively together to have a positive impact on student learning through scenarios, role-playing and discussion. Participants in this course practice tools and resources through role-modeling and scenarios to better support students and increase student achievement.

Course Objectives:

  • Participants will learn to define and delineate roles and responsibilities for the para and teacher
  • Communicating strategies and creating a system for transparency
  • How to manage and resolve conflict using the 7-step problem-solving method
  • Self-awareness and your personal effect on the team
  • Practice the 5 “knows” of collaborative teaming 

Register for the Nov. 19 session

Embracing Diversity with True Colors

Offered Oct. 29 and Nov. 19 (both 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) for all ESPs.
In this training, participants use the True Colors system to focus on embracing diversity in the classroom and in the larger school community to improve learning opportunities for all students and enhance communication between student, teacher, staff and parents. The True Colors system identifies intrinsic values, motivations, self-esteem, sources of dignity and worthiness, causes of stress, communication styles, listening styles, non-verbal responses, language patterns, social skills, learning styles, environmental motivators, cultural appeal, negative mental states, relationship orientation, and ethical behaviors.

Course Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to recognize diverse learning styles and communication styles in the classroom and with colleagues that will enable them to communicate in a manner that information will be better received.
  • Understand their own communication styles (positive and negative) and learn strategies to alter their personal communication skills to meet various circumstances.
  • Learn the value of creating teams that incorporate different learning and communication styles, increasing in creativity, learning and acceptance.

Register for the Oct. 29 session

Register for the Nov. 19 session

WEA - ESP DEEPER DIVE Session 1 - Data Does Matter; The Power of Observation

Offered Nov. 9 (5-7 p.m.)
Participants will learn why and how to use observational data to build student relationships and improve behavioral and academic success.  

 Participants will learn educational observational data is: 

  1. most commonly used method for behavioral science, 

  1. a scientific tool to collect data – a systematically planned and subject to check and controls on validity and reliability, and  

  1. a process of recording the behavior patterns of people and occurrences without questioning or communicating. 

Participants will be able to: 

  • define the various methods of observation,  
  • learn about the characteristics of an observation,  
  • differentiate between the advantages and disadvantages to using this method,  
  • understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative, 
  • how to use and Analize data to the educator and student benefit, and 
  • include stakeholders in the process (which includes students).

Register for this session.

WEA - ESP DEEPER DIVE Session 2 – True Grit – Rethinking Grit and Resiliency through Equity Integration

Offered Nov. 16 (5-7 p.m.)
Educators use buzz words like "grit" and “resiliency” all the time when describing at-risk students who beat the odds and find success in school and life. But that is only part of the success story. True grit and resiliency have to incorporate equity strategies so we don't just focus on the ones that have grit, but helps us to teach the skills to those who need it. 

 Participants will: 

  • understand and define grit: guts, resiliency, initiative and tenacity 
  • learn why grit is important 
  • understand why personal grit and resiliency is not enough and must be taught with an equity lens  
  • be able to explain how the reliance on buzz words and popular programs can sometimes undermine student success 
  • learn how our own biases undermine the teaching of grit and resiliency 
  • learn how to incorporate equitable strategies integrated with grit and resiliency education programs 
  • be given on-line resources to help continue their research on best practices  
  • become a role-model who demonstrates equitable grit and resiliency for students as they navigate personal or academic failure  

 All ESPs encouraged to participate. The course fulfills WA State Paraeducator general certificate clock hours requirement.

Register for this session.

WEA - ESP Deeper Dive Session 3 – Pronouns Have Purpose

Offered Dec. 7 (5-7 p.m.)
Pronouns are used in everyday speech and writing. Positive experiences of social gender affirmation are critical to the health and well-being of transgender gender diverse people. Social interactions where a person is addressed by their correct name and pronouns, consistent with their gender identity, are widely recognized as a basic — yet critical — aspect of gender affirmation. In this course, educators will discuss the importance of using pronouns and how to use them effectively in schools creating a ensure a supportive environment for everyone in the education community. 

Educators will learn: 

  • Why ESP roles are critical for the social emotional well-being of LGBTQ+ students  
  • Washington State Law and OSPI expectations for educators using pronouns in schools 
  • The definition of GENDER and how students use pronouns as an expression of self 
  • Common myths of about pronouns and strategies to improve proper pronoun usage at school 
  • Through the use of scenarios, how to encourage others to validate student identification so that students feel safe to be an individual  
  • How to courageously advocate for students whose identity may be as important for them as race or their own name

Register for this session.

WEA - ESP DEEPER DIVE Session 4 – Your Body Talks Louder Than You Do

Offered Dec. 14 (5-7 p.m.)
As educators, we spend so much time verbally instructing and directing children. So, it is frustrating when they choose to ignore or not do what we’ve instructed them to do. We need to consider the non-verbal ways we communicate with our students, because that’s one of the missing pieces to effective communication needed for student engagement. Understanding that most non-verbal communication is done subconsciously, you might not have any idea how students may perceive you. You may think your student isn’t listening, but they are observing what your body language is saying to them. 

Participants will learn: 

  • The importance of non-verbal communication and the impacts it has on student/educator relationships 
  • How we communicate non-verbally subconsciously and consciously can motivate or deflate students 
  • The advantages and disadvantages of non-verbal communication in the classroom 
  • Positive body language is not inherent and can be taught to educators and students to improve classroom communication and trust thereby improving student learning.  
  • Essential body language cues; expressions and meanings to use when encouraging students to learn or participate 
  • How to check our own personal perception and filters when reading other students and staff to ensure bias is removed from the observation 
  • To physically demonstrate active listening to message engagement and so that students feel heard and valued
  • Strategies to use in the classroom to communicate non-verbally to large, medium, small groups and individuals 

 Register for this session.


Courses for those working in Special Education

PD 4 Paras

WEA's Inclusionary Practices Project and ESP Program will provide paraeducator-specific professional development sessions live via zoom to compliment four online asynchronous modules. Synchronous sessions are facilitated by WEA paraeducators and are designed to allow participants to collaborate, connect and reflect with colleagues. This series includes sessions about going beyond the label, helping kids become independent, decoding the ABCs of the IEP, and dealing with big emotions.

Up to 14.5 clock hours will be provided. Register for this session here. If you're one of the first 1,000 participants, you will receive a confirmation with the Zoom link/ID to access the course and a separate link to access the asynchronous modules. Save this information.

Para-Bytes

This course series includes 24-hour-long sessions (the first 8 sessions will take place in fall 2022, and the remaining sessions will be scheduled in winter and spring 2023). Attend whichever sessions you would like. Each session will contain a 10-15 minute video highlighting a key question, small group discussions, collaboration, and resources.

Para-Bytes is a series of 24 topics designed to offer quick information and resources to support students with disabilities in the general education setting. Designed for paraprofessionals (or substitutes or preservice educators), Para-Bytes are organized into four categories that cover everything you need to provide inclusive support to all students. Each "Byte answers common questions about inclusive education and they are conveniently organized into: Foundational Bytes, Academic Support Bytes, Behavioral Bytes, and Independence, Interdependence, and the Need to Belong Bytes.

Up to 24 clock hours will be provided. Click here to register for this course. When you register, if you are one of the first 1,000 participants, you will receive a confirmation with the zoom link/ID to access the course and a separate link to acces the modules. Save this information.


If you missed one of NEA's monthly professional development webinars for education support professionals, you are in luck. Watch NEA's archived ESP webinar recordings.


NEA ESP Professional Growth

To ensure a great public education for every student, education support professionals (ESPs) want and deserve opportunities for professional growth throughout their careers. Visit NEA's listing for ESP professional development opportunities.