January 7, 2022
Professional Learning Updates
Integrating Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) 101 (VIRTUAL)
January 25, February 1, February 8, February 15, 3:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
Participants will become familiar with CASEL's 3 Signature Practices Playbook and use it to begin to develop lessons that integrate Social Emotional Learning into lessons with intention regardless of content. Iowa's Social Emotional Learning Competencies document, along with resources from CASEL will provide foundational knowledge for participants. The practices will be explicitly modeled and the instructional practices of discussion, reflection, guided practice, and independent practice will all be utilized. This course will require active engagement. Research demonstrates that instruction that includes Social Emotional Learning has been shown to increase academic performance, improve attitudes and behaviors toward school, decrease negative behaviors, and reduce emotional stress.
Self-Care for Educators (VIRTUAL)
January 31, February 14, February 28, March 14, 3:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. (1/31); 3:45 p.m. - 5:15 remaining days
Self-Care for Educators is a hybrid course with face-to-face (or zoom required) introduction and closing with self-paced modules and online community building every other week. The course participants will be able to define what Self-Care is, why it is important and how it can impact their personal well-being, family life, student interactions and work with colleagues. Through the completion of the course, participants will be expected to complete self-assessments, develop a Self-Care implementation plan (across multiple domains), implement a Self-Care plan, and reflect on their implementation personally and through group processing.
Suicide Risk Assessment Training
February 1, 2022 - Halverson Center: Blietz Room, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
NOTE: $50 materials fee
This workshop will address best practices in school suicide risk assessment procedures. Participants will learn how to conduct suicide risk assessments. The book Suicide in Schools and related risk assessment documents will be provided, as well as sample procedures from area school districts. Suicide Risk Assessment Training is designed for counselors, special education representatives,school-based interventionists, nurses, or anyone who would be involved in district-level suicide assessment. Team time will be provided to discuss district procedures and role-play, so it is beneficial to register as a district team.
Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI)
February 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 & March 2, 2022 - Virtual, 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. AND
June 9-10,2022 - Halverson Center: Blietz Room, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Born at Google and based on neuroscience, the SIY program teaches emotional intelligence skills that lead to sustained peak performance, strong collaboration, and effective leadership. SIY increases self-awareness, empathy, communication, and resilience. All of these help create positive emotional and mental states for a strong and inspiring leadership presence. The program includes sessions on mindfulness (the science of being present), self-awareness (understanding your thoughts, emotions, and habits), self-management (skillfully managing your impulses and reactions), motivation (aligning your values and work), empathy (understanding others’ feelings and experiences) and leadership (influencing with compassion). The mindfulness and emotional intelligence skills you'll learn will help you:
- Experience greater well-being, resilience, and stress management.
- Improve performance, collaboration, and empathy.
- Increase effectiveness and decision-making capacity.
- Cultivate innovative, creative thinking.
CLICK HERE to see a very short video about the SIYLI experience. For more details about the SIY program visit www.siyli.org/results. For more information about SIYLI the organization visit www.siyli.org.
Mindful Games: How to Make Learning Mindfulness in the Classroom Fun and Engaging
March 14-15, 2022 - Halverson Center: Blietz Room, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
NOTE: $90 materials fee
The Course Mindful Games: How to Make Learning Mindfulness in the Classroom Fun and Engaging educators will follow through PowerPoint explanations of what mindfulness is and how it can help children socially, cognitively, and behaviorally. The educators will also explore practices of mindfulness such as breathing, guided meditation, sensory work, and body movement. Through the text required for the class, Mindful Games: Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation with Kids, Families & Teens and Mindfulness Activity Cards: 55 Ways to Share Mindfulness & Meditation with Kids, Families & Teens, participants will further explore activities and games of how to make mindfulness and meditation fun and engaging in their own classrooms. Teachers will document the process of adapting these techniques to their classrooms through the use of Mindfulness Moments Daily Journal by Molly Schreiber.
Yoga for Teachers: How to Use Yoga & Meditation in the Classroom
February 1-2, 2022 - Avoca Office - 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Yoga For Teachers: How to Use Yoga & Meditation in the Classroom is designed to help teachers create a classroom atmosphere that fosters peace, inner growth, and physical movement through the practice of yoga and meditation. The teachers will come to understand how to use meditation and yoga in the classroom through a series of games, stories, and breathing exercises. The teachers will explore the manual Yoga For Teachers: How to Use Yoga and Meditation in the Classroom and put to practice lessons and activities from the manual. Some of the manual will give detailed lesson plans and other short ideas on how to spread yoga and meditation into the regular classroom day.
Restorative Practices Using Circles in Classrooms
February 1, February 8, February 15, February 22, 2022 - Halverson Center: PLC Building, 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
NOTE: $15 materials fee
This course will allow you to use the basics of Restorative Practices in your classroom and school. The fundamental premise of restorative practices is that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them. The field of restorative practices has significant implications for all aspects of society — from families, classrooms, schools, and prisons to workplaces, associations, governments, even whole nations — because restorative practices can develop better relationships among these organizations’ constituents and help the overall organization function more effectively. In schools, the use of restorative practices has been shown to reliably reduce misbehavior, bullying, violence, and crime among students and improve the overall climate for learning.
We devote much of our in-person (or virtual) time to teaching attendees to facilitate restorative circles. Circles are an essential process for building social capital, resolving social problems, and responding when harm occurs. Circles create a positive learning environment. You will learn by participating in circles with other attendees, taking turns to learn how to facilitate. By the end of the day, you will be prepared to return to your setting and run your first circle!
Save the Date for Our 2022 Symposium!
Upcoming Science Offerings
Kick off 2022 with all-new science professional learning opportunities! Check out the AEA-Facilitated Statewide Professional Learning Calendar for OpenSciEd, Exploring Scientific Concepts with Children's Literature (flier linked below), and Mystery Science - Going Beyond the Basics (flier linked below)!
Inclusive Classroom for All Conference - Seesaw Session
Planning on attending the Inclusive Classroom for All Conference on February 9? Here's a sneak peek at a session that will focus on the popular digital learning platform SeeSaw!
Teachers differentiate instruction on Seesaw to make meaningful learning experiences accessible for all learners. This 50-minute session is for all teachers who support students with diverse needs, incl. English Language Learners and students with IEPs/504s.
- Create accessible instructions using audio, icons and images
- Add scaffolds such as embedded videos and images to support all learners
- Provide choice and use Multimodal outputs to support all learners
How to get the most out of the webinar:
- Make sure you have a Seesaw teacher account and practice logging in (you do not need a student account for this session)
- If possible, bring two devices to the webinar so you can join the training on one device and explore Seesaw on the other
Neurodiversity News - Mental Health Needs of Autistic Individuals
For our January Neurodiversity Newsletter, we wanted to shed light on the mental health needs of autistic individuals. Autistic individuals are 70% more likely to have a comorbid mental health diagnosis, and 30% will have two or more mental health conditions (Aimes, 2021). Without proper resources to help them identify personal areas for growth, find healthy and effective coping strategies, and self-advocacy skills to navigate life, they are more susceptible to engage in maladaptive strategies like self-medicating, camouflaging, and experiencing struggles they could otherwise overcome. Therefore, it’s crucial we identify services and organizations that understand and strive to support the neurodiverse needs of autistic individuals, whether that be support groups or professionals who provide therapeutic interventions. The list below aims to identify different resources that may be helpful to address mental health needs of autistic individuals.
**This is not an exhaustive list and there are likely to be other providers in the area that are not referenced. Our purpose was to create a compilation of the reputable resources we were able to find at this time. Please conduct your own research and use this list as a starting point to find the resources that are right for you and/or the person you’re working with.
Cornerstone Counseling Services - Thurman, IA
Amy Faust is the owner and mental health therapist of Cornerstone Counseling Services. She sees people out of her home office.
NAMI Iowa - Iowa
National Alliance on Mental Illness - Iowa branch. This website is a great place to find resources to support the mental health needs of Iowans.
Children & Families of Iowa - Des Moines, IA & Osceola, IA
Children & Families of Iowa have licensed therapists who provide trauma-informed counseling and individual care for adults, children, and families facing challenges. Types of therapy include EMDR, parent-child interaction therapy, and behavioral health intervention services. Brie Carl (therapist located at Northside location in Des Moines) has taken additional training in supporting autistic individuals.
Radical Minds - Omaha, NE
Radical Minds utilizes cognitive-behavior, solution-focused, and person-centered therapy strategies. Their mental health therapists work with children, adolescents, and adults to identify past struggles and empower clients with new strategies to achieve solutions moving forward.
Skills 4 All Abilities - Omaha, NE
Carol Sabler is an LMIHP and has a child with autism. She uses cognitive behavior based principals infused with sensory based strategies, attachment theory and Mindfulness strategies.
Autism Society of Iowa Support Group - Various Iowa Locations
A variety of different support groups in many regions throughout Iowa ranging from the family members of individuals with autism, to highschoolers seeking opportunities for social interactions and to assist individuals in advocating for themselves.
Under the Resources tab, there are listings of different classes or courses available to autistic individuals throughout Iowa.
Des Moines Art Center - Des Moines, IA
Typically led on the 2nd Sunday each month, the Des Moines Art Center offers an in-person art class for autistic individuals. This program is not currently running as they are looking to rehire the position, but be on the lookout in the next few months.
Aimes, S. (2021). Outpatient mental health crisis screening. Organization of Autism Research.