Professional Development Institute | Agenda for Children

Professional Development Institute 2023

Registration Opens May 20th!

Join us for this special IN-PERSON event at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary on July 14th and 15th. The two-day Professional Development Institute (PDI) kicks off Friday afternoon with a panel conversation and workshop for early childhood leaders and administrators and continues for a full-day of workshops and activities for early childhood teachers, leaders, and staff on Saturday, July 15th. Learn more about each day, the workshop schedule and event location, and volunteer opportunities in the dropdown menu below. We can’t wait to see you!

How do I register for PDI?

Before you register, please review all of the information on this website. We are excited to  offer the Professional Development Institute (PDI) as an in-person experience this year, however there are many things to know and consider while planning your time with us at the PDI. We don't want you to miss out on special events, activities, or workshops that meet your needs and interests. Once you have explored a bit more in the sections below, come back here to learn how to register!

There are three ways to register for the Professional Development Institute. Please read our suggestions below:

  1. Review the Workshop Schedule Card to see the schedule of events by time order. Click on a session title to be taken to the registration portal where you may read the workshop description add it to your cart.  You must have an Agenda for Children training account to create this cart, and each workshop must be registered for individually.
  2. Review the Suggested Learning Tracks Cards. This deck groups the workshops by interest, rather than by time, to help steer you to sessions that fit YOU! Click on a session title to be taken to the registration portal where you may add it to your cart.  You must have an Agenda for Children training account to create this cart, and each workshop must be registered for individually.
  3. Visit our training site, and manually search for workshops that will be offered on the dates of the PDI. To do this, scroll to the bottom of the page and enter 7/14/23 as the start date and 7/15/23 as the end date. Please note that if dates are incorrectly entered, you may be shown a list of additional workshops that Agenda for Children offers that are not part of the PDI. Only sessions on July 14th and 15th will take place in person at the Professional Development Institute, and sessions on other dates are not included in this event. Please read workshop descriptions carefully. Those included in the PDI will have the PDI banner in their descriptions. Once you search for those dates, you will be shown a list of available workshops and seats and may click on the title to register and add the session to your cart. You must have an Agenda for Children training account to create this cart, and each workshop must be registered for individually.

July 14, 2023 Panel Event for Center Leaders

On the afternoon of July 14th we welcome early childhood leaders and aspiring leaders (Types I/II/III, School-Based and FCC) to join us for a 3-hour kickoff event at the Professional Development Institute. Be Prepared: Planning for and Responding to the Unexpected will include a panel conversation with experts in the fields of mental health, emergency preparedness, and early childhood. Their discussion will outline the elements of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from the often frightening experiences center staff, children, and their families face during and after an emergency. Join us to learn about effective emergency preparedness strategies, including considerations for trauma-informed practice, and make your own emergency action plan, while networking with your peers from across Southeast Louisiana. Three clock hours will be awarded to participants.

Seating is limited to seventy-five participants. Registration opens May 20, 2023.

July 15, 2023 Professional Development Institute: Workshop Schedule

We are offering many workshops on a range of topics at the PDI on July 15th. These workshops are available at no cost to teachers, leaders, and staff at Type III Early Learning Centers as well as Family Childcare Providers. Click on the image below to open the interactive timed schedule. Beginning on May 20, you can click on a session's title to register for that workshop.

Need help making a plan? Check out the "Learning Tracks" dropdown tab to learn more about suggested workshop groupings by topic. If you would like to read descriptions for the workshops, locate the "PDI Workshop Descriptions" dropdown tab at the bottom of this page.

Learning Tracks: Choose Your Adventure

We are excited to offer suggested workshop groupings, or "learning tracks," based on topics of interest. To explore individual tracks, click the interactive map below, then click through each magenta button to read schedules and course descriptions for workshops included on that track. Please note that tracks are suggestions only and that each workshop must be added to your registration cart individually. Individual workshop spaces are limited, and it is possible that some courses on a suggested track may fill and become unavailable. If this happens, you are free to mix and match from another track!

Want to plan your own adventure? Check out the full workshop schedule or PDI Workshop Descriptions dropdown tab below.

New Teacher Orientation at the PDI

Calling all new teachers! Join us at Agenda for Children's Professional Development Institute on July 15th to take a journey through the world of early childhood education. Learn assessment tools and effective teaching strategies, design a classroom, and enjoy hands-on activities designed to help you understand what a high-quality classroom should look like. Earn 6 clock hours and gain access to one-on-one time with experts in our Resource Room. This full-day workshop runs from 8:00AM- 3:30PM, including breaks, and lunch will be provided.

This workshop is intended only for Type III employees who are in their first year of teaching. Seats are limited. Registration opens May 20, 2023.

Ask A Coach: PDI Resource Room

We are excited to offer a special opportunity for our PDI attendees to meet with an Agenda for Children Early Care and Education Specialist for a one-on-one coaching mini session. Bring your questions about CLASS, TS GOLD, curriculum and lesson planning, classroom environments, and more! Check back in mid-June for your chance to sign up for a complimentary 15 minute slot.

Volunteer Opportunities

We have limited spaces available for Type I/II/School-Based center staff to attend workshops FREE of charge in exchange for light administrative support such as taking attendance, handing out materials, and assisting with classroom set up. Volunteers earn clock hours during a two to three-hour shift while learning new skills in early childhood education, and receive a free lunch and complimentary tote bag. Click here to sign up.

Location Information

The PDI will be held at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, located at 3939 Gentilly Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70126. Click on the campus map to familiarize yourself with the location (classroom/building assignments coming soon!), or click on the Google Map to plan your transportation to the event. Parking will be free for PDI attendees.

NOBTS Campus Map

Get Directions to NOBTS

Meet Our Presenters

Our presenters are excited to share their expertise with you at the Professional Development Institute! Check out some of their bios below and visit the Our People page for bios from Agenda for Children staff, many of whom will also be facilitating PDI workshops.

Gracyn Austin, Early Childhood Education Institute at LSU

Session(s)/Role: Be Prepared: Planning for and Responding to the Unexpected, A Conversation for Leaders, Panelist

Gracyn Austin is a Texas native with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Journalism. She started her career in the United States Congress, focusing heavily on the accessibility of resources and information for underserved populations. She then continued her education at Clemson University where she obtained a Master of Education and spent 6 years in the classroom as a Reading Specialist in high-needs school districts. In her first year as an educator, her school was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. She currently serves as the Programs Manager for the LSU Early Childhood Education Institute and the Louisiana Association for the Education of Young Children. She focuses on developing resources and materials that provide accessible, easy-to-implement strategies and programs in the early childhood education community. Gracyn enjoys spending time with her family outside with their two pups, attending LSU athletic events, and doing pilates.

Terri Baquet, Louisiana Children’s Museum and Agenda for Children Contractor

Session(s)/Role: Creating an Environment that Supports Language and Literacy for Infants and Toddlers, Facilitator; Addressing Diverse Learning Styles to Meet Children's Needs, Facilitator; CLASS Overview, Facilitator

Terri Baquet is enthusiastic about all things related to early education. Born and raised in New Orleans, she has over 25 years of experience in the field of education. From her beginnings as a middle school teacher, Instructional coach, and Early Learning Specialist her vast range of educational knowledge and experience is evident. In her position as Director of the Delgado City Park Children’s Center, the University of New Orleans Children’s Center, and the LSU Human Development Early Learning Laboratory Center, she has mentored and supported numerous early care professionals in the region. Currently she holds the title of Early Learning Director for the Louisiana Children’s Museum located in New Orleans, City Park. Honored twice as Teacher of the Year in both Texas and Louisiana, she serves on various advisory committees. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of New Orleans and an MBA in Organizational and Leadership Management. Terri has been a contract employee with Agenda for Children since 1997.

Juli Barthelemy, Jefferson Parish Head Start (B-5) and Agenda for Children Contractor

Session(s)/Role: New Teacher Orientation, Facilitator

Ms. Juli Barthelemy has been in the Early Childhood Education field for over 20 years. Ms. Barthelemy’s roots began in Diamond, LA (Plaquemines Parish) and continues in Harvey/Marrero, LA. She is a 2015 M.A.T. Early Childhood Education graduate of Northwestern State University and is the Education Disability Coordinator for Jefferson Parish’s Head Start Birth to Five Program. Ms. Barthelemy’s passion for teaching began as a parent volunteer in her daughters Jefferson Parish Head Start class in 1994. She obtained her Associates Degree and became an Assistant Teacher at Woodmere Elementary, Harvey, LA and later a Head Start Teacher. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree, she was promoted to a Head Start Teacher Advisor and subsequently to a Head Start Center Supervisor; giving her the strong foundation for the position she holds now. Ms. Barthelemy is the mother of three children and the “spoiler” of two grandsons.

Beth Bonvillain, Fletcher Technical Community College and Agenda for Children Contractor

Session(s)/Role: The Continuum of Child Development, Facilitator; Supervision & Accountability, Facilitator; Following Children's Lead, Facilitator

Mrs. Beth Bonvillain has been in the Early Childhood Education field for 26 years. She began teaching in 1997 at the preschool that was on the campus of her church. It was then that she had a desire and passion to begin her educational path at Nicholls State University. Mrs. Bonvillain graduated in 2002 with her Associate’s Degree in Child Development and Learning. She then began working for Lafourche Parish Head start where she was the lead teacher for the 3-4-year olds. She continued her path at Nicholls and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2009 in Education-Birth to Five Early Interventionist. She was able to obtain a position in Lafourche Parish Public School System as a Kindergarten teacher. Her love for learning did not stop at her Bachelor’s degree and she graduated in 2013 with her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. She continued to teach kindergarten and then later was promoted to Mentor teacher for 4 years and then Master teacher for 1 year in the public-school system. During this time, she also obtained her Education Specialist degree in College Teaching and Learning. Her time in the public school system came to an end when she decided to accept a position as an instructor in the Education department at Fletcher Technical Community College. She is now the Department Head of Social Sciences at Fletcher and also an instructor in the early childhood program. Mrs. Bonvillain is a wife of 26 years, mother of three children and a Madere’ to a 21-month-old grandson. She and her husband reside in Schriever, Louisiana.

Dianna Constant, Agenda for Children

Session(s)/Role: Be Prepared: Planning for and Responding to the Unexpected, A Conversation for Leaders, Panelist

A long-time resident of Thibodaux, Louisiana, Dianna has been part of Agenda’s team since 1990. She has over forty years of experience in early childhood education. She spent twenty years directing and operating her own child care center and has more than two decades of experience as a trainer and technical assistance advisor for early childhood programs. She serves on the board of United Way of St. Charles and has served on the Child Care Health Care Consultant board since 2000. She is actively involved with the early childhood community networks in New Orleans and Houma, supporting interaction improvements in early learning centers Dianna holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Youth and Family Services from Nichols State University.

Stephanie Dunmiles, St. Charles Parish Public Schools and Agenda for Children Contractor

Session(s)/Role: New Teacher Orientation, Facilitator

A lifelong resident of Louisiana, Stephanie Dunmiles has been a contracted facilitator for Agenda for several years. She has over 20 years of experience in early childhood, in both the private and the public sectors. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s Degree in Education. Stephanie’s full-time role is the Ready Start Program Director for St. Charles Parish Public Schools. Over the past 16 years, Stephanie has had experience with Early Head Start/Head Start both in the classroom and as a Center Director. Stephanie is also a co-instructor with the St. Charles Parish United Way “Success by Six” Early Childhood Child Development Associate/Ancillary Certification Program. An interesting fact about Stephanie, although education as always been her passion, is that she also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Respiratory Therapy from Nicholls State University, with which she worked in a hospital setting for over 10 years.

Karen Huggins, Agenda for Children Contractor

Session(s)/Role: Infant & Toddler Behavioral Expectations, Facilitator; Resource Room Specialist

Karen Huggins has always enjoyed school. She comes from a family of educators- principals, professors, speech pathologist and even a school nurse. Initially, Karen studied Computer Science and received her Bachelor’s degree from Southern University. Her passion for teaching brought her back to the class room teaching first graders, second graders and her favorite preschoolers. She volunteered in an early learning center in California and was offered a teaching position and then promoted to center director. She has served in that capacity for over 30 years. She played an integral part in the state’s initiative for quality care as part of the Material Instruction Team and as an instructor for ancillary certification. Ms. Huggins received her Master’s degree in Education Leadership from Southeastern University and additional early childhood coursework from Northwestern State University. She currently is studying ASL at BRCC. She is the proud mother of one daughter, Amani Joie and her new joy as grandmother to twins Richard and Rhylei!

Amie Knupple, Four Stars Childcare

Session(s)/Role: Be Prepared: Planning for and Responding to the Unexpected, A Conversation for Leaders, Panelist

A native of Louisiana, Amie was born and raised in Des Allemands, Louisiana. She has 25 years in Early Childhood Education. She has been a Director/Ownerof Four Stars Childcare Facility for 25 years. She sits on several boards, Success by 6, St. Charles Parish Advisory Committee and the Ready Start Program for start. She was chosen for the first Lela Group; now she is Lela Alumni year 1. She is a certified Pathways Trainer. She is a Certified Reliable Observer in Infant, Toddler and Pre-K. Amie enjoys helping other Early Childhood Centers, Early Childhood teachers and Directors. She spends most of her time at her center, and when not at her center she is usually with her family enjoying her husband, her Children and her 3 precious grandchildren. She believes that Early Education is the key to lifelong learners.

Dr. Kassia Plessy, Tulane TIKES

Session(s)/Role: Be Prepared: Planning for and Responding to the Unexpected, A Conversation for Leaders, Panelist

Dr. Kasia Plessy is an assistant professor at Tulane University School of Medicine and a supervisor in the Tulane Mental Health Consultation Service (T-MHCS). Dr. Plessy has research and clinical interests in addressing discrepancies in child mental health treatment utilization, particularly among racially diverse communities. She is passionate about and committed to providing access to quality mental health support for those who are underserved in her New Orleans community. As part of the TIKES program, Dr. Plessy provides mental health consultation and educational training to caregivers in early childhood education settings in order to enhance the well-being of young children and their families. She also has extensive experience in early childhood screening and intervention, comprehensive psychological evaluations, and individual therapy for children and adolescents.

Tameeka Ross, Agenda for Children Contractor

Session(s)/Role: Teaching With Purpose & Positivity, Facilitator; Asking Questions (B-5), Facilitator; Resource Room Specialist

Tameeka Ross is a native of Vacherie, La. currently residing in Ascension Parish. She is an enthusiastic individual with over twenty years of extensive experience in early childhood education. She began her journey in her family childcare business, Kid's World Childcare and Learning Academy, as Director. Her titles as a parent, trainer, and educator have instilled in her the skills that are essential in ensuring that the learning experience of each child is unique. She is highly skilled in creating and implementing curriculum that best suits the needs of individual students. Additionally, her education and experience has taught her the need to continuously enhance the curriculum in order to cater to changing needs. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences from Northwestern State University. She is currently pursuing her Master’s. Furthermore, she has a profound ability to supervise and evaluate caregivers, teachers, and assistants in order to ensure that the quality of each program is maintained efficiently. As a lively and dedicated educator, she contributes to the mission of driven success. Spending time with her two daughters and family is priceless. She also enjoys traveling and is not afraid to try new things. She is always up for a challenge.

Andrew Roszak, Institute for Childhood Preparedness

Session(s)/Role: Be Prepared: Planning for and Responding to the Unexpected, A Conversation for Leaders, Panelist

Andrew Roszak serves as the executive director at the Institute for Childhood Preparedness, an organization that exists to provide assistance and training for early childhood programs. Andy is the award-winning author of the three book series, Preparing for the Unexpected, which includes preschool preparedness for an active shooter, preschool preparedness for an emergency, and preschool preparedness for after the disaster. Andy served as a firefighter/paramedic in the Chicago-land area for nearly ten years and is a licensed practicing attorney. He is also a professor at Old Dominion University and serves as the chief of health, safety and environment for the Region 2 Head Start Association.

Mindy Self, BSN RN CCHC-CPR Instructor

Session(s)/Role: New Teacher Orientation, Facilitator; Resource Room Specialist

Mindy Moore Self has been a Registered Nurse for over 12 years covering many different areas such as administration, pediatrics and as a nursing instructor at a local community college. She is currently attending Northwestern State University for her Master's degree in Nursing working on becoming a Nurse Practitioner. She has been a CCHC working with Agenda for Children since 2018. In her free time she enjoys gardening, raising Betta Fish and watching Bluey with her 2 daughters as well as taking care of her 2 dachshunds and 2 rescue schnauzers.

Dr. Lisa Trusclair, Nursing Trainer and Consultant

Session(s)/Role: Health & Safety, Facilitator; Including Children with Special Needs, Facilitator

Dr. Lisa Trusclair is a registered nurse with advanced studies in the allied health field of College Teaching and Learning. Her doctoral studies were completed at Walden University in 2017. Education in the study of nursing was completed at Southern University in Baton Rouge. She has been a Child Care Health Consultant since 2001 and enjoys working with childcare centers throughout the state of Louisiana. Her vast array of training allows her to provide advanced training for allied health and specialty programs in the area of Medication Administration through the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities.
She is a CPR/FA instructor for the American Red Cross. She utilizes her background as a former elementary school teacher to create and provide exciting and interactive training sessions.

Anna E. Williamson, Agenda for Children

Session(s)/Role: Be Prepared: Planning for and Responding to the Unexpected, A Conversation for Leaders, Moderator

Anna brings to the Agenda team fifteen years of experience working in education and education reform. Most recently, Anna was a school administrator and Assessment Coordinator at a large early childhood program in Houston, Texas.  Anna previously lived in Washington, DC and was the Associate Director, Stewardship and Engagement at The CityBridge Foundation, a private family foundation that marshaled intellectual, financial, and social capital to help build a high performing public education system in the District of Columbia. In this role, she educated and engaged business leaders, philanthropists and community members in the District of Columbia’s education reform efforts. Prior to The Foundation, Anna was Director, Community Development at the national nonprofit First Book, liaising between schools and nonprofits and First Book’s corporate and government partners. Anna completed her M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education and Human Development at The George Washington University in 2013, and currently serves on Mayor Cantrell’s Re-Opening New Orleans COVID-19 Community Services Working Group, and is a Pritzker Fellow representing Agenda for Children’s work in early childhood education research, policy and practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to attend the Professional Development Institute (PDI)? 

  • All July 15, 2023 PDI sessions are available at no cost for staff of Type III centers and Family Child Care Providers located in the following parishes: Assumption, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Tammany, Terrebonne and Washington parishes. Since participants will receive clock hour credit for professional development, attendees must create or use their existing Training Portal account to register for each session separately, including workshops listed on suggested learning “tracks.” (SEE BELOW) Beginning on May 20, you can register for a session by clicking its title on the digital schedule card and adding the session to your cart, then completing registration.
  • The July 14, 2023 event, Be Prepared: Planning for and Responding to the Unexpected: A Conversation for Leaders, is available to all early childhood educators, regardless of center type or location, without a fee. Registration will open for this event on May 20, 2023.

How do I know if my center is Type III?

  • Staff should ask their center’s director about the center’s license type.

What if I work for a Type I, II or school-based program? Can I still attend?

  • There are limited opportunities for Type I/II and School-based employees to volunteer to assist with light administrative duties during a workshop  in exchange for the ability to attend that session and earn clock hours. Registration for these spaces is unavailable in the training portal and volunteers must complete this form to sign up. If you are a director of a Type I, II or school-based program and are interested in other professional development opportunities for your staff, contact for more information.

I see registration for individual sessions, but not for the conference?

  • Each workshop must be registered separately. Participants will be awarded clock hour credit for successful completion of individual sessions and certificates will be provided through Agenda for Children’s Training Portal system. 

What about the “Learning Tracks?” Can I register for those as a bundle?

  • The “Learning Tracks” are only suggestions of how you might want to plan your day based on a specific interest and are unavailable for bundling. If you are interested in a track, you must add each workshop individually to your registration cart. It is possible that some workshops listed as a suggestion on a bundle may fill before others. You are still welcome to register for the workshops that have seats remaining and we encourage you to add another workshop to your cart that interests you!

Do I have to create an account to register for a session?

  • Everyone must have an individual account to register for PDI workshops. If you already have a workshop registration account with us, there is no need to create a new one. If you do not have an account with us, please create one in our  Training Portal. Your certificate for completed sessions will also be stored in your portal account, and is always available to you to share or print. Plus, you will be able to register for future Agenda for Children workshops with this account! There is no fee to create an account. 

Will lunch be provided on Saturday, July 15th? 

  • We will provide a complimentary box lunch at the request of PDI attendees whose sessions are scheduled near the lunch break. When registering for a 10:30-12:30, 1:30- 3:30, or any Health and Safety (9:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00) workshop, you will be given the option to choose whether you would like the lunch that we are providing. Please indicate your preference each time you are asked (we will remove duplicates in the system, should they occur). Lunch can only be provided to those participants who indicate an interest during registration, and we are unable to accommodate last minute requests for meals. If you choose to lunch on your own, there are several food options located near the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Campus and you are welcome to bring your lunch.

Where is the Summer Professional Development Institute happening? Are there virtual options?

What about parking and transportation?

  • This is an in-person event and transportation is not provided by Agenda for Children.  The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is accessible from public transportation or by car, taxi or rideshare. Free parking is available on the campus for this event.

How do I request ADA accommodations? 

Can I attend just one day?

  • Yes! Registration for each day and for each workshops is completed individually. Join us for one workshop on a single day, or up to four workshops across July 14th and 15th! Check out the digital schedule card to see what sessions are available and to register.

Is Friday July 14th’s leadership event just for directors or administrators?

  • No, anyone interested in leadership and emergency preparedness in early childhood education is invited to participate in this session. This session is NOT limited to staff of Type III centers; however, space is limited and all participants must register. Registration opens May 20, 2023.

What should I wear?

  • Dress comfortably in clothes appropriate for classroom learning: t-shirts, jeans, comfortable shoes, etc.

Other questions? 

Please visit our general Workshop FAQs or email

PDI Workshop Descriptions

Below is a list view of the July 15th Professional Development Institute workshops in timed order. To register for a session, click the title. You will be taken to the registration page on the training portal.

8:00- 10:00 AM 

CLASS PreK Concept DevelopmentHas Concept Development got you down? Want to know what higher order thinking is? Would you like to engage in more interactions with children that support analysis and reasoning? If so, this workshop is for you! Participants will walk through the CLASS dimension of Concept Development and learn which behaviors teachers engage in to support concept development in preschool children. This workshop also includes practice identifying effective classroom interactions associated with the Concept Development indicators and behavior markers. Participants will also evaluate their own practice and make a plan to provide intentional opportunities to facilitate children’s understanding during their school day.

Classroom Organization: A Well-Oiled MachineIt is during transition time that things can get chaotic in the classroom; however, when your classroom is well organized, and you have planned for transitions, your classroom will run like a “well-oiled machine.” In this workshop you will learn how to make transitions time-efficient, have learning opportunities built within, and fun!

Creating an I/T Environment that Supports Language and Literacy: Learn to create a language- and print-rich environment that supports language development in infants and toddlers. We will look at how to develop language, why teacher child interactions are important, and what a print-rich environment looks like for infants and toddlers. We will identify ways to support language modeling in the environment and relate it to CLASS.  

New Teacher Orientation- Part 1:  FULL DAY (6HR)- Calling all new teachers! Take a journey and explore the world of early childhood education. You will learn about the assessment tools used in Louisiana for the growth and welfare of young children. You will also design a classroom, learn about intentional teaching, interaction strategies, and how to engage in meaningful conversations with students. This workshop offers essential information and hand-on activities designed to help you understand what a high-quality classroom should look like, and what tools are available to help you improve. This is a 6 hour, full-day experience that runs from 8:00 AM- 4:00 PM with a break from 10:00- 10:30 and a lunch provided from 12:30- 1:30. You need only to register once for the session, and parts 1-3, along with lunch, will be included in your registration.

Teaching With Positivity & Purpose: Are you an early childhood educator caught in the buzz of busy classroom activities? Is it time for a reset? This workshop helps participants find focus while revisiting the purpose and joys of early childhood education. Topics covered include intentional teaching, overcoming stress, productive relationships, and educator accountability. By attending this workshop, participants will recognize the impact and responsibility that come with being an early educator, and will be energized and excited about their role in the field.

The Continuum of Child Development: This workshop outlines the sequence of skills that children can be expected to acquire as they develop. Participants will learn strategies to use in the classroom that support a child at each stage of development, and promotes their growth in all five developmental domains (physical, social/emotional, adaptive, communication/language, and cognitive).

10:30 AM- 12:30 PM 

Addressing Diverse Learning Styles to Meet Children's Needs: This interactive training module supports teachers to differentiate interactions to meet a child’s needs. This module will train and educate participants to identify and use modifications with children. Individual children learn and develop in different ways. As educators, we need to be equipped to help them succeed in the most beneficial way. This training will show teachers how to view children through the lens of individuality, give them different ways to identify if children need accommodations, and demonstrate practical ways to use and understand accommodations to help children succeed.  

CLASS Overview: Have you ever wondered what those CLASS observers are looking for when they visit your classroom? Or are you a new teacher? If so, CLASS Overview is just what you need! This workshop will provide you with an introduction to the CLASS tool so you can learn what CLASS observations are and why Louisiana uses them to measure program quality. This workshop will also help you connect CLASS to your knowledge of how young children develop and learn. We will do a “deeper dive” into the domains and dimensions of Infant, Toddler, and Pre-K CLASS. 

CLASS PreK Quality of Feedback: Confused about Quality of Feedback? Want to hear and see it in action? This session develops participants’ specific knowledge and understanding of the Quality of Feedback dimension within the Instructional Support domain of the CLASS tool. Learn how to move beyond "good job" so that children can deepen their learning, while also increasing their persistence and participation in activities. This workshop includes practice identifying classroom interactions associated with Quality of Feedback indicators and behavior markers. Participants will be able to reflect on their current classroom practices and establish action steps for future interactions. 

New Teacher Orientation- Part 2  (SEE NEW TEACHER PART 1)

No More No's: This workshop will provide educators with a blueprint for success with young children in the early learning classroom. Participants will learn an underlying cause of preschool behaviors, and learn effective techniques to prevent problem behaviors that sometimes occur in the preschool classroom  

Supervision & Accountability: Do you always know where your children are? Are you using active supervision strategies that keep all of your children safe? Do these strategies allow you to engage in meaningful learning activities at the same time? Are you familiar with Bulletin 137’s guidance around ratio and supervision? This session will provide you with answers to all of this through engaging activities, video observations and discussions, and some super helpful handouts and posters as well.

1:30- 3:30 PM 

Asking Questions (B-5): Asking children questions helps them process information and develop critical thinking skills. In this session, we'll learn how meaningful questions increase the quality and duration of conversations with children to encourage higher level thinking.  

CLASS Overview: Have you ever wondered what those CLASS observers are looking for when they visit your classroom? Or are you a new teacher? If so, CLASS Overview is just what you need! This workshop will provide you with an introduction to the CLASS tool so you can learn what CLASS observations are and why Louisiana uses them to measure program quality. This workshop will also help you connect CLASS to your knowledge of how young children develop and learn. We will do a “deeper dive” into the domains and dimensions of Infant, Toddler, and Pre-K CLASS. 

Following Children's Lead: There are many different ways teachers can engage children in learning. One way is by following children's lead. This session will introduce you to three main strategies you can use to follow children’s lead: building on children interests; providing children with choices; and encouraging children to express ideas. Participants will see strategies in action and engage in activities that provide opportunities for discussion and practice of those strategies too!

I/T Behavioral Expectations: Behavioral expectations are the appropriate behaviors expected from children during specific activities and routines. We will discuss how to adapt the infant environment so that infants are kept safe from undesired behaviors. We will also discuss how and why to state behavioral expectations for toddlers. You will leave this session with strategies that you can use to design a physical and social learning environment that is safe, supportive, and stimulating. 

New Teacher Orientation- Part 3 - (SEE NEW TEACHER PART 1)

Taking Care of Ourselves: Stress Reduction Workshop: Everyone has day-to-day stress to manage but did you know stress can affect teachers' relationships with the children in their care? In fact, research suggests that young children's early attachment bonds have deep and lasting effects on their ability to manage stress, communicate with body language, stay tuned ­in to their emotions, and easily forgive or let go of grudges as adults. Because the quality of these primary relationships is heavily dependent upon a caregivers’ physical and mental well-being it is critical that teachers are able to: 1) focus on meeting their own needs and the needs of the child simultaneously; and 2) appropriately manage stress so that it does not adversely affect the relationship between the child and themselves. Participants attending this workshop will develop a better understanding of their own stressors and signs of stress, techniques and strategies they can use to lessen their levels of stress, and will leave with an individualized action plan for managing stress in the future.


9:00 AM- 12:00 PM Health and Safety: This course covers health & safety topics to include: identification of a sick child, common childhood illnesses, immunity, childhood immunizations, nutrition and immunity, infection control, and food safety. 

1:00 PM- 4:00 PM Including Children with Special Needs: “Including children with Special Needs” provides knowledge of what “inclusion” involves as it relates to a childcare setting. It is reflective of the goals, challenges, and resources that can guide centers along the pathway of creating an environment of health and safety for children with disabilities. It creates a learning environment where “all children” inclusive of those with disabilities can thrive and achieve a sense of a safe and thriving learning community.


Workshop Handouts & Resources

Looking for handouts or resources for a session? Click the thumbnail below to open up the interactive handout map. Each workshop title may be clicked to open a downloadable PDF of the session materials.

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