Center for Teaching and Learning

Professional Development Topics


Teachers in both general and special education classrooms are being asked to collaborate to give all students access to the general education curriculum. The challenge is that teachers receive very little training in how to work together to educate students successfully (Murawski, 2010). In addition, very few teacher candidates are able to see co-teaching in action during their pre-service program. This presentation focuses on the helping teachers and administrators know what co-teaching truly involves, as well as strategies to co-plan, co-instruct, and co-assess.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Being able to proactive design lessons to include all learners, including those who are gifted, ELL, special ed, or other, is key to ensuring true teaching success. Educators who know how to universally design instruction will save themselves, and their students, hours of frustration! Come and learn how UDL can be implemented in your class without going crazy.


Learners are different and have diverse needs. However, many teachers don’t know how to implement true differentiated strategies into their classrooms and need to rely on special educators to help with that. This presentation provides numerous strategies for differentiation, as well as the tools to identify when differentiation is needed and how to create your own strategies.

Common Core

So many teachers are struggling with the curriculum, content, standards, and pedagogy for common core. We at CTL are thrilled to have real common core experts across various content areas! So if you need strong strategies for common core math, call us! Reading, writing, and even social studies, science, art, and other areas…..we’ve got the experts!


The focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and STEAM (Arts) is hot hot hot! Our experts have been collaborating with JPL, NASA and other groups to ensure that their presentation is current, relevant, and packed with concrete strategies that kids – and their teachers – will love!

Smiling faces

Positive Psychology

How can Positive Psychology assist students with their pursuits in the counseling field, teacher education and educational leadership? This project explores practical aspects of positive psychology using the Strengths Finder 2.0 on-line assessment to get a personalized Strengths Discovery and Action-Planning Guide. Students learn how to apply strengths to their interpersonal skills, work environment and discovery of their talents. These principles have already been incorporated into University 100, EPC Graduate courses, and SPED courses. It is currently being used by College of Education Staff, Center on Disabilities Professional Development and Student Advisement, and the Career Center.

Child holding a sign


Individualized Education Programs

Every K-12 student with an identified disability has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) created for him or her. These IEPs are crafted through the collaboration of school psychologists, teachers, administrators, additional service providers, and family members. This project entails bringing together university faculty from various departments in the College of Education to share their frames of reference in the education of students around IEP development. The parental perspective is addressed through input from individuals from the Family Focus Empowerment Center. Training modules are being created from this collaboration to be shared with students and classes in SPED, EED, EPC, SED, and ELPS courses, as well as with K-12 school districts.

Plant growing in little dirt


Mindset and Resilience

Teachers typically spend more time in a child’s life than any other adult. We all have assumptions and expectations for ourselves and others that guide our behavior. A basic belief that permeates the mind of effective educators is that they are in a unique position to be the “charismatic” adult in a child’s life, realizing that their actions have a profound impact on students. Curriculum, workshops and activities are being developed to be used in university classes and in K-12 schools. These materials will assist students in developing the inner strength and resilience to deal with the pressures of everyday life. The ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere where students and educators have an optimistic outlook and a belief that children and adolescents can contribute and make a positive influence in the world. Dr. Bob Brooks is a national expert in these areas and is working closely with the CTL as an official consultant and collaborator.

Children thinking, hands raised



Just as students have individual learning styles, we need to recognize they also have unique motivational styles. If we view motivation as the key to learning and a force that inspires action and sustained effort, we need to develop ways educators can apply this definition to motivating their students. This project looks at styles, characteristics and factors of effective motivation. Checklists, curriculum, strategies and instructional tools are being created to be implemented in university classes and K-12 schools. These interventions are intended to inspire students to discover that elusive motivational spark. The CTL is proud to have Rick Lavoie, author of “The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Tips to Turning On the Tuned Out Child” and facilitator of the best-selling video “F.A.T. City”, as a close collaborator and official consultant.

Children with hands raised


Instructional Intelligence

How do teachers make decisions related how best to instruct students? There are a variety of techniques available but their use and selection needs to be thoughtful. National expert on instructional strategies, Dr. Barrie Bennett, co-author of “Beyond Monet: The Artful Science of Instructional Integration,” has graciously served as an official consultant and collaborator with the CTL for the past few years. The CTL is focused on research related to determining the best ways to guide teachers in utilizing strategies that engage, inspire, and instruct their students.