New professional development courses help build better classrooms in Sonoma County

Most people agree they want good teachers in their schools to improve student outcomes. When teachers have access to continuous learning opportunities and professional development resources, they’re better equipped to become good teachers. How do they access those resources?

LBC, its donors, and members are committed to ensuring that teachers in Sonoma County schools have the very best chance of refining their skills and gaining new ones. Thanks to the Farley Family Charitable Foundation, each year, LBC hosts professional development programs for between 200 and 400 teachers and teaching artists. Last year, we were able to reduce the cost of registration to $10 for all of professional development classes.

Here are the professional development classes and workshops available for the first half of the 2022-23 school year:

Challenging Ableism in the Classroom

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) is an ongoing concern at LBC, which is why we offer IDEA in the Classroom programs. This year’s series will focus on ableism, in which harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and generalizations result in discrimination toward individuals with disabilities. In this series, teachers will explore how language, actions, and expectations can help challenge that discrimination. Starting the Conversation about Ableism will help instructors learn about ableism from the personal journeys of individuals living with disabilities. Fostering a Culture of Belonging will provide teachers tangible ways they can inspire a culture of inclusion and belonging in the classroom.

Our ongoing Tools for Teachers program brings back two favorites that help instructors develop standards-based lessons they can take directly into the classroom: Combining Arts Education with Social Emotional Learning Techniques and Bringing Books to Life: Direct Adaptation. Our Teaching Artist Training continues to focus on key topics relevant to teaching artists of all experience levels, including the free Teaching Artist Skills Exchange as well the Lesson Planning for In-School Instruction class.

Teachers spend their whole careers developing new skills in response to the complex challenges they encounter to advocate for the best education they can offer their students. While it’s hard enough for experienced instructors to find support, it’s even harder for new teachers because they haven’t had a chance to build their network of sources. With the support of our members and donors, teachers throughout the North Bay have come to rely on LBC’s Professional Development programs to develop the skills they need to feel confident in the classroom. When we can provide teachers with learning and resources support, we communicate that the community values the work they do. We demonstrate that we want to help them continue to refine their skills because our kids benefit from better teachers.

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