The ESP Conference is open to all current Vermont-NEA ESP members. Below please find a general schedule for the day and session descriptions. You may attend a full day session or two half-day sessions. To officially register, click here. We look forward to seeing you on March 16th!
7:30 am - 8:15 am: Breakfast
8:15 am - 8:30 am: Opening Remarks
8:30 am - 11:45 am: Session I (or first part of full-day sessions)
11:45 am - 12:45 pm: Lunch featuring Vermont-NEA ESP of the Year and Door Prizes!
1:00 pm - 3:45 pm: Session II (or second part of full-day sessions)
Full Day Session Descriptions:
1. Positive Discipline in Schools - I Can Do It! : This full day session looks at positive discipline practices in schools. Topics within the day include Getting to your students; Rules, Routines and Procedures; Strategies for Unexpected Behaviors; Restorative Practices, Understanding Trauma; Communication Styles; and Practical Tips and Tricks. Throughout the session, the ESP Role will be highlighted. Facilitators: Andrea Griffin and Josepha Austin, NBCT
2. Youth Mental Health First Aid : Youth Mental Health First Aid is hands on training which introduces educators to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in youth, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches educators how to help a youth in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Youth Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care. Facilitator: Lance Metayer
3. Crisis Intervention - De-escalating Strategies: As ESPs, you are often in a position where you need to think quickly in order to support a student in crisis. In this day-long training, you will gain a basic understanding of crisis intervention methods. On the first day of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training, the emphasis is on early intervention and nonphysical methods for preventing or managing disruptive and/or unexpected behaviors. CPI's disengagement skills are demonstrated and practiced in this session to prepare staff to safely remove themselves and others from a dangerous situation. Facilitator: Chelsea Metayer
Morning (half-day) Session Descriptions:
1. Reading Workshop: Strategies to Support Student Readers : In this workshop participants will receive an overview of the workshop model as taught through the Calkins Units of Study. We will work with the Common Core Standards for reading, The Calkins Learning Progressions, and participants will be introduced to some tools and strategies to help support students and to help them build independence and success as readers. Facilitator: Karen Heath
2. Professional Boundaries and Social Networking for School Employees: This popular Vermont-NEA workshop explores professional boundaries educators need in order to achieve the environment that promotes the strongest student learning. Vermont-NEA staff will discuss boundaries in three categories: Physical, Emotional, and Knowledge. Additionally, they will address laws pertinent to teachers and ESPs such as mandatory reporting, FERPA, and restraint laws. Embedded in this workshop are scenarios for participants to analyze and discuss, applying what they have learned. Active questioning and discussion is encouraged throughout this session! Facilitators: Bob Raskevitz and Vermont-NEA Staff
3. Paraeducator-Teacher Communication: This session will look at strategies that support strong communication and teaming between paraeducators and teachers to promote student learning. We will begin the session by exploring the roles and responsibilities of paraeducators today, both in the classroom and as part of the wider school culture. Questions that will be explored through this workshop include: What are the expectations and roles of today's paraeducators? What are examples of successful communication strategies utilized by teacher-pareducator partners? What are some ways paraeducaotrs advocate for themselves and the students in their classroom? How can paraeducators ensure that they are respected professional educators in the classroom and in the wider school community? The presenters will share concrete examples that participants are free to modify/use to build stronger communication within their classroom and schools. Facilitators: Tara Gauding and Hannah Van Loon
4. Behavioral Interventions for Students Who Struggle With Social Thinking: SESSION FULL. Let us help you with a road map for solving challenging behaviors in school! Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ADHD struggle with many aspects of social interactions. We will explore interventions specifically tailored for students with ASD and other behavioral challenges. We will provide overviews of Michelle Garcia-Winner’s ILAUGH curriculum, Carol Gray’s Social Stories and Leah Kuyper’s Zones of Regulation. We will show you how to use a variety of social thinking strategies to help students learn to manage their own behavior. By focusing on the underlying social thinking, we will help you identify deficits or skills your students need in order to be successful in school. Chris Sedic-Lawton and Lisa Bisbee have both worked as special educators in the Williston School District for many years. Their combined experience covers a wide range of challenges and interventions for students with a variety of labels. We will spend time in the workshop working on understanding the challenges you are facing and helping you find ways to support your students. Facilitators: Lisa Bisbee and Chris Sedic-Lawton.
5. MicroCredentials- Personalized Professional Learning: Throughout this country, more and more educators are finding value in directing their own professional learning. Microcredentials, or competency-based and individualized learning, is becoming a tool for such learning. NEA unveiled the first microcredentials this past summer and they are available at no cost to NEA Members. In this workshop, you will be introduced to the world of microcredentials, create an account, and select a microcredential to work on which to work independently or with a group of teachers. Currently, the Classroom Management and Bully Free "stacks" (A stack is a group of microcredentials under one topic.) may be of interest to ESPs. For ESP members who are licensed teachers, this is a great way to receive professional learning hours for license renewal. Enter the world of Microcredentials with this workshop. Facilitator: To be determined
Afternoon (half-day) Session Descriptions:
1. Enhancing Learning Through Mindfulness: SESSION FULL. We will practice mindfulness, relax, stretch, focus, and bring breathing awareness to quiet the mind and restore energy and concentration. These mindfulness strategies will provide calm and clarity in your daily life and help support students and your community. You will leave this workshop with practical experience and tools to share mindfulness with your students that will build attention, self-regulation, and empathy. Facilitator: Sheryl Kurland Platt
2. Strategies to Support Student Writers: In this workshop participants will receive an overview of the workshop model as taught through the Calkins Units of Study. We will work with the Common Core Standards for writing, rubrics and other tools for informing writing progress, and will be introduced to some tools and strategies to help support students and to help them build independence and success as writers. Facilitator: Lindy Johnson
3. ESP Career Growth Continuum: Education Support Professionals (ESP) play a key role in ensuring student success, and their positive impact can be enhanced when there are clear expectations, when they are valued, and when they have opportunities for professional growth. To help ESP reach their professional potential, NEA developed the ESP Professional Growth Continuum (PGC) through participatory action research and with the active involvement of ESP and other stakeholders. The PGC provides clear pathways for professional learning and growth throughout the careers of ESP. This session will introduce the Growth Continuum to ESPs and we will explore how Vermont-NEA and ESPs in Vermont can use this to support professional growth. Facilitators: Juliette Longchamp and Pat Thompson
4. Implicit Bias and Its Role in Providing a Fair and Equitable Educational Experience: Whether we call it implicit, subconscious, or unconscious bias, this phenomenon affects not only individual relationships and perceptions of others, but also influences policies and real world conditions that distort equitable opportunities for success in and outside of school. Although none of us can free ourselves of biases, we can learn how to recognize them, question them, and mitigate their impact. In addition to an exploration of implicit bias, participants will also examine microaggressions: the brief, frequent, often unintentional, yet harmful comments, slights, and actions that negatively impact people. As our local and national communities become more racially and culturally diverse, educators need to have the skills to recognize and address microaggressions when they occur, unpack their hidden messages, and better understand their impact. Using scenarios and case studies, we will practice the core skills of equity literacy: to recognize, respond to, and redress bias and inequity, and to create and sustain anti-bias environments. Facilitator: Rebecca Haslam