Parent and Teacher Impact (PTIX)

PTIX 501   Building Parent Engagement 3 credits

Parents play an integral role in their children’s education. However, one of the biggest challenges for teachers is reaching and building positive relationships with all parents. Barriers to successful communication can easily arise, whether it’s because parents have negative attitudes toward school, are overworked or have limited time, have children with special needs, or have limited English language proficiency. It’s up to you to overcome these barriers, and this course will show you how. In this course, you will gain practical techniques and concrete, actionable tools to foster parental involvement. Examples include planning information nights, using technology to maintain regular contact with parents, collaborating with parents to meet curriculum standards (such as CCSS and ESSA), and creating a strong home-to-school connection. You’ll examine your current strengths and weaknesses regarding parental engagement and create personalized strategies for improving them. In addition, you’ll be prepared to successfully reach parents of students who may need extra support in the classroom and parents who have barriers to participation such as limited time or access to technology. By the end of this course, you will be equipped with a comprehensive set of tools for engaging and empowering all students’ parents to become active partners in their children’s school success. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

PTIX 504   Educating for Character & Value 3 credits

Instilling strong values in children can create an entire generation that helps society become a more peaceful and civilized place. Teachers can play a vital role in cultivating these values, but having to implement new standards and curricular requirements can make teachers hesitant to add a “nonacademic” subject to their already full plates. However, teaching character and values is not about adding these subjects, but about integrating them effectively into existing classroom practices and curricula. In this course, you will examine the importance of teaching children character and values, the ramifications of not teaching these principles, and how you can teach values without involving religion, politics, or other personal stances. You’ll explore various universal values in depth, understanding how they enrich students’ lives, and develop concrete strategies for how to implement values-related education in the classroom. In addition, you’ll learn how to model positive behaviors in your own life and classroom, and how to use literature and media to teach lasting character lessons to your students. By the end of this course, you’ll be equipped with comprehensive strategies for integrating character- and values-related education in the classroom and forging responsible 21st-century citizens. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

PTIX 505   Preparing Students for the Workforce 3 credits

Determining a career path has become a complex process as our society advances and people become more specialized. High school students are expected to make decisions that will impact their education, families, lifestyles, and life satisfaction for years to come. Teachers play a crucial role in helping their students navigate this critical time of life, so it’s essential that educators have a good framework for guiding students through these decisions. Building upon the work of classic career theorists, including John Holland and Donald Super, this course will take a comprehensive look at the career decision-making process, beginning with distinguishing between a career and a job or hobby, through selecting a career and landing and keeping a job. You’ll develop strategies for helping students understand themselves and identify personal preferences, values, and strengths. In addition, you’ll learn the processes involved in identifying motivation sources, exploring potential careers, and honing the soft and hard skills students need to develop as professionals. Using the techniques from this course, you will be prepared to guide your students through the process of becoming career-ready professionals who have a strong foundation for making the decisions that await them. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

PTIX 506   Shaping Global Citizens through World Crisis Education 3 credits

All over the world today, children experience crises that impact them as they grow into adolescence and adulthood. A lack of access to education and clean water, the prevalence of armed conflict in their region, and poverty of all kinds challenge their daily lives. For children in American classrooms, it is imperative that these crises and difficult or dangerous conditions be studied and understood, so that they grow into compassionate and active global citizens that understand their role in the world and strive to make a positive impact. In this course, we will examine some of the most immediate world crises, the impact they have on the children that experience them, and strategies that you can use to teach your own students about those crises in the classroom. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

PTIX 507   Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences 3 credits

Parents are just as critical to their children’s academic and social success as teachers are. However, opportunities for parent–teacher interactions are limited, so it’s critical to maximize times such as parent–teacher conferences to form strong relationships and a unified vision for your students’ health and growth. In this course, you will learn how to host congenial, effective parent–teacher conferences that foster relationships with parents for the rest of the year. You’ll examine the critical components of a strong parent–teacher relationship and how you can partner with parents to develop students’ unique strengths and weaknesses. In addition, you’ll create strategies for sharing student data, approaching difficult topics with parents, and involving students appropriately in your communications with their parents. With the techniques from this course, you’ll be equipped to communicate with parents not only at conferences but also throughout the school year to build a network of supportive adults for your students. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

PTIX 508   Communication Essentials for School Leaders 3 credits

Communication: It can either build a school community up or tear it down. Communication is more than regular newsletters and social media posts. It involves an intricate skill set that helps you connect with internal and external stakeholders, listen to the needs of the school and greater community, and use information to prepare, respond, and inform. In this course, you will learn why communication is so important to school culture, how school leaders can use communication to build trust and relationships, and best practices to become a more effective communicator. You’ll explore different channels of communication and how to best use each to (a) help the stakeholders in your community feel heard and (b) keep them informed and prepared. In addition, you’ll examine how to communicate during times of crisis, including natural disasters and school violence. By the end of the course, you’ll have a comprehensive communication plan tailored to your leadership style and your school community’s needs.

PTIX 509   Forming Community Partnerships to Access Educational Resources 1 credit

It’s no secret that schools have limited resources to prepare students for the real world. Students benefit tremendously when educators collaborate with the community to provide authentic learning experiences and resources so students can get a taste of how they’ll use what they’re learning outside the classroom walls. The challenge lies in how to form these partnerships. In this course for school leaders, you will explore methods for seeking out and partnering with community members to gain a variety of resources for your school. You’ll learn from other school leaders who have successfully built a network of contacts and resources, and develop strategies to help you do the same in your community. In addition, you’ll learn how to create a well-balanced presentation of your schools’ current needs to energize community members to get involved. By the end of the course, you’ll have a practical plan to drive more educational opportunities for your students through the power of community partnerships.

PTIX 510   Partnering with Parents for Student Success 1 credit

According to Dr. Susan M. Sheridan (n.d.), “Research shows that when a partnership approach between parents and teachers is evident, children’s work habits, attitudes about school and grades improve. They demonstrate better social skills, fewer behavioral problems and a greater ability to adapt to situations and get along.” As educators, we want what’s best for our students! It is our job to establish, foster, and maintain productive relationships with parents so that our students can be successful. This course will introduce you to the importance of regular, effective communication with parents since all good relationships are built upon trust, openness, and regular communication. After developing a clear understanding of why communication is necessary, you will begin to explore how to create such opportunities within your classroom. Next, you will learn exactly how create and foster meaningful partnerships with parents. Parents can be partners in many ways, ranging from supporting their children at home, volunteering in the classroom, taking part in important decision making, and much more! After diving deeply into examples of parent partnerships, you will develop a plan for forging parent partnerships within your own classroom and school community. By the end of this course, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to create meaningful partnerships with parents that last.