Social/Emotional Learning (SELX)

SELX 500   Benefit Mindset and Altruism 3 credits

Student well-being and social–emotional development are essential to academic achievement—but these are only a beginning. Infusing learning with personal passion, compelling purpose, and humanitarianism is at the heart of the benefit mindset—an exciting new teaching perspective that moves empathy, inclusion, and altruism to the forefront of education. The benefit mindset helps students see beyond performing for a final test or project, and shows them how they can apply their talents and their education to helping others. In this course, you will explore the principles and scientific research behind adopting the benefit mindset. You’ll develop strategies for making altruism, empathy, and appreciation into genuine habits in your classroom to help students see how their contributions can make others’ lives better. In addition, you’ll create activities that will show students how they are part of something bigger than themselves, and instill a sense of connectedness that inspires them to share their gifts for the good of those around them. Using the knowledge and techniques form this course, you will be able to seamlessly integrate the benefit mindset into any curriculum to transform your students’ learning into a deeply meaningful experience that boosts their confidence, increases their achievement, and truly makes a difference in the world. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 501   Bullying Today 3 credits

Bullying is systemic in our schools, and few, if any, are immune to its harmful effects. This phenomenon occurs across all ages, genders, ethnicities, and socioeconomic levels. Often when a student is bullied, the victim is afraid to say anything, bystanders remain silent, and parents and teachers are unaware or unsure of how to handle the situation. Bullying takes on a multitude of forms: gossiping, teasing, verbal and physical intimidation, excluding, and physical violence. The devastating impact of bullying runs the gamut from mild psychological trauma to suicide and even homicide. Bullying has been compounded in recent years by the introduction of the Internet and social media into the lives of children and teens. Cyberspace provides a new battlefield that intensifies these hostile and destructive behaviors. As a teacher, it can be difficult to know how to intervene, but it is vital that teachers play a role in helping students understand why they bully, the impact of bullying on everyone involved, and the importance of treating one another with kindness and respect. This course provides the teacher with a deep understanding of the culture of bullying and cyberbullying. The course also provides effective and realistic strategies to address bullying as well as how to build a respectful, inclusive classroom culture in which students treat one another kindly, feel confident to speak up about bullying when it occurs, and feel empowered to spread an antibullying message to others. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 502   Child Development and Psychology: Middle Childhood 3 credits

With elementary school students, it’s often easy to tell the difference between a child who is “young” for his or her grade and a child who is “old” for the grade or who has been held back a year. That is because children’s minds and bodies develop rapidly during these years, and these developments can significantly impact their behavior and how they learn in the classroom. In this course, you will take an in-depth look at child development theories and children’s physical, cognitive, and social/emotional development during the elementary school years. You’ll develop strategies for assessing students’ stages of development and how it affects their learning. You’ll also build a guide for yourself to help you plan developmentally appropriate instruction for different learning styles and multiple intelligences. With the knowledge and methods from this course, you will be able to better understand your students and meet them where they are no matter their stage of development. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 504   Conflict Resolution For the Elementary Teacher 3 credits

Aside from academics, teaching students how to get along with their peers and how to appropriately handle everyday conflicts is essential to child development. In this course, you will explore the different conflict styles and examine why children need to be able to self-regulate their behavior. We will also address a variety of strategies that can aid an educator in creating a conflict resolution protocol for his or her classroom. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 506   Creating Meaningful Relationships and Setting Boundaries with your Students 3 credits

Research has shown that a positive teacher–student relationship correlates strongly with increased student achievement. When you have a good relationship with your students, their self-esteem rises, which in turn may increase their interest in school, reduce the rates of dropping out, provide support for further academic development, and aid in peer acceptance. But how do you ensure that you have a positive, healthy relationship with your students to help them succeed? In this course, you will examine the fundamental strategies involved in building meaningful relationships and setting boundaries with your students. You’ll learn foundational concepts of interpersonal relationships, learner-centered instruction, the role of the teacher as a facilitator and advisor, the impact of the learning environment on the development of meaningful relationships, authentic learning, and inquiry-based teaching. In addition, you’ll cultivate techniques for establishing good rapport while maintaining healthy boundaries, even with hard-to-reach students. Using the methods from this course, you will be able to foster impactful relationships with all your students to set them up for academic success. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 507   Cultivating Youth Activists and Change Agents in the Classroom 3 credits

Throughout history, young people have been at the forefront of large social movements. From civil rights movements to anti-bullying campaigns, young people have mobilized in support of positive change in their communities. According to David Jones, CEO of One Young World, a nonprofit that provides an open platform for young people to create change, 84% of young people believe it is their duty to change the world for the better. In this course, you will develop strategies for helping students identify issues they are passionate about, and how to turn that passion into activism. You’ll learn how to teach students about their relationships with their local and global communities and how they can have an active role in creating change. In addition, you’ll design projects that encourage both group work and critical thinking, and that students can use to create awareness about a variety of topics, including human rights, environmentalism, and hunger. Using the techniques from this course, you will be able to integrate youth activism principles into your instructional plans in a way that engages students and promotes achievement. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 508   Cultivating a Supportive Classroom Environment: Prioritizing Safe Learning 3 credits

Studies show that exposure to school violence can impair students’ cognitive functioning, social development, psychological well-being, and health. Although providing students with a safe, supportive learning environment is an essential prerequisite to academic achievement, districts and schools often prioritize standards-based instruction and standardized test scores. Instead, educators should consider putting safe learning first to better guarantee your students’ success. In this course, you’ll receive the knowledge, tools, and techniques you need to cultivate a safe and supportive classroom environment where your students can engage with and focus on learning. You’ll reflect on your teaching methods and share best practices with fellow educators, and you’ll learn how to help your students self-identify and self-manage their emotions, develop social awareness, collaborate, and interact positively with others. In addition, you’ll explore evidence-based strategies to prevent and de-escalate violence and encourage positive behavior interventions and conflict resolution, and you’ll examine the benefits of trauma-informed teaching strategies and practical ways to implement these strategies in your classroom. Using the techniques from the course, you’ll be able to create a positive, safe, and supportive classroom environment that will allow your students to thrive mentally, emotionally, socially, and academically. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 509   Curbing Disruptive Behavior 1 credit

Let’s face it: Sometimes students disrupt our classes. It only takes one student to derail an entire lesson or even an entire year. Many teachers have experienced reduced support from administrators while student behavior problems seem to be increasing. And most of the time, teachers are on their own to stop disruptive behavior. In this course, you will take a hard look at the effectiveness of your current classroom management plan and explore strategies for improving any weak spots. You’ll develop preventative techniques for stopping behavior issues before they start, such as establishing positive communication with your students’ families. In addition, you’ll create intervention strategies for when disruptive behavior does occur so that you can respond calmly and effectively to keep your class on track. Using the proven, practical solutions from this course, you will be equipped to take back control of your classroom—starting today. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 510   Drugs, Kids, and Teachers 3 credits

When young people experiment with drugs and alcohol—and statistics indicate that many of them do—it can be damaging to students’ motivation, engagement, and academic performance, not to mention their health. Occasional or “gateway” experimentation can quickly lead to addiction, accidental or intentional injury to self or others, and negative long-term social, emotional, and academic outcomes. One of the biggest challenges teachers face is that it can be hard to tell if and when students are using drugs. Students don’t always show obvious signs of drug use or abuse, and there is no easy way to predict who will. What you can do, however, is recognize risk factors, implement preventative measures, and intervene in appropriate and effective ways. In this course, you will learn about the drugs teenagers commonly use and where they access them. You will examine factors that often lead to drug use so you can better identify students who are at risk and implement preventative efforts. In addition, you will develop concrete, effective strategies for intervening when students are using drugs. With the knowledge you gain in this course, you will be prepared to educate parents and the community to partner with you to keep your students safe and sober. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 511   Emotions and Learning 3 credits

As you’ve undoubtedly experienced, emotionally unstable or distracted students can’t hope to focus in class or produce high-quality work. But how can you address the wide range of emotions all students bring to class when instructional time is already so limited? In this course, you will gain a foundational knowledge of emotional intelligence and the emotional strengths and challenges that come with different personality traits. You will learn how to identify the source of emotional difficulties, and create strategies for addressing these challenges, including guided discussions, classroom instruction, and meditation and mindfulness activities. Through these exercises, your students will increase their focus, self-awareness, coping skills, and ability to handle stress. In addition, you will develop strategies for working with the parents of troubled students to help them support their children’s emotional development at home. With the techniques you learn from this course, you will be equipped to strengthen students’ self-confidence, focus, stress management, and empathy for others, making them healthier learners and more well-rounded human beings. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 516   Helping Children Overcome Depression 3 credits

Depression, often considered a primarily adult condition, is on the rise among children and teens. Childhood depression, historically known as chronic sadness and pervasive negative thinking, has only recently been diagnosed as a more serious condition requiring intervention and, often, professional treatment. But how can you know if your students are suffering from depression, and how can you help them if they are? In this course, you will learn to identify the causes and symptoms of childhood depression. Although children with depression may require medical care beyond what a teacher can offer, you will be equipped with strategies to help students overcome negative thinking styles and harmful emotional patterns. In addition, you’ll gather tools for fostering a child’s support system and involving parents, and you’ll develop techniques for cultivating a positive classroom culture using the mindfulness approach. Using the resources and strategies from this course, you will be able to support your students struggling with depression to help them redirect their thinking and pursue academic success in spite of the challenges they’re facing. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 517   Helping Students Overcome Trauma 3 credits

The modern classroom is fraught with challenges that previous generations did not have to contend with. Whether suffering from personal tragedy or a massive traumatic event, 21st- century students must navigate the debilitating aftereffects of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Helping students to find healing and actively confront the devastating impact trauma can have, educators can provide the kind of support students need to transform from trauma victims to trauma survivors. This course will investigate how to create programs to help students deal proactively with trauma. By examining strategies to help schools become trauma sensitive and places of empowerment and outreach, this course will help educators learn effective avenues to help students find healing and safety. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 518   Kindness: Can it be Taught? 3 credits

Is kindness natural? A few minutes on social media will make you think not! But as you know, kindness is essential not only for a healthy classroom environment, but also for your students’ future success. In this course, you will learn the biological roots of kindness that are present in all people at birth. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to create concrete strategies for helping students build key components of kindness: empathy, perspective-taking, honesty, and trustworthiness. You’ll also learn about the personal and social benefits of practicing random acts of kindness and how to teach students to perform their own random acts. Some students may struggle with understanding how to read facial expressions and social cues, or how to be kind to their peers who have emotional, physical, or behavioral disabilities. This course will help you develop exercises that can help students interpret and have compassion for others’ behavior even if it’s very different from theirs. Regardless of what grade or subject you teach, this course gives you the tools you need to support all students in developing kindness toward themselves and others. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 519   Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for Successful Classrooms 3 credits

Has classroom management become an endless chore that minimizes teaching time and impedes student engagement and motivation? If so, this course is for you. Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) gives you preventive and responsive strategies for addressing off-task behaviors in the classroom and schoolwide. When implemented effectively, it can decrease disruptions, increase instructional time, and improve academic and social outcomes. In this course, you will create a personalized three-tier system of interventions that you can start implementing in your classroom immediately. You will learn how to build positive relationships with even the most challenging students and create a more collaborative environment in your classroom. This course gives you the opportunity to brainstorm positive interventions for classroom management so you don’t have to make decisions in the moment. You can use the strategies you develop to establish and maintain a classroom culture that promotes meaningful engagement and motivates students to succeed. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 520   Preventing Youth Suicide 3 credits

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among school-age children. Although suicide can be prevented, creating a successful prevention program requires a comprehensive, community-wide effort—one in which teachers play a critical role. Regardless of how much personal experience you have with suicide prevention, with the right knowledge and tools, you can have a potentially life-saving influence on the students in your school. In this course, you will gain the knowledge and skills you need to help improve the effectiveness of your school’s suicide prevention program. You’ll gather the resources and techniques necessary to successfully and appropriately respond to students who exhibit suicidal behaviors and use the school’s crisis team in the event that they are needed. In addition, you’ll learn how to evaluate and revise school policies and procedures related to suicide prevention to ensure that it maximizes the school’s and community’s resources to best serve the needs of your students and families. With the resources and knowledge from this course, you will be equipped to create a culture of awareness and connectedness at your school so that the entire community is prepared to mitigate risk factors and intervene with at-risk students. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 521   Resiliency: Coping with Academic and Emotional Adversity 3 credits

Resiliency is one of the most critical life skills we can teach children. In our fast-paced and increasingly stressful world, resiliency is more important than ever, but unfortunately, fewer and fewer children possess the ability to “bounce back” from stress and adversity. Schools can play a key role in helping students develop the inner strength and flexibility they need to overcome the challenges they face. In this course, you will learn the key skills that make up resiliency and cultivate tools for guiding students toward a resilient mind-set. You’ll also assess your own resiliency and learn how to partner with parents to help build your students’ ability to cope with emotional and academic challenges. Finally, you’ll create strategies to help your school prioritize and implement resiliency education. Using the techniques from this course, you’ll be able to teach your students emotional and social skills that will serve them well beyond your classroom. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 523   Staying Present: Mindfulness for Better Teaching and Learning 3 credits

In the age of smartphones and short attention spans, both you and your students have a lot vying for your thoughts even in the middle of a lesson. Mindfulness is a set of techniques that help you become “present” by calming the mind and increasing awareness of your body, thoughts, and emotions. Research shows that implementing mindfulness in the classroom also results in significant teaching and learning benefits. When you and your students can relax, become centered, and better manage your emotions, you will increase your focus, improve your social and emotional skills, and even enhance your physical health. In this course, you will develop a set of robust strategies for implementing mindfulness techniques in the classroom. In just minutes a day, you and your students can participate in exercises that help you center your body, mind, and spirit, and manage stressful moments. This course gives you the tools you need to create an energized, interconnected, and kind classroom culture where every member is engaged, motivated, and passionate about learning. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 524   Strategies for Addressing Student Anxiety 3 credits

Anxiety is a normal reaction to situations that we regard as dangerous or threatening. As a species, we have survived because our bodies respond to perceived dangers by automatically preparing to defend ourselves and get to safety. However, the effects of long-term anxiety can compromise our life functions and tax our resources. It can also affect our ability to learn and can disrupt digestion and sleep. Approximately one third of us will experience an anxiety-related disorder in our lifetimes, so you can expect that one in five of your students currently struggles with anxiety issues. In this course, you will learn to understand and recognize anxiety dysfunction and then develop classroom strategies to support students who suffer from it. Ideally, you will establish classroom practices that teach students how to prevent anxiety escalation. Finally, you will learn how clinicians handle anxiety and how you might support students under their care. With the strategies and interventions you learn in this course, you will be able to create a classroom environment where students can successfully cope with stressors and instead focus on learning. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 525   Student Mobility: Supporting New Students 3 credits

Students change schools due to a variety of circumstances, many of them difficult. Parental job changes, divorce, military deployments, foster care, poverty, migrant family mobility, immigrant and refugee travel, and natural disasters all contribute. Research shows that student mobility is increasingly becoming a cause of student underachievement. But how can teachers help these students when they enter the classroom all throughout the school year and teachers know little about their backgrounds, skills, and challenges? In this course, you will learn how to alleviate the negative aspects of student mobility by building bridges between students, their families, and your school. First, you will take a close look at the causes and effects of different types of student mobility. Then you’ll develop specific welcoming strategies for different situations to help newcomers feel comfortable in your classroom. In addition, you’ll study the federal guidelines on the services that schools need to offer mobile students. Finally, you’ll examine the issue of compassion fatigue and burnout among teachers, and how you can care for yourself in the midst of caring for this special student population. Using the techniques from this course, you will be able to welcome new students from all walks of life and help them thrive emotionally, socially, and academically in your classroom. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 526   Teaching Poverty's Children 3 credits

All children come to school with the hope of achieving the same outcomes as their peers, and you do everything you can to help them. But students who come from impoverished families must work against a host of short- and long-term consequences that make it challenging to achieve this goal. Breaking the barriers of poverty requires focused, researched-based strategies, and that is exactly what this course provides. You will learn to recognize the struggles unique to children from a poverty background and how to design learning activities that will counteract these struggles. Because these students particularly benefit from social–emotional learning and from community and parental involvement, you will learn to create strategies for engaging other adults in their education. Finally, you will examine positive policies and programs that will help ensure equitable education for all students. Socioeconomic status should never limit what a student can achieve. After taking this course, you will understand the unique challenges that your students from low-income families face, and you’ll have a toolbox of strategies you can use to reach them. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 527   Teaching Students of Military Families 3 credits

Students from military families attend schools all across the country, not just schools near military bases. People who don’t have a military background often struggle to understand the stressors these students face, which may include dealing with the deployment of a parent into a combat zone, multiple moves between homes and schools during the K–12 years, and the possible injury of death of a parent. How can you help these students pursue academic achievement while managing the many stressors of military family life? In this course, you will gain valuable insights into the culture, lifestyle, stresses, and strengths of students from military families. You’ll develop strategies to help this group of students achieve their potential, including accommodating military lifestyle, time demands, and possible mid-year moves in or out of your classroom. In addition, you’ll learn practices to show appreciation for military service and how to support all of your students when one experiences death or loss of a family member. Finally, you’ll gather both local and national resources that can help you support military families and students. Using the techniques and resources from this course, you will be able to help your students from military families succeed despite the stressors they may be experiencing outside school. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 528   The Effects of Divorce on Children 3 credits

For children, divorce is not a single event. It is a complex chain of events—a series of legal, social, psychological, and economic challenges, strung together and extending over time. Fortunately, with the proper supports and interventions, children can actually grow and prosper during and after their parents’ divorce. In this course, you will learn about the psychological and social obstacles that children face during a divorce. By examining the phases of divorce and how they impact children at different developmental stages, you’ll be prepared to help your students navigate the psychological, emotional, and logistical changes that divorce brings to their lives. In addition, you’ll develop techniques to counsel students and work together to reduce their stress and foster a healthful, resilient mindset. Using the knowledge and techniques from this course, you’ll be able to equip your students with strategies for coping with divorce and help them succeed and thrive during this emotionally charged time. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 529   The Growth Mindset: Fostering Resilience and a Love of Learning 3 credits

“I’m just not good at this.” All teachers have probably heard some version of this statement from their students, whether they’re talking about math, reading, or another topic or skill set. But how should we as educators respond? Should we offer encouragement such as, “You may not be strong in this subject, but you are good at that one”? Or should we focus our praise on effort rather than perceived natural talent? Carol Dweck argues that we should instill in our students (and ourselves) a growth mindset, which is the belief that with enough hard work, practice, and dedication, your skills can grow regardless of the subject area. In this course, you will examine your internalized beliefs about learning and how you can reframe failures and challenges as opportunities for growth for both yourself and your students. You’ll develop strategies and tools for creating a culture of perseverance in your classroom and differentiating your instruction to challenge all learners, including those labeled “gifted and talented.” With the techniques you gain in this course, you will be able to help your students cultivate the attitude and determination they need to succeed in your classroom and beyond. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 531   The Importance of Play and the Developing Child 3 credits

Play is a vital part of children’s learning and development, and yet parents and educators alike see fewer and fewer opportunities for play in our children’s schedule. Although play is often differentiated from work, there are ways to pair learning with play. Students can meet their developmental and learning needs while engaged in activities that they find fun and interesting. In this course, you will learn practical strategies for incorporating play into classroom activities. In addition to reviewing the benefits of play, you will cultivate resources for finding or creating play activities that suit various play types, subject areas, and grade levels. Free play is also an important aspect of children’s development. You’ll examine why free play has been declining and how you can encourage this type of play as well as self-directed learning. With the knowledge and tools from this course, you will be able to transform your classroom into a place where your students don’t distinguish between “work” and “play” and instead engage in learning with the same openness and enthusiasm you see on the playground. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 532   The Teenage Brain: How it Works 3 credits

Why do teenagers act like that? Teachers have been asking this question for generations. Impulsivity, rapid mood swings, dangerous experimentation, angry outbursts, and poor decision making are just some of the behaviors that emerge as children enter adolescence. As a middle or high school teacher, you have the unique and sometimes unforgiving task of reaching this age group in the classroom. However, the actual physiological makeup of the teenage brain is responsible for more of adolescents’ behavior than we may have realized. In this course, you will learn about the science of the teenage brain; how it affects teenagers’ emotions, thought processes, and behavior; and how to work with these challenges rather than fight against them. You’ll also develop concrete strategies for identifying at-risk behaviors, managing the mental and behavioral challenges unique to teenagers, and harnessing their strengths to keep them motivated and engaged in learning. With the knowledge you gain from this course, you’ll be better equipped to help your teenage students navigate life and education in a way that sets them up for lifelong success. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 533   Assessment Strategies for SEL 3 credits

Discoveries in sociology, psychology, and neuroscience have led many schools to incorporate social and emotional learning (SEL) to help close the elusive achievement gap. By teaching students how to pay attention, work collaboratively, empathize, and make decisions, we improvetheir ability to perform academically. But how can we measure these soft skills to determine if our interventions are effective? In this course, you’ll get up to speed on current practices in SEL, including the history and legislation that has propelled it to the forefront of our educational focus. You’ll explore emotional intelligence models and various methods for collecting data, so you’ll be equipped to decide which instruments are right for your school or district to measure SEL growth. In addition, you’ll create practical tools such as rubrics for teacher observation, surveys for self-assessment reports, and data collection checklists and notes for interviews. Finally, you’ll choose your last lesson to either explore the long-term economic and social value of SEL instruction so you can encourage your school or district to invest in this important movement or discover the ways you can easily implement SEL instruction and assessment into your current routine.With the knowledge and resources you gain in this course, you will be equipped to justify your school or district’s investment in SEL and champion its undeniable positive impact on our communities and beyond.

SELX 534   Accessibility in the Digital Classroom 1 credit

Schools are places of inclusion. But when it comes to accessibility in online settings, inclusion can easily fall by the wayside simply because teachers aren’t familiar with online accessibility practices. Accessibility might involve something as simple as considering the amount of bandwidth required to view a video or as complex as ensuring students with disabilities have equal access to learning materials. Even if these issues seem intimidating at first, with the right tools and strategies, making your online classroom accessible for all students might be easier than you think. In this course, you’ll explore both the foundational elements of online accessibility and the nitty-gritty technical knowledge you need to create an accessible digital classroom. Through the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), you’ll learn how to better represent content, create a more engaging experience, and improve outcomes for all learners. In addition, you’ll look at design principles and technical tools that will help you make online learning a reality for learners with a variety of different needs. By the end of this course, you’ll have the knowledge and tools you need to create or modify digital learning materials to be more accessible to all students.

SELX 535   Student Anxiety in Online Learning 1 credit

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 plunged teachers, students, and their families into online learning at a pace few were prepared for. Overnight, students were thrust into a learning environment they had little or no experience with, and these circumstances have understandably given rise to new anxieties and stressors that families and teachers could not have anticipated. In this course, you’ll analyze anxiety brought about by technology immersion as an overactive fight–flight–freeze survival response. Based on information systems research, you’ll explore the concept of “technostress” and its triggers, how to spot it in your students, and how it impacts learning. You’ll examine common mistakes in addressing anxiety, as well as how to work with parents to help students through technostress and when to reach out for additional help. Finally, you’ll learn traditional best practices and digital solutions available to students to offset some of the anxiety they’re experiencing. Using the techniques from this course, you’ll be able to support your students and their families as they navigate this new digital classroom setting.

SELX 536   Addressing Ableism in Schools 1 credit

We’ve come a long way in ensuring students with disabilities receive the education they deserve. Advances in research, regulation, and funding have led to increased awareness and resources for K–12 classrooms across the country. However, many educators aren’t aware of the ongoing issue of ableism: that is, the discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that people with typical abilities are superior. In this course, you will learn how to identify ableism and foster a more inclusive classroom environment for students of all abilities. You’ll examine how ableism, when unaddressed, can affect our interactions with students and ultimately impact their educational experience. After taking some time to reflect and address possible biases, you’ll turn your attention to developing classroom activities and lesson plans to combat ableism in the classroom. You’ll examine information and tools that will help you and your students avoid ableist language, break down barriers, and encourage a more welcoming space. Using the tools from this course, you will be able to create a classroom culture of respect, rapport, and inclusivity, and ensure your students are more culturally competent classmates and citizens. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 537   Fostering a Safe and Inclusive Classroom 1 credit

Study after study is confirming what veteran teachers already know: When students don’t feel safe or included in the classroom, the resulting anxiety has a negative impact on engagement and learning. But on the flip side, when students and their families feel welcomed, valued, and secure, they are more involved in their school community and perform better academically. Teachers are on the front lines of creating safe learning environments, and they need the right strategies to ensure their efforts succeed. In this course, you’ll take stock of your current classroom culture and see how it measures up against the components of a safe learning environment. After exploring the myriad benefits of a safe environment, you’ll take a deep dive into two crucial methodologies for creating one: social –emotional learning and culturally responsive teaching. You’ll develop a playbook of actionable strategies that will foster a positive culture and meet your students’ social and emotional needs, plus a plan for overcoming potential challenges and roadblocks. By the end of this course, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills you need to establish and maintain a safe learning environment throughout the school year. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

SELX 538   Using Functional Behavior Assessments to Create Behavior Plans 2 credits

We all know the impact of unwanted student behaviors: They not only disrupt learning, but also damage students’ abilities to relate and communicate with their teachers and peers. Sometimes, the most important question we can ask is not what a student is doing to hinder learning, but why that behavior is manifesting in the first place. In this course, you’ll investigate how to use functional behavior assessments to get to the root of why students behave the way they do. You’ll investigate how cultural expectations and special needs diagnoses can impact behavior, and explore how to use tools such as an ABC chart and a behavior support plan to minimize triggers for unwanted behaviors. In addition, you’ll learn how to gain support from other educators and students’ families to help a behavior support plan succeed. Using the tools and strategies from this course, you’ll have a simple, defined path for better understanding your students’ behaviors and creating a personalized plan to help them thrive.