PLS Classes

Course Concentrations

In order to help you find the courses that are the most relevant to your learning needs or professional interests, we have tagged each course with one or more concentration(s) or area(s) of interest. Below is a descriptor of each area or concentration. When searching for a course, use the filters to help determine the right course for you.

 

Assessment

At its core, assessment determines if and how the goals of education are being met. Effective assessment strategies provide paths for educators to offer diagnostic feedback, meet standards, evaluate student progress, and improve student performance. The courses within the assessment concentration offer a variety of methods and tools that educators may use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, and educational needs of students. 

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Classroom Management

Classroom management includes the skills and techniques that teachers use in order to minimize disruptive behaviors that may hinder learning for students while encouraging behaviors that facilitate or enhance learning in an academically productive environment. Effective strategies include building relationships, creating relevance, fostering a safe learning environment, implementing effective procedures, planning for instruction, and offering compassion. 

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Curriculum

Curriculum includes the lessons and academic content taught in a school, course, or program. The knowledge and skills students are expected to learn is a guidepost representing the intersection of theory, application, content, and practice that leads to measurable improvements in student performance. The learner experience and how it affects his or her construction of knowledge includes planning for and measuring outcomes, designing effective learning activities, and creating customized rubrics that leverage each individual’s talents, energy, and passion. Differentiation, attention to learning styles/multiple intelligences, brain-based practices, motivation, communication, and classroom management each play a critical role in curriculum. 

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Educator Professional Growth

Because student achievement depends on supporting and educating the whole student, educator professional growth must represent high standards for the individuals who work with students. Effective educator professional growth can improve each professional’s skill set, which may boost student outcomes, performance, and lifelong success. 

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New Teacher Induction

New teacher induction supports new teachers as they seek to improve their practices, learn professional responsibilities, and influence student learning. This concentration boasts a positive impact on retention and student outcomes because it offers ongoing support with a veteran, practicing teacher. 

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Personalized Learning

Personalized learning cultivates learner agency by encouraging educators to construct their own learning journeys based on professional interests and career goals, skill gaps, and the needs of their students, school, and district. The personalized learning concentration offers tools that support professional colleague engagement; ways that teachers can implement fresh strategies and approaches; and how to effectively measure how their learning impacts classroom practice and student achievement. 

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School Culture and Climate

School culture and climate are two distinct terms that overlap and influence each other. School culture (the way things are done in the school) includes how teachers and other staff members work together and the set of beliefs, values, and assumptions they share—the norms and values that shape attitudes and expectations. School climate (the attitudes of school life) includes how a school affects students with regard to teaching practices, school safety, teaching/learning, the school environment, diversity, and the relationships among stakeholders.

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Teacher Leadership

Teacher leadership refers to skills demonstrated by teachers who teach students, and also assume leadership roles and additional professional responsibilities that extend beyond their own classrooms to others within their own school and elsewhere. The overarching goal of teacher leadership is to improve student performance as it relates to teaching and learning. 

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Teaching With Technologies 

Teaching with technologies offers the potential to increase student learning and support instructional objectives by leveraging digital learning tools into the classroom experience. Teaching with technologies does not require expensive state-of-the-art equipment; rather, it offers ways to advance the methods or tools teachers and students use to solve problems, achieve goals, and increase student engagement. 

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