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Professional Learning From GVASCD

Each year, GVASCD offers a variety of professional growth opportunities to its members and other educators from across our region.  The organization strives to provide opportunities which:

  • Enhance a member’s core knowledge and skills on best practices in the fields of curriculum, instruction, and assessment

  • Provide opportunities to work alongside professionals with similar goals/interests from other regions in order to learn from one another

  • Grow each member’s capacity to be an educational leader with a direct application for improving student achievement

Our events are based on research based practices and facilitated by both locally and nationally know speakers.  In addition to local events, we partner with Teacher Centers, BOCES and NYS ASCD to expand our offerings and connect with colleagues from across the state.  

Spring 2023 Learning Opportunities

In partnership with GRTCN:

Swimming in The Deep End with Jennifer Abrams

No matter where or what role we play in a school (Teacher Center Director, teacher leader, team lead, administrator), we all strive to make a difference for students. We have initiatives we want to roll out, mandates to fulfill, and projects to design. Yet with how fast we move in education these days, we don't spend enough time on our communication around those projects and we end up being less successful as we want to be in getting our messages across. We need to build up a skill set of messaging capabilities, ‘resistance management’ strategies and for the sake of our health, our ‘stress tolerance.’ This workshop will provide support, a laugh, and some cognitive, social and psychological resources to help you communicate more effectively, confidently and collaboratively about whatever project or initiative you are undertaking.


Participants will learn how to:

• Assess their cognitive, social and psychological 'deep end' skill sets.

• Learn more about the implementation of initiatives, the complexity of it all and where we ‘trip up’ in our messaging.

• Look at the research around resistance to change and develop a tool kit for managing resistance.

• Develop a bandwidth and strength around psychologically managing our ourselves and building our 'stress tolerance' during times of change.


Dates: Monday, March 27 and Wednesday, March 29, 2023 from 4-5:30 PM via Zoom

Register Here.

From NYSCATE: Our partner in providing free professional learning opportunities for the educators of NYS: 

Fall Learning Opportunities

From GVASCD: How might we create and sustain a culture of joy and hope in our schools? A networking opportunity and panel discussion featuring four superintendents from our area.

Fall Webinar Series from NYS ASCD: 

  • Integrating SEL into the Classroom: How to Build SEL into Daily Classroom Instruction

  • Implementing the Science Practices in K-8 Science (Note: Participants will receive ASCD eBook The Instructional Leaders’ Guide to Implementing K-8 Science Practices)

  • Attending to Equity Through Curriculum and Instruction

Previous Offerings From GVASCD Include.....


Stretching Your Learning Edges: Growing (Up) at Work with Jennifer Abrams

At this moment in time when things are so uncertain and so ever shifting, it is critically important that we strive to develop ourselves, not just as educators, but as human beings. What can we do to be bigger and better versions of ourselves as collaborative team members and as leaders? This workshop, based on Jennifer’s new book, Stretching Your Learning Edges: Growing (Up) at Work, will introduce us to adult developmental theory and to five focused ways we can develop ourselves at work.

We will build our skills to:

  • know ourselves and our identities

  • better suspend our certainty and think with greater complexity and openness

  • take increased responsibility for our language and communications

  • engage with reciprocity and live ‘out loud’ our belief of mutual respect for all

  • build our resiliency and work on our emotional hygiene and health

Brave Spaces: Navigating Uncomfortable Conversations in the Classroom with Lanni Maserowski and Becky Wiggins

A culturally responsive classroom needs to be a brave space. A brave space is an environment that affirms its occupants while also pushing them out of their comfort zones to examine personal biases and cultural misconceptions. With this comes uncomfortable conversations. Topics of race, culture, and sexuality/gender make many teachers nervous. In this one-hour session participants will examine real-life scenarios and determine how to respond to each in a way that affirms and honors the cultures and backgrounds of the students in the classroom. Participants will leave feeling better equipped to create a brave space in their classrooms and better prepared to react to charged conversations or conflicts that may arise from difficult conversations.

Spring 2022 Book Study: Not Light, But Fire by Matthew Kay with Becky Wiggins

Matthew R. Kay centers his provocative and highly practical book Not Light, But Fire on wisdom shared by Frederick Douglass in 1852 when he was invited to deliver an address to a Rochester audience celebrating the Fourth of July; in his speech, he challenged Americans to admit to their constant preoccupation with “meaningless race conversations.” Douglass, who was often rebuked for his directness, was frequently told his role should be to “shed light” on the American race problem. Douglass’s retort, “It is not light that is needed, but fire” has inspired Matthew R. Kay, a veteran black high school teacher in Philadelphia, to bring the fire to classroom talk about race. He proffers the idea that high school classrooms are one of the best places to have these conversations if we create communities built on dialogue and respect.


He provides practical guidance on how to cultivate such a fertile environment: how to recognize the difference between meaningful race conversations and hollow ones; how to actually build conversational safe spaces, not merely to declare them; how to react to unexpected challenges and directions in discussions; and how the administration and structure of schools might equip teachers to engage in these conversations thoughtfully.


Kay’s energetic and direct voice draws readers into this timely and often scary topic, and he refreshingly offers many practical suggestions and anecdotes that teachers will be able to identify with, reflect on, and use in their classrooms immediately.

Previous GVASCD Offerings

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