We have an extensive background of experience supporting a range of students in heterogeneous classrooms, allowing us to provide professional development that is personalized and inherently differentiated and multilevel. In other words, instead of every school and set of teachers experiencing the same professional development experience, the schools, administrators, and teams of teachers work with a Teachers College Inclusive Classrooms Project staff member to individualize their professional development on-site experience based on their particular needs and strengths. We take a very personalized approach to our professional development in the same way we support teachers to do the same in their classrooms. For example, specific school and teachers’ inquiries, concerns, and support may include: assisting teachers in self-contained, collaboratively team taught (CTT) classrooms, and SETSS teachers with their reading and writing curriculum, modeling lessons, curricular integration, and universal curriculum design planning. Teacher inquiry visits may also be planned and organized where teachers engage in a collaborative inquiry study group (perhaps around a common question such as “How do I teach a nonverbal child how to read?”), create class-wide and individual student positive behavior support plans, or consultations about specific students with more significant disabilities who are more recently included in the general education classroom.
We also have expertise in restructuring schools to successfully dismantle self-contained classrooms, utilizing a consulting teacher model (multiple SETSS model) and facilitating collaborative teaching between the general education teacher and related service providers such as the occupational, physical, and speech therapists.
In addition to the on-site professional development, we also have a menu of ten full-day workshops, which are offered at Teachers College throughout the year. The workshops include developing and implementing whole class behavior management routines and individual positive behavior support plans, to models of co-teaching, collaborative planning, culturally relevant pedagogy, assessment, and universal curriculum design. We even have a workshop specifically addressing the unique skills paraprofessionals must have to support the students with whom they work.