Professional Development for Educators
Each summer, the Lab School offers professional development workshops for teachers, administrators, and other early education professionals. These workshops are developed and taught by our Master Teachers and are designed to share the latest evidence-based early education practices.
Summer 2019 included the following workshops:
The Lab School serves University students, faculty, families, and young children. Come find out how we are now embracing nature play and all that it has to offer. Participants will observe one program’s use of wild spaces to stretch children in all areas of development. Through a guided tour of multiple outdoor-learning environments, attendees will see firsthand the learning that can occur both inside a playground fence and beyond it. Participants will discover the benefits of nature play. Current research says that given today’s increased screen time by children and their families, there is a need now more than ever to push beyond the playground fence to connect children with nature.
People often wonder how a Nature Preschool program could build future readers. Rich conversations that involve intent listening and sharing between children and teachers lay a foundation for all future literacy development. Participants will observe how this takes place during our daily routine. Multiple examples of literacy-rich experiences; the opportunities for vocabulary enrichment; and how we at the Lab School have been meeting Teaching Strategies Gold Indicators in the woods will also be addressed. By empowering the whole child, we are more successful than ever at gaining the children’s interest and, in turn, their desire to become literate. Participants will see a variety of materials that can be used to bring the outdoors in as well.
When teachers incorporate outdoor learning into their day, something amazing happens. Children (and teachers) grow in confidence in their capabilities. Many teachers are hesitant to incorporate outdoor learning because of a lack of understanding or education about the environment as a third teacher. Play — specifically, unstructured play — is paramount for a child’s healthy brain and social/emotional development. Children learn to collaborate when outdoors, whether they’re building a worm house, constructing a teepee, or carrying a log. True character is formed when children navigate outdoor environments. Participants will learn how to incorporate outdoor learning into their everyday plans and how to use the environment to support their teaching.
Summer 2020 workshops were canceled due to COVID-19. Please stay tuned for information about new professional development opportunities.
Other Professional Development Activities
In addition to the Summer Workshop series, the Lab School also undertakes other professional development activities.
- Schools and other programs regularly visit the Lab School to observe
- The Lab School offers in house presentations for area educators
- Our Master Teachers present at local, regional and national conferences