Hilltop Educator Institute

Hilltop is well-known and highly regarded in the Early Childhood Education community, for our pedagogical approach to working with children and families. In response to consistent requests  from colleagues for trainings, tours, and consultations, Hilltop launched a professional development Institute in 2013. The Hilltop Educator Institute coordinates Study Days at Hilltop, hosts an ongoing Educator Discussion Series, and provides coaching for other schools, facilitated by Hilltop’s own educators.

Educator Discussion Series

  • Our discussion series with guest speakers
  • Innovative topics and speakers
  • Designed for educators and families
  • Times may vary, click for more details!

Study Days

  • Observe reflective practice in action
  • Earn 6 WA STARS hours through DEL
  • Explore pedagogical documentation
  • Our most popular offering!

Consulting & Coaching

  • Project-based consulting
  • Presentations & special events
  • Mentoring for educators
  • Organizational development

Inquiry Visits

  • Multi-day visits for program leaders
  • examine infrastructures for reflection
  • Brainstorm changes for your program

“I observed interactions that were calm, authentic, and totally embedded in the program structure and routine.
I have been studying Emergent Curriculum for years. Seeing your program was affirming to my philosophy and strengthens my resolve to keep helping my students move in this direction. I was impressed by how natural and home-like the environment is, the collaboration among the faculty, and the mentoring systems that support teacher development. Hilltop is a true Emergent program!“

– Nancy Ledbetter
Nashville State Community College

Educator Discussion Series

Each year, we are pleased to offer a series of full-day, half-day and evening workshops facilitated by guest speakers that explore topics such as “Environments and Provocations for Learning,” “Brain Science and Early Childhood Education,” and “Learning Stories for Authentic Assessment.” The range of topics is geared toward early childhood educators, but would also be of interest to parents and families of young children, and to elementary age educators. The format for discussions is interactive, with facilitators and participants engaged in dialogue around the selected topic.  MERIT / STARS Hours and Clock Hours are available.

Full day workshops run from 8:30-3:30pm (MERIT / STARS and Clock Hours are available)
Half day workshops run from 9:00-1:30pm (MERIT / STARS and Clock Hours are available)
Evening workshops run from 6:30-8:30pm, & include time for a self-guided tour of Hilltop’s classrooms. (MERIT / STARS Hours are available)

*Space is limited and advanced registration is required.
**Scholarships are available via Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL), City of Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL), and Hilltop Educator Institute.  For more information, please visit www.hilltopcc.com/eds

Educators sit for evening discussion training.

The 2018-19 Educator Discussion Series is sponsored by:

KidsQuest Children’s Museum

Many thanks to our Educator Discussion Series Partners:

The Bertschi SchoolThe Bertschi School


Seattle Department of Education and Early LearningCity of Seattle, Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL)


Hilltop Study Days

For those wishing to dive more deeply into dialogue with Hilltop educators, we offer Professional Study Days. Participants begin their day with an introduction to the values and practices that guide Hilltop’s work. This is followed by an opportunity to see Hilltop’s values and practices in action by observing in classrooms and studying documentation. Visitors then join Hilltop educators for a pedagogical lunch, offering guests a relaxed opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the practices and strategies they observed that morning. The afternoon concludes with presentations by Hilltop educators, sharing stories of their work in the classrooms

Study days run from 9:30am – 3:30pm.

Registration for Study Days is $175/person and includes lunch

Organizations or groups of educators can schedule a customized Study Day for groups of 6-15.

Educators sit for study day training

Hilltop Inquiry Visits

Join us for a multi-day visit to Hilltop to see child-centered and reflective practice in action, explore proven models for supporting responsive curriculum in your own programs, and talk directly with program leaders and educators from Hilltop’s classrooms.  Participants will discuss practical strategies for supporting educators and developing structures that enhance reflection and uphold program values.

An Inquiry Visit is a customized one-on-one opportunity for your organization to specifically project/problem solve how this work could be applied in their own organization’s context.

These visits are charged at a hourly rate and a per-participant food/materials fee. Prices vary and are adjusted based on specific objectives of each organization and total number of participants but generally start at $2000 for a two-day visit. For a detailed quote, please contact us directly.

Organizations or groups of educators can schedule a customized Inquiry Visit for groups of 6-15.

Educators sit for study day training

Consulting and Coaching

Hilltop Children’s Center faculty members are pleased to offer consulting, presentations, and coaching for programs and individuals seeking to explore emergent curriculum, reflective teaching practice, and values-based administration. The goal of our consultation program is to assist you and your organization in pursuing your own goals, through a variety of models and options that can be accessed separately or in combination:

  • project-based consultation
  • Presentations and special events
  • mentoring for educators
  • organizational development

All of our consulting services are drawn from our experience at Hilltop, and are offered in a responsive, collaborative model that parallels our work with children and families. Please contact Mike Browne <institute@hilltopcc.org>, Institute Marketing and Events Coordinator, to design a customized consultation plan for your program!