Presentation and Training Modules

From your in-service (teacher prep days), to keynotes, conference breakout sessions and more, below are workshops and training modules most highly sought after and provided by Hilltop Children’s Center and Educator Institute.

Most sessions can be modified to address faculty and staff, college students, administration, or boards.  The time for each workshop can be adjusted as well. If you’re interested in a specific topic not listed below, please reach out to inquire about a custom workshop for your organization!

Taking the Leap: Values and Practices for Planning an Emergent Curriculum

Though we don’t usually think of “planning” something “emergent,” in fact it takes a great deal of intention to facilitate a curriculum that is flexibly generated from the children’s own questions and pursuits. This session will offer specific examples of structures and dispositions that support a dynamic, responsive, customized curriculum for young children. We’ll examine some of the practices in use at Hilltop Children’s Center, in Seattle, and explore strategies for facilitating an emergent curriculum in participants’ own classrooms and schools. We’ll also consider ways to invite and encourage families to become meaningfully engaged in our programs, and look at possible models for partnering with families in curriculum planning, documentation, and assessment, to help connect families to their children’s learning, throughout the school year. Together, participants will consider opportunities for aligning Emergent Curriculum with key principles such as Pedagogy of Listening, Critical Reflection, Collaborative Dialogue, and Pedagogical Narration.

Time: 2 to 6 hours
Target Audience: Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, Educators, Subs / Floaters / Teaching Assistants, Education / Curriculum Director, College Level Students

Reflective Dialogues to Disrupt Racial Realities

To adapt to the constantly changing and complex political and social realities of 2020, ECE leaders need to integrate learning from their experience back into their practice and be able to fine-tune the assumptions and theories that drive their work. This facilitated session is for people interested in moving past teaching political correctness towards teaching socio-cognitive conflict and intellectual growth.

Given that educators have a great impact on both families and the children they work with, it is critical for educators to develop a self-awareness of culture, bias, and discriminatory practices as well as to examine the effects of their beliefs, attitudes, and expectations. Come spend an 2-3 hours reflecting on our own biases so we can teach anti-bias. Together, we’ll dialogue, explore, question, reflect, and grow in our understanding of how white culture undermines our work in achieving liberation for the next generation of artists, inventors, scientists, politicians, thinkers, and social activists. 

Time: 2 to 3 hours
Target Audience: Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, Educators, Subs / Floaters / Teaching Assistants, Education / Curriculum Director, College Level Students

Supporting Well-Being and Belonging through Anti-Bias Education

As educators, we all want to support children’s healthy social-emotional development and help them to become competent citizens in our diverse world. By promoting Anti-Bias Education in our classrooms and schools, we foster social learning for children, and bring focus to our own awareness of equity issues. But many educators wonder where to begin, and how to grow our own confidence in facilitating Anti-Bias education. This workshop offers a constructive space to review basic tenets of equity-focused education, share concerns and ideas, and begin planning steps we can take in our own programs and communities. We’ll examine the goals of Anti-Bias Education, discuss contexts that foster social learning, and offer strategies to enhance cultural competence for children, families, and educators. Together, participants will consider opportunities for aligning Emergent Curriculum with key principles such as Identities, Social Responsibility, and Diversity.

Time: 90 min to 6 hours
Target Audience: Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, Educators, Parents and Guardians, Subs / Floaters / Teaching Assistants, College Level Students

Child-Centered Administration

Many of us are attuned to arranging classrooms and designing curriculum with a focus on children’s experience and needs…but how can we extend that child-centered thinking to our Administrative work? What values, structures, and practices might help align our organizational systems with our beliefs about what children and teachers deserve? How can we build from our image of the child to arrive at an image of the educator that will inform the systems and structures we put in place to support teachers’ work? This open-ended conversation is intended for directors, mentors, administrators, and anyone interested in considering how a school’s organizational culture can support pedagogical intentions. 

The aim of this workshop is to help program leaders align their management of staff with their intentions for children and families. A key thesis of this session is that our best intentions for our programs – equity work, partnership with families, and child-centered practices – can only come to life if we develop institutional practices that uphold our high image of educators, and model the dispositions we expect them to offer children and families.

Time: 3 to 6 hours (best delivered over multiple days)
Target Audience: Administrators including Board of Directors, Executive Directors, Coaches, Education / Curriculum Directors, Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, and Educators looking to move up

Values-based Leadership: Program Models to Support Reflective Practice

Many of us want to offer children a stimulating responsive curriculum, but how can we build an Administrative Infrastructure that enables reflective and responsive work, and design Professional Development to support reflective educators? Participants will engage in dialogue, discussing effective models of recruitment and hiring, faculty training and mentoring, and performance evaluation for reflective, responsive curriculum programs.

Time: 2 to 6 hours (best delivered over multiple days)
Target Audience: Administrators including Board of Directors, Executive Directors, Coaches, Education / Curriculum Directors, Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, and Educators looking to move up

Environments for Reflective Practice

How do we set up classrooms and offer materials in a way that best supports an emergent, responsive curriculum? What specific environmental choices can help us observe children’s play, and create opportunities for children to extend their thinking? And how can we design classrooms that honor the childhoods that are being lived in our schools? Educators at Hilltop Children’s Center have been wrestling with these questions, and keeping in mind the words of author and designer Anita Rui Olds:  “Children are miracles. We must remember it is our job to create, with reverence and gratitude, a space that is worthy of miracles.”

Time: 90 min to 6 hours
Target Audience: Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, Educators, Coaches, Education / Curriculum Directors, College Level Students, Subs / Floaters / Teaching Assistants

Environmental Provocations as Invitations to Learning

To the untrained eye, provocations may simply seem like an empty egg carton or a toliet roll tube. But Hilltop, these items or “provocations” provoke! They provoke thoughts, questoins, discussions, ideas, creativity, interests. They stimulate ideas about social justice issues, the initiative conversations about gravity, time, and science. Provocations can be found in nature, photos, lighting, art materials, objects, and more. In this session, we’ll describe our exerpiences in creative inviting “provocations” of materials and activities in our classrooms. We’ll explore the role of “loose parts” and share examples of how intentional presentation can bring meaning to the materials, foster learning across developmental domains, and support an emergent curriculum. Join us for this deliberate and thoughtful session on how educators’ deliberate and thoughtful decisions can extend the ideas of the children.

Time: 90 min
Target Audience: Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, Educators, Coaches, Education / Curriculum Directors, College Level Students, Subs / Floaters / Teaching Assistants

Reflective Practice to Support Playful Inquiry

How do you plan for play? How do you cultivate inquiry? Although play and inquiry are natural dispositions for young children, educators at Hilltop Children’s Center have found that in fact it takes a great deal of structure and intention to facilitate a curriculum that is truly responsive to children’s questions and pursuits. Specific protocols for reflection and study can foster a pedagogy of play, and encourage an attitude of inquiry for children, educators, and families. This session will offer examples of practices that can support an emergent curriculum for young children, including Hilltop’s practices of Responsive Planning, In-Depth Investigation, Pedagogical Documentation, and Collaborative Conferences.

Time: 90 min to 6 hours
Target Audience: Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, Educators, Education / Curriculum Directors, College Level Students, Subs / Floaters / Teaching Assistants

Reflective Practice and Anti-Bias Education

As reflective educators, we aim to keep children’s experiences and perspectives at the heart of our work, while supporting them to become competent citizens in a diverse world. By promoting Anti-Bias Education in our classrooms and schools, we encourage children’s social development and bring focus to our own awareness of equity issues.

In this workshop,  we’ll examine the goals of Anti-Bias Education, discuss contexts that foster social learning, and  investigate how a reflective teaching practice can enhance cultural competence for children, families, and educators.

Time: 90 min to 6 hours
Target Audience: Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, Educators, Coaches, Education / Curriculum Directors, Parents and Guardians, College Level Students, Subs / Floaters / Teaching Assistants

Activating Families of Privilege

Families in communities of privilege pose a unique challenge within educators’ equity and social justice work. Even when supportive, these families often lack tools, self-awareness, motivation, and confidence to join in on the work. In this workshop, participants will hear about one school’s efforts, come together to strategize and set goals to shift families from observers to partners, and gain a better understanding of how schools and families interact to further or hinder their anti-bias curriculum. Participants will come away with concrete plans having had the support from one another. This workshop offer time to reflect on needs, stakeholders, resources and troubleshoot obstacles.

Time: 90 min to 2 hours
Target Audience: Educators, Administrators, Parents and Guardians working in high-income schools. 

Getting Started with Emergent Curriculum

How do we begin to plan curriculum that is based on children’s interests, and developed in collaboration with families and colleagues? What are ways in which you can do this through both short-term, and in-depth emergent investigations? In this session, Hilltop will share stories and offer strategies for engaging children and families in the cycle of inquiry-based learning across days, months, and over the course of the year. This session will focus on the process of inquiry-based learning and in-depth emergent investigation including ways to launch one, ways to sustain it over weeks and months, ways to fold in families, ways to bring it to an end, and ways to fold in the principles of social justice and anti-bias education.

Time: 90 min
Target Audience:Administrators, Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, Educators, Subs / Floaters / Teaching Assistants, College Level Students

Engaging Families in Reflective Practice

How do we encourage families to join us in studying children’s learning? By weaving Learning Stories into a year-round plan for partnership, we can meaningfully engage families in curriculum planning, documentation, and assessment. Using examples from Hilltop Children’s Center in Seattle, we’ll discuss effective strategies for authentic collaboration between families and educators.

Key topics and activities include:

  • Learning Stories as part of an ongoing framework for partnering with families
  • What is Reflective Practice?
  • Sample “Flow of the Year” for ongoing family partnership
  • Documentation and Learning Stories as a tool for family engagement
  • In-Depth Investigations: engaging families in children’s topical studies
  • Collaborative Conferences: meeting with groups of families to discuss children’s work
  • Sample Conference and hands-on Learning Stories practice writing

Time: 2 to 6 hours
Target Audience: Administrators, Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, Educators, Subs / Floaters / Teaching Assistants, College Level Students

Fundamentals of Anti-Bias Education

How do I prepare for and respond to children’s questions about fairness, difference, and what they notice in the world? What is bias and how does it show up in early childhood classrooms? What are the core goals and key practices of Anti-Bias education? This facilitated session is for people who want to examine Anti-Bias education fundamentals. Spend a day learning and working together to strengthen connections to equity and social justice through the work you already do. Bring your own questions and experiences, take away resources and strategies for supporting children’s social-emotional development and learning through Anti-Bias education.

Time: 2 to 6 hours
Target Audience: Administrators, Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, Educators, Subs / Floaters / Teaching Assistants, College Level Students

Provoking Each Other to Dig Deeper

In Reggio Emilia inspired education, we create provocations to inspire and invite children to deeply explore ideas that arise. Emergent Curriculum is designed to follow the lead of children, and it requires thoughtful reflection and planning by educators. In this interactive session, we will explore strategies for challenging each other to extend our emergent learning environments. We will examine parallel processes that connect the development of children with the development of educators. Bring your curiosity to explore the ‘why’s’ behind the ‘what’s’ that we ask of our educators and contemplate a wide range of ‘how’s’ to accomplish educational goals. 

Time: 90 mins
Target Audience: Administrators, Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, Educators, Subs / Floaters / Teaching Assistants, College Level Students

Fostering a Sense of Belonging with Toddlers

How do you grow curriculum with toddlers and co-createan engaging environment that welcomes toddlers to be themselves? How do you grow emergent curriculum with toddlers? You foster a sense of belonging. Fostering a sense of belonging is an actionable formof activism. In this session, we’ll look at the intersections of anti-bias education, image of the child, pedagogy, and practice to promote justice and belonging in the classroom for toddlers. 

Time: 90 mins
Target Audience: Administrators, Program Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, Educators, Subs / Floaters / Teaching Assistants, College Level Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Who conducts the workshop?

Hilltop faculty and staff conducts the workshop. It is typically conducted alone or in combination with the Education Director, Educators, Program Supervisor, or one of our Mentor Teacher.

 

We are able to come to you. Do you travel?

Yes! Although based in Seattle, WA, we have done presentations in various cities including Vancouver, BC, Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, Toronto, ON, Cleveland, OH, San Francisco, CA, New Orleans, LA, Evansville, IL, Nashville, TN, Phoenix, AZ, and more! We can also do these presentations via zoom / online. If you would like to bring us out to you, we do ask for travel and lodging reimbursement. Of course, you can always come to us! Check out https://hilltopcc.com/institute/study-days/ for visits to Hilltop.

Prices

Depending on length, location, audience, context, and when the presentation is, we adjust our price accordingly. Generally, full-day workshops (6 hours of content) generally starts at $1500. We are always interested in working with new clients, centers, programs, and stakeholders and if price is a barrier. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss options. 

What to expect?

Regardless of if we serve as the keynote or a workshop presenter as part of a larger gathering, we’ll deliver a hands-on, interactive learning environment filled with a mixture of presentation, activities, small group discussion, and self-reflection!

Can I obtain credits for professional development taken by Hilltop?

If you are located in the state of Washington, Hilltop is a STARS / MERIT Hours Approved Trainer. If you are outside the state of Washington, we can help provide you with documentation to help set this opportunity up with your local college or state’s requirement for professional development. 

Do you provide translation services?

Hilltop does not provide interpreters / translators. If you’re Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing, we suggest reaching out to our partners, HSDC – Hearing, Speech, Deaf Center, in Seattle, WA who are able to provide ASL, SEE, Video Remote Interpretation and other services. All of presentations, handouts, and materials are printed and conducted in English. Most of our videos are closed-captioned. Please reach out if you have any questions or comments.

Can I combine workshops?

Absolutely! We are able to combine workshops and create additional content to best suit your needs. Please reach out at institute@hilltopcc.org to discuss options and possibilities! 

Hilltop Educator Institute

We look forward to working with you, your community, and your staff!

 

Contact Us!

Email us at institute@hilltopcc.org