By Amy Moine, Central Rivers AEA

Central Rivers Area Education Agency (AEA) is on a mission to help the educators we serve be the leaders of the most inspired and innovative schools in the nation. And we’re doing it through professional learning designed to push them to think beyond traditional boundaries of what school should look like.

The Lead, Inspire, Innovate Series is a line up of workshops presented by experts in education and supported through job embedded practice, coaching and feedback from Central Rivers AEA consultants. The purpose of these workshops is for our educators to have an opportunity to hear inspiring messages from experts in the field so that they can lead in more innovative ways that will enhance learning and success for all students.
Since September, over 750 educators have participated in this year’s series. The 2018-19 roster includes experts in the fields of communication, technology, student mental health, school culture, peer coaching, and “growth” mindset. Many speakers have spoken previously to Fortune 500 companies and international audiences.

One of the most popular speakers this year has been Dr. Shannon Suldo, a leading expert in the field of adolescent mental health. Unfortunately, nearly every school district served by Central Rivers AEA has indicated an uptick in the number of students with challenging behaviors and mental health concerns. Many educators find themselves unequipped to deal effectively with these challenges which can create undue stress for all involved. Suldo presented strategies for supporting students with these concerns and also provided information on how to bolster positive mental health and well-being in all students. Dr. Suldo’s presentation was followed up by a workshop by J. Stuart Ablon, Ph.D., the Director of Think:Kids in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Professor in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ablon provided evidence-based practices to help educators break down challenging behaviors and problem solve solutions that help children improve with dignity and respect.

These two workshops alone have resulted in improved relationships between many educators and students and provided hope around a difficult topic.

Interested in knowing what our presenter roster looks like for the 2019-2020 school year? Visit our website at centralriversaea.org and click on “Lead, Inspire, Innovate Professional Learning Series.” We invite you to learn more about how Central Rivers AEA is serving the schools in your community.

Amy Moine can be reached at amoine@centralriversaea.org.