What are the Special Education Professional Development Opportunities in the Academy?


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Is it possible for your job as a special educator to be easier while your teaching is more effective? The simple answer is yes! I am so passionate about using my knowledge and experience to help other teachers thrive in their special education classroom with as little stress as possible. I created the Special Educator Academy to provide incredible educators with the support and confidence they need to bring joy back to their classroom.

The Special Educator Academy is filled with courses, printables, trainings, resources, and more! There are workshops that you can request special education professional development from your school for completing and monthly training themes just for Academy members. Join me as we dive into all the amazing benefits of being an Academy member!

02:25 – What Lightning Trainings are

03:09 – How you can use Quick Win videos to learn new strategies as well as train your staff

05:18 – How we use SEA Paths to make getting exactly what you need easier and more user friendly

07:25  – What to expect with the monthly themes inside the Special Educator Academy

08:16 – How our loyalty program works and what perks you get for being a member

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Welcome to the Autism Classroom Resources Podcast, the podcast for special educators who are looking for personal and professional development.

Christine Reeve: I’m your host, Dr. Christine Reeve. For more than 20 years, I’ve worn lots of hats in special education but my real love is helping special educators like you. This podcast will give you tips and ways to implement research based practices in a practical way in your classroom, to make your job easier and more effective.

Hey there, welcome back to the Autism Classroom Resources podcast. I am Chris Reeve. Thanks so much for joining me this week. Last week, I hope you enjoyed the episode taken directly from one of the Special Educator Academy’s quick win videos. At the time that I’m recording this, we had 81 of those types of videos in our SEA content that are available to all members.

So if you haven’t listened to the one from the podcast, hop over to autismclassroomresources.com/episode172 or listen to episode 172 after this episode. It’s all about how to help your students accept you’re saying no to something without as much behavior. But stay right here for today, because I want to tell you more about what’s included in the academy and what you get when you join.

I talked about our six courses in Episode 171. This week, I’m going to talk about everything else and I’m going to do it quick. I’m going to be as quick as I can. And I make five minute lightning trainings in the academy, so I promise I can do it. So let’s get started.

Today I am talking all about what is included in the academy when you join. As I mentioned in Episode 171, by becoming a member, you will have access to monthly printables with exciting, useful, functional themes that are only available for download during that month. To enjoy this perk, all you need to do is complete your seven day free trial or join without the trial.

The printables are great because they will give you what you need to actually implement the strategies that we focus on each month. But there is a ton more to the academy than just the monthly themes. It’s been open almost six years now. And we’ve added a lot of different content to fit everyone’s types of needs.

Looking for quick and efficient ways to improve your classroom strategies? Our 24 Lightning trainings are a perfect solution. Each training is only five minutes long, provide you with a concise overview of helpful strategies, and you can download them using your loyalty points, which I will talk about a little bit later. These trainings cover a range of topics including how to keep students engaged, organizing your independent work materials, managing attention seeking behavior, and more. So they give you a very minimal investment of time, with hopefully a huge impact on your stress levels and daily activities.

We also have quick win videos like the one I had in last week’s podcast. We have 81 of those. They are 15 minute videos that offer a variety of tools and resources that can be incredibly useful in any special ed classroom. From batch planners on how to batch lesson plans to teaching programs that help students answer “wh” and yes no questions. The quick wins provide valuable tips and strategies for educators. Additionally, some of these resources are even downloadable, making it really easy for you to use them to train your staff and improve their skills.

You will also have access to our 62 one hour workshops and those videos you can get a certificate of completion that you can take to your district to ask for professional development. Our workshops cover a wide range of topics from engaging students with quick and easy tasks to teaching valuable skills such as cooking in the classroom, teaching beginning learners, teaching money skills, and facilitating communication. And they are designed to help you gain new strategies and give you the tools to implement them later that day.

As an Academy member, you have access to our social stories bank and IEP goal back. The social stories Bank is a collection of text based stories that can be personalized with photos or images from your classroom. These stories serve as an excellent starting point for writing your own social stories, and some are there already illustrated. Additionally, we have written some stories specifically for member needs as time has gone on.

The IEP goal bank contains a set of goals that I’ve written over the years and I’ve written a lot of IEP goals, including stock goals that I often use for training in the academy and in districts. And you can personalize those goals to fit your situation. And it’s a really great way to have a jumping off point to give you some ideas. And if you can’t find what you need, we have a free Facebook group, private Facebook group, and an online academy where you can ask for help.

So it’s a lot. And to organize all of that. And to make it more user friendly, we created something that we call SEA paths. And they can help you find what you need based on what your questions are. So let’s say that you’re just starting out in an autism classroom or you have students with autism in your classroom, you would click on the “I’m newish to autism” pathway.

And when you do that, you’ll see a one hour workshop to get you started. It’s all about the characteristics of autism and how they impact the learning and behavior of students with autism across the spectrum and ages. Moving down that path, when you finish that workshop, there is a collection of lightning trainings and quick wins on how to address specific behaviors that were discussed in those characteristics.

For instance, there’s a five minute lightning training on how to help a student who is perseverating, or getting stuck on a topic or an item. There’s another five minute training on how to address echolalia or kids that are echoing back to you. There’s a downloadable 15 minute tutorial and how to use a first then schedule effectively. And you can download that to share it with your staff to help them understand how to do it. And there’s a quick win video on how to identify reinforcers and use visual schedules effectively and many more topics are there.

Then there are one hour workshops for a little deeper dive that are designed to help you learn about specific teaching strategies like Discrete trials, or how to use visual cues to promote independence, or how to write and use your own social stories, or facilitate peer interactions with students in the classroom.

And then it’ll point you in the direction of other larger resources that we have like our courses and our additional pathways that you can follow to find out all about setting up an independent work system, for instance, or how to go about addressing behavior. So the pathways are designed to help you access and use the content in a meaningful and easy way. And our monthly themes that we have coming in August, we’ll do that as well.

We will have a theme typically related to the strategies that we use at that time of the year, you log in and see that month’s theme selected, the videos 45 minutes to an hour, you can do them in little pieces, and printables that you can download to implement the strategies. Each month I’ll choose resources from the academy or I’ll add new ones that will help you with a specific topic. Things like lesson planning, taking and making sense of instructional data, being able to analyze your data effectively.

With those tools will be a set of printable resources that you can download and use with your students to implement the strategy that is discussed. And then at the end of the month, the printables will go away, but the training lives on should you need it again, as long as you’re a member.

In addition, we have a loyalty program so that you are earning points for each month that you renew. Or if you’re an annual member, you get all 12 You can use the points to download and keep lightning training videos that you can use to train your staff. Or you can use them to download printables from the online treasure chest. These are printables that are sold in my store that I’m going to pull into the academy at times.

So as you can see, there is a ton of value going into the academy. And I wanted to share just one last thing from one of our members who’s been with us for quite a while because I think it’s a great statement of how the Academy can help any educator.

Hi, this is Breann Prince. I’m a self contained K through six special education teacher. I’ve been a member of the Academy since it started. I know that I can always go to the academy to find any information I need on working with my students. And the most important and biggest blessing of the academy is the Facebook group. I know that I can post a question there and then I’m going to get an answer, or I’m going to get pointed to someone who knows the answer. I highly recommend joining the academy. Even with experience I learn something new all the time and I always know that I have access to the best in the business to give me the answers I need to help my students.

Thank you so much for tuning in this week. If you’re listening to this when it originally aired, I hope that you’re enjoying your summer. If you want to join the Special Educator Academy and participate in our Setting Up Your Classroom boot camp on July 24, make sure to sign up soon without the free trial at autismclassroomresources.com/SEA-monthly so you get access to all of the printables that go with that.

And if you want to join us for the theme coming in August, but you want to give it a try first, sign up for a seven day free trial at autismclassroomresources.com/sea-free-trial. And I’ll make sure that all the links are in the show notes as well. Just make sure that you sign up in time, so that when your trial is done, you will get the printables for whatever month you are listening to this in.

My goal in the academy is to use my 30 years of experience as a behavior analyst and as a consultant, who has been in hundreds and hundreds of classrooms serving students with special needs, to support your teaching. I want to make your teaching day easier, make sure you have time leftover for yourself and your family, and help you continue to implement strategies that let you see your students eyes light up when they learn new concepts.

I will be back next week with another excerpt from the Academy. I’ll be sharing one of our bank of private podcasts from the Academy. So I hope you’ll join me then. I’ll talk to you later.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode of the Autism Classroom Resources podcast. For even more support, you can access free materials, webinars and Video Tips inside my free resource library. Sign up at autismclassroomresources.com/free. That’s F-R-E-E or click the link in the show notes to join the free library today. I’ll catch you again next week.


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