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NWAIS Conferences, Workshops and Events

Empowering Classrooms: Integrating Social Emotional Learning and Student Wellness into Academics

Date: Friday - December 14, 2018
Time: 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Location: Epiphany School, Seattle, WA
This Event Has Filled To Capacity and Registration is Now Closed.



Empowering Classrooms:

Integrating Social Emotional Learning and Student Wellness Into Academics


Primary Audience

Classroom teachers of core academic subjects in grades 4-12 


Workshop Description

Instead of creating disconnected community-building or guidance lessons, we can use the academic tasks our students already do—their assignments, projects, performances, and conversations—as opportunities for them to explore and enact their values. Through their classwork and peer relationships, they can also learn how to relate to the inevitable stress and struggle that comes along with living a values-consistent life. Building bridges in science class can be a context for learning how to collaborate. Writing a paper on the French Revolution can be a context for opening up about what matters. Revising a drawing can be a context for learning to persist through anxiety. Not only are students doing meaningful academic work; they’re also learning how they want to treat their learning, their work, their surroundings, themselves, and each other.

In this highly experiential workshop, you’ll learn how to respond to student anxiety and create contexts for meaningful values work in academic classes. Informed by evidence-based psychological science, the workshop will involve drawing, trading cards, making stuff you can use, serious discussions about values and vulnerabilities, and empowering students to become the people they want to be.


Workshop Agenda

Introduction: What are our experiences of working with anxious students?

    • Our images of anxious students: Represent & Respond

Part I: What can teachers do to support students who get anxious?

    • Four approaches to student anxiety
    • Simple coping tools to use in the classroom

    • Supportive accommodations for anxious students

    • Understanding anxiety as avoidance: Collaborative Conversations

    • Taking stock: Emotions & Values Audit


Part II: How can teachers empower students to live by their own values—even when they’re anxious?

    • How meaningful assignments benefit anxious students (and the rest of the class)
    • Designing a meaningful assignment: Exemplar Study

    • How values work benefits anxious students (and the rest of the class)

    • Protocols for incorporating values work into academic work

    • Embedding values work: Nonjudgmental Peer Review

    • Reflection: Concentric Self-Portraits


Conclusion: How do we know what’s working for our students?

    • Using the EMPOWER self-assessment tools

Arrival & Registration

The workshop will start at 9:00am and conclude at 3:30pm. Please plan to arrive at least 15-30 minutes early.



Lauren Porosoff and Jonathan Weinstein, Ph.D., Empower Forwards


Lauren has been teaching for 18 years and consults on designing curriculum and professional development that empowers students and teachers. She is the author of Curriculum at Your Core: Meaningful Teaching in the Age of Standards, a guide to designing curriculum beginning with values clarification, and EMPOWER Your Students: Tools to Inspire a Meaningful School Experience, about helping students explore and enact their values at school. She has written for AMLE MagazineConnections

QuarterlyIndependent SchoolKappan, the PBS NewsHour Teachers’ Lounge Blog, Rethinking Schools, and Teaching Tolerance about how students and teachers can make their work meaningful.


Jonathan Weinstein, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the VA Hudson Valley Health Care Service, and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at New York Medical College. As an early contributor to the development of Relational Frame Theory and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy at the University of Mississippi Center for Contextual Psychology, Jonathan studied behavioral analysis and its applications for behavior therapy, social categorization, and education. Jonathan’s publications can be found in Behavior and Social Issues, The Psychological Record, and Salud y Drogas.


Porosoff and Weinstein are the co-authors of EMPOWER Your Students: Tools to Inspire a Meaningful School Experience (Solution Tree, 2017) and the upcoming Just Add Values: Strategies to Empower Students Throughout an Academic Unit (Solution Tree, 2019).



Here Is What Your NWAIS Colleagues Thought of Their Facilitation At Previous Workshop:


This was, by far, the best PD day I've ever had the pleasure to experience. I am not exaggerating . . . everything was relevant, doable, and inspiring.


It is clear that Lauren is a great teacher and that she understands students.


The day was excellent.




NWAIS Attendees

Early Bird (By October 30, 2018): $145

Regular (After October 30, 2018): $175


Non-NWAIS Attendees

              $215 (anytime)


TO RECEIVE THE REGISTRATION DISCOUNT: Your registration must be complete and payment must be postmarked or received by the appropriate deadline.

• For online registrations with payment by check, payment must be postmarked by deadline date.

• Online registrations paid by credit card must be completed by 11:59pm on the deadline date.


Cancellation Policy
Substitutions may be made any time prior to the conference. Written cancellations received by December 5, 2018 are eligible for a refund after a $25 cancellation fee. Cancellations received after December 5, 2018 are ineligible for any refund.


NWAIS Events Are Paperless.
All program materials will be provided electronically.

If there are pre-event materials, they will be sent to you via email about a week prior to the event. Please "BYOD" (bring your own device) to access them at the workshop or if you prefer, print out the digital materials and bring them with you. We will not have hard-copy packets for attendees on-site.


Attendees will be Eligible for 5 Clock Hours and / or STARS Credits

Attendees from NWAIS member schools receive clock hours and STARS free of charge. For those not affiliated with a member school, there is a $10 processing fee for Clock Hours and for STARS Credits. The original clock hours form or your STARS certificate will be mailed back to you for your records. If you need to petition another agency for credits or you would like a certificate for your files, NWAIS is happy to provide one upon request at no charge.


NWAIS May Help Cover Travel Costs

The NWAIS travel reimbursement policy is designed to reimburse candidate and accredited member schools for some travel costs. This policy applies to a school’s total travel expenses (not the cost of rooms and meals), no matter how many people the school sends to the workshop. If your school spends more than $150 dollars on travel for this event and is traveling a distance greater than 250 miles you will be reimbursed a percentage of your expenses. Click here for more details




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