pre conference workshops

Thursday, February 22

8:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Cost per person: $189
By advance registration only. 
Add $30 fee if you are not attending the conference.

All pre-conference workshops will be offered LIVE in San Francisco only.  There is no virtual option.



1. Ten Ways to Reboot Adolescent Motivation, Executive Functioning and Coping Skills (4-12)

Are your students stressing out, acting out, or disengaging altogether? Is overcoming student apathy a daily struggle in your teaching? Join Dr. Rebecca Branstetter, school psychologist and international speaker, in this interactive workshop to learn fun and practical ways to "hit the reset button" on your pre-teen and adolescent students’ motivation. You’ll walk away with ten research-based, practical, “learn it today, use it tomorrow” skills to teach vital coping and executive functioning skills that enhance adolescent motivation and school engagement. Learn how to identity the “3 Cs” for building student resilience and strategies that can be used in your classroom to support student motivation.

Rebecca A. Branstetter, PhD, Licensed School Psychologist; Founder, The Thriving Students Collective; Contributor, Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley; Former Clinical Psychologist, UCSF Autism Clinic, University of California San Francisco; Creator, “How to Teach Executive Functioning” course to support neurodiverse learners; Author, The Thriving School Psychologist (2020), The Conscious Parent’s Guide to Executive Functioning Disorders (2016), The Conscious Parent’s Guide to ADHD (2015), and The Everything Parent’s Guide to Children With Executive Functioning Disorders (2013)





2. Growth Mindset

8:00-10:00 AM PART I - Growth Mindset and Agency to Maximize Student Learning (K-12)

Join us for part one of this interactive, thoughtful workshop about applying growth mindset learning in the context of education. Infusing growth-minded practices in learning and performance-based situations helps all humans to thrive by growing (and acting upon) a strong sense of agency, of belonging, and of purpose. Drs. Bindreiff and Ms. Diehl will explore and ground you in the research on growth mindset, mentor mindset, agency, and belonging and share exciting, actionable heuristics to apply to your own context in your classroom. In this workshop, you will learn, work on, and leave with a planning packet (print and digital) to continue to implement these practices in their own unique educational settings.

Emily A. Diehl, BA, Education Consultant, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt; Director of School Partnerships, Revolution Prep; Director, K-12 Professional Learning and Curriculum Design, Mindset Works; Author of the programs for Mindset Works including Brainology®, Applied Brainology®, MindsetMakerTM, and the LeaderKit; Contributor to infusing growth mindset lessons in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt programs such as Read 180® and Math 180®; Author, “Growth Mindsets for Learning: Effective Effort” (2017, Optimizing Learning Outcomes) and Dustin Bindreiff, EdD, Lead Policy Analyst for the California School Board Association; Former Behavior and Mental Health Program Manager, Belmont- Redwood Shores School District; Former Professional Learning Specialist, Mindsets Works; Author, Belonging: How Social Connection Can Heal, Empower, and Educate Kids (2023), “From On Edge to On Task: Exploring Elements of Trauma- Sensitive Schools” (2021, NASSP), and “Mindsets Impact Perceptions of Student Behavior” (2016, Mindset Works Blog)




10:05-11:00 AM PART II - Mentor Mindset: The New Science of Motivating Young People

Dr. Yeager will explore his research into engaging students and the benefits of a mentor mindset in part two of the workshop. As a mentor, providing feedback to help peers or students can be challenging because often it is not well received. Research indicates that individuals who have a mentor mindset create supportive learning environments for students. This talk will explore evidence-based techniques that can be implemented by teachers, faculty, and staff to provide supportive feedback that demonstrates care for students' growth and learning.

David S. Yeager, PhD, Founder and Director, Texas Behavioral Science and Policy Institute; Associate Professor of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas at Austin; Co-Principal Investigator, The National Study of Learning Mindsets, the Texas Mindset Initiative; Author, 10 to 25: The Science of Motivating Young People: A Groundbreaking Approach to Leading the Next Generation for Managers, Parents, and Educators (Forthcoming, 2024); Co-Author, "A Values-Aligned Intervention Fosters Growth Mindset, Supportive Teaching, and Reduces Inequities in Educational Outcomes" (2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) and "A National Study Reveals Where a Growth Mindset Improves Achievement" (2019, Nature)





3. Harnessing the Power of the Vagus Nerve to Develop Student Attention and Self Regulation (PreK-12)

Exploring effective strategies to improve focus and concentration in educational settings is crucial in an era of increased student anxiety, which impacts students' attention. This interactive seminar will delve into current science about the impact of the nervous system on attention and will offer tools that can help students self-regulate and attend. You will explore ideas related to the vagus nerve, a key nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system. Learn ways that students (and you!) can activate the vagal tone that helps your body destress and focus. Explore unique strategies for calming the parasympathetic nervous system that are readily available to adults and students. This workshop will also demonstrate how mindfulness can be used to anchor attention more effectively. You will leave this pre-conference workshop with practical strategies and practices that enhance students' cognitive and social-emotional abilities and overall well-being.

Kathleen M. Kryza, MA, Master Teacher; CIO, Infinite Horizons; Co-Author, Transformative Teaching: Changing Today's Classrooms Culturally, Academically, and Emotionally (2015), Developing Growth Mindsets in the Inspiring Classroom (2011), Inspiring Elementary Learners (2008), Inspiring Middle and Secondary Learners (2007), and Differentiation for Real Classrooms (2009); and MaryAnn Brittingham, MS, Professional Development Consultant; Graduate Course Instructor, State University of New York at New Paltz; Co-Author, Transformative Teaching: Changing Today's Classrooms Culturally, Academically, and Emotionally (2015); Author, Motivating the Unmotivated (2008), Dealing With Difficult Parents: Powerful Strategies for Parent/Teacher Interactions (2005), and Respectful Discipline: Your Guide to Effective Classroom Management (2003)




4. Stress, Trauma, and Resiliency – Strategies for Classroom Success (PreK-College)

By some estimates, as many as two-thirds of students have experienced some sort of trauma, abuse, or distress. These experiences have a huge effect on their ability to focus on learning in the classroom. Making the challenge even greater is the fact that most teachers are ill equipped to support students experiencing sub-optimal conditions. While caring and compassion go a long way in helping students, educators need a toolbox of resources, strategies, and methods to help students build resiliency. This session provides specific strategies related to restorative practices, effective communication, instructional interventions, and what to do with challenging student behaviors.

Bryan K. Harris, EdD, Consultant; Former Principal, Instructional Specialist, and Teacher; Adjunct Faculty, Grand Canyon University; Author, 17 Things Resilient Teachers Do: (And 4 Things They Hardly Ever Do) (2020), Retraining New Teachers (2015), and Battling Boredom (2010); Co-Author, The Resilient School Leader (2023, Routledge Eye on Education), Battling Boredom, Part 2 (2018), and 75 Quick and Easy Solutions to Common Classroom Disruptions (2013)







5. Igniting Sparks: Promoting Passion, Purpose, and Engagement in the Classroom

In a nationwide survey conducted by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, 75% of high school students reported negative feelings related to school, with “bored,” “tired,” and “stressed” topping the list. Few students noted feeling “interested,” “curious,” or “enthusiastic” about school. Most children start school eager to learn, but that excitement begins to wane by fourth grade, and eventually gives way to stress and boredom. The traditional model of schooling often leaves little room for connecting learning to students’ passions and interests. But when students participate in learning opportunities that tap into what they are passionate about, their academic engagement increases. In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to foster student sparks of engagement, offer students voice and choice in the classroom, and create student opportunities to engage in self-reflection and self-assessment. You will leave this workshop with strategies for forming and developing student relationships with each other and with adult mentors/teachers in school.

Joelle Hood, EdD, Co-Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer, Thriving YOUniversity; Certified Life Coach; Consultant; Professional Learning Designer and Facilitator; Former Principal; Former Senior Consultant, Collaborative Learning Solutions; Awarded Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year; Passionately committed to empowering individuals and organizations to THRIVE; Janeen Antonelli, MA, Co-Founder and Chief Culture Coach, Thriving YOUniversity; Former Teacher, Principal, and County Office Administrator with expertise in reaching and teaching at-promise youth; Consultant; Professional Learning Designer and Facilitator; Jessie Fuller, MA, Co-Founder and Lead Learner Coach, Thriving YOUniversity; A California League of Schools' Teacher of the Year; and Liz Toruno, MEd, Lead Climate Coach, Thriving YOUniversity; Coordinator for Social Emotional Learning, Bakersfield City School District; Former Teacher, Behavioral Management Specialist, and District Administration