Pre Conference Workshops

Friday, November 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 Boston only. There is no virtual option.


1. Making Friends With AI: Timesaving Tools for Teachers

Busy educators need tools that support their planning and provide them with more time with students. While Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a promising solution, it can only help if we’re willing to learn how to use it in ways that improve upon what we already do well. In this session, we focus on the use of AI in helping teachers accomplish their tasks such as designing learning, evaluating learning, emotionally engaging students, and meeting individual student needs.

Douglas B. Fisher, PhD, Chair, Department of Educational Leadership, San Diego State University; Classroom Teacher, Health Sciences High and Middle College; Co-Author, The Artificial Intelligence Playbook (2024), Welcome to Teaching (2024), Belonging in School (2024), The Vocabulary Playbook: Learning Words That Matter (2023), The Restorative Practices Playbook (2022), and The Social Emotional Playbook (2022)



2. The Behavior Code: Practical Strategies for Reducing Anxiety and Challenging Behavior in Students

With up to one in three children struggling with anxiety in this country, overwhelmed adults require a new approach as well as a practical and easy-to-implement toolkit of strategies that work. In the time of COVID19, and the subsequent societal changes, anxiety has become ever-present in students of all ages. It is probable that that heavily impacts everyday life, levels of anxiety in children and teens are even higher, and the possibility of subsequent trauma greater. Through the use of case studies, humorous stories, and examples of everyday challenging situations, you will learn easy-to-implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation and self-monitoring to improve behavior in students.

Jessica Minahan, PhD, BCBA, Licensed and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst; Special Educator; Consultant; Blogger, The Huffington Post; Author, “Helping Anxious Kids Move Forward” (2017, Educational Leadership), The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students With Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors (2014), and “Building Positive Relationships With Students Struggling With Mental Health” (2019, Phi Delta Kappan); Co-Author, "A Skill-Building Approach to Reducing Student’s Anxiety and Challenging Behavior" (2022, Phi Delta Kappan) and The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students (2012)



3. Learning From the Atlas of Emotions: Developing Emotional Fluency

Being a teacher requires “emotional labor,” the effort required to suppress difficult emotions and generate positive emotions to manage and communicate with your students and colleagues daily. Just like physical labor, it requires specific training in order to avoid overexertion leading to feeling drained, unmotivated, or burnout. Emotion regulation and compassion are easily trainable skills that will help understand our difficult emotions and even learn from them. In this workshop, you will learn an “Atlas for Emotions” that develops a greater vocabulary to understand your full range of emotions and practice emotion mapping to get greater insight into what causes our emotions and how we can respond more effectively to our students' emotions and our own.

Eve Ekman, PhD, MSW, Instructor, Contemplative Science Curriculum; Senior Fellow, Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley; Member, Well Being Lead Health Team at Apple; Co-Creator and Collaborator with her father, Renowned Emotions Researcher Dr. Paul Ekman and the Dalai Lama on the “Atlas of Emotions” Project; Lead Teacher Trainer of Emotions Skills, Cultivating Emotional Balance; Co-Author, “Teaching the Science of Human Flourishing, Unlocking Connection, Positivity, and Resilience for the Greater Good” (2021, Global Advances in Integrative Medicine and Health)




4. Offsetting the Impacts of Stress and Trauma: Empowering Educators and Students Through the Brain-Based Neurosequential Model©

This interactive workshop will be offered by Katie Lohmiller and Halley Grube, founders of Educational Access Group and Program Coordinators of The Neurosequential Model in Education (NME). Through the brain-based, NME lens, the presenters will focus on the brain, systems and practices in education, and the ways we can - and do - plan to support ourselves and our students in light of the stress and trauma showing up in our classrooms and spaces. With a lens towards the neurological and biological impacts of stress on function, regulation, skills, cognition, memory and relational interactions, the presenters will facilitate you through application focused activities. You will be supported in connecting the material to your role in schools, and you will leave with a better understanding of the ways one can help to build emotional skills, support regulation, and offset the negative impacts of stress and trauma. This workshop will focus on how stress impacts students and educators, and guide educators towards systems and tangible moves/shifts they can make to support themselves and their students and provides activities and content that will support challenges around behavior and response to behavior, academics and culture (at both the adult and student levels). You will leave with an awareness of how we can create and foster environments in which stress is negated and buffered through practices and systems that are biologically and developmentally matched to promote regulation and skill building and have an opportunity to learn, discuss, and apply content to your work.

Katie Lohmiller, DrPH, Co-Founder and Director of Programing and Evaluation at Educational Access Group; Program Co-Coordinator, with Renowned Trauma Neuroscientist Dr. Bruce Perry, for the Neurosequential Model in Education, and expert on adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed approaches, youth development and training/professional development for educators; and Halley Gruber, MSEd, Co-Founder and Director of On-Site and Educational Support at Educational Access Group; Program Co-Coordinator for the Neurosequential Model in Education; Co-Authors, “The S.I.T.E. Framework: A Novel Approach for Sustainably Integrating Trauma-Informed Approaches in Schools'' (2022, Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma)