What We Do
TEA CPE #902-507
We provide workshops, inservice, coaching, and speaking for teachers, administrators, counselors, students, and parents. We offer districtwide convocations, multicampus inservice, leadership coaching; also, school-wide whole faculty workshops, or by department, team, or PLC, instructional coaching. Use the links below to view our different services. Our brochure provides a general description of our frequently asked for workshops—however, our services can be developed for specific audiences such as special education, new-to-the-profession teachers, at-risk populations. If you don't see what you need, let us know and we can build it specifically for your campus or district.
What We Think
I enjoy greeting each day's participants as they enter the meeting room. It's one way to start the workshop on a good note. On this day, a man approached and refused to shake my hand. He said, “I don’t know what the [expletive] I’m doing here or why the [expletive] they sent me to this. Make this short so I can get the [expletive] out of here.” My colleague, horrified, asked if I’d like to have the man removed from the session. I wanted to say, "Yes, please." But it’s disingenuous to eject a difficult participant from a session called "Dealing With Difficult People." Instead, I let him find a seat and then engaged him in a conversation: “You’re obviously unhappy about being here. Tell me about that.” Within a few minutes, I had convinced him to stay and engage the session with an open mind. By the end of the day, he was effusive in his accolades—and he apologized for his first impression. That’s the power of learning how to "Deal with Difficult People."
— Judy Hollinger
When I was an elementary school principal, we always took our students to the local pool during the last week of school. We had too many students to all go at the same time, so we sent our grade levels in staggered shifts. With 400 students in the pool, splashing and squealing, it was time for the 5th graders to exit so the 2nd graders could enter. The head lifeguard proposed whistling all of the students out of the pool until we could sort them out—a solution I didn’t like. I didn’t want my students to lose even a moment of their 90-minute swim period just standing beside the pool. Instead, I asked the lifeguard if I could use the PA system. The answer was no; only pool staff can use the PA system. So I asked the lifeguard to make this announcement: “Students, I have an instruction.” He was skeptical but did as I asked. Then he was stunned: all 400 students instantly froze, turned toward the guardhouse (where the PA speakers were mounted), and shouted, in one voice, “Ready!” The water was completely still, the students were completely quiet, and the lifeguard was completely amazed. I asked the lifeguard to make this announcement: “5th graders out of the pool; everybody else keep swimming.” He did. The students all shouted, “Yes, sir!” And then, of course, the 5th graders scrambled out of the pool as the others kept swimming. That’s the power of teaching social skills using "Project RESSPECT."
— Scott Hollinger
It was supposed to be a routine training: "Back to School" for pre-service teachers, a group mostly made up of alternative certification and Teach for America teachers-to-be. But when I walked into the room I saw exhaustion. A week of day-long inservices had sapped their energy and their attention. I began as I often do with pre-service teachers, "Today we're going to talk about teaching, and along the way we'll pause to discuss what I'm doing as your teacher." The first lesson, a bit of tough love, was this: "Teaching is different than other jobs, definitely not like life in a cubicle. We're not allowed to have off days. We're not allowed to phone it in or just show up. We're teachers, and our students depend on us to show up strong every day. We're teachers, and whatever the students are dealing with, we have to be standard bearers of integrity, intelligence, and consistency. Because we're teachers—that's what we've chosen to do and who we've chosen to be." At the end of the day, I was mobbed with thanks and handshakes. What I remember most, though, is one young lady who said, "I've never heard anyone talk about teaching like you did. Today's the first time that I actually felt like I could do this job." That's the power of coaching new-to-the-profession teachers.
— Andrew Hollinger