Professional Development


Children’s Institute offers a range of PD opportunities. Click below for PD that is currently being offered.

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Professional Development (PD) Offerings

At Whole Child Connection, we believe that Professional Development (PD) should be customized to meet your needs, be grounded in what is happening in your school or program, and ideally build upon itself.

Because we don’t take a one-and-done approach to PD, we work with you to provide solutions that fit your needs. Below are some of the offerings and content available.

Please contact us for more information or to discuss PD opportunities for your location.


Examples of Professional Development Offerings
2-hour Sessions

  • Introduction to Social Emotional Learning
    We have heard more and more that Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is more important now than ever, but what is SEL and how do you bring it to your learning space? This learning experience is for people who are new to SEL. It is designed to increase basic understanding, share some of the benefits of SEL, and the areas of implementation. Participants will explore the CASEL model five competencies and consider how SEL intersects with equity and anti-racist work. This interactive session models the three SEL signature practices and provides strategies that participants can use right away.
  • Introduction to Social Emotional Learning and Racial Equity
    Introduction to Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Racial Equity introduces social and emotional learning in the context of a critical and anti-racist framework. This learning experience will provide shared language and a foundation to understand the relationship between racism and SEL. It will explore the various fears people face when engaging in racialized work and conversations, as well as effective frameworks to counter those fears. Lastly, this session will give participants an opportunity to explore some of the pitfalls of SEL and Equity, along with some of the recommendations to address the pitfalls. Facilitators understand and are responsive to the sensitivity of racialized conversations, the potential for harm among racial minority participants, the different lived experiences people bring and the various levels of engagement people have in this work.
  • SEL and ELA
    Social and Emotional Learning is more important than ever, and yet many teachers are feeling the pressure to ‘catch students up’. This interactive and engaging session is designed for elementary school educators to integrate SEL into ELA using culturally diverse children’s literature. In this session, you will gain practical strategies including morning meeting prompts to strengthen community and positive identity.
  • Developing Relationships: Through Engaging, Culturally Responsive SEL Practices
    With the worldwide impact of COVID-19 and the growing racial justice movement, relationships are more important than ever. Whether you are seeking to develop culturally responsive connections with children/youth or increase engagement, this interactive training will provide participants with an expansion to their relationship development toolbox. Participants will process the impact of racial and cultural identity on relationship development and gain applicable strategies that develop relationships with children/youth through culturally responsive social and emotional learning practices.
  • Trauma-Informed SEL Practices
    As we all try to process and heal through the ongoing trauma of a global pandemic and racial justice crisis, we want to be prepared to most effectively support the well-being of each and every one of our children/youth. Learning happens when learners feel safe, seen, valued, and heard. In this session, we will build an awareness of trauma and its impact on children’s development, examine racism as a form of trauma, and explore trauma-informed, trauma-aligned SEL practices.
  • Remembering Our Needs: Self Care During Challenging Times
    Self-care is self-love and it is critical always, but especially during such challenging times. This learning experience will give participants the space to focus on their own needs and self-care, reminding them to be kind and gentle with themselves and each other, and to remember that self-care is an individual journey that looks different for each one of us. This session will acknowledge the numerous challenges of this uncertain, unprecedented time, acknowledge cultural and historical disparities in the self-care narrative, remind participants of the impact of stress on our bodies, encourage and support participants to identify their needs, and explore self-care strategies.



Post Professional Development (PD) Sessions

Process/Connection Circles  
60-minute virtual sessions

Following learning experiences (trainings, webinars, conferences, etc), participants don’t always get a chance to re-connect with each other to process, reflect, share stories of success and/or problem-solve. We may leave these experiences inspired and motivated, yet it is often difficult to integrate what we learn and keep the momentum strong, especially when we feel like we are doing it all alone. These sessions are designed to provide participants the opportunity to connect and support each other through a guided facilitation process. We encourage keeping these groups small (8-12 people) so participants all have a chance to participate fully. We usually offer these circles for 60 minutes, but could modify based on the groups’ needs/availability.

*This could also be offered as a train-the-trainer type of experience so your staff could lead these moving forward.


SEL and Racial Equity Media Study
90-minute virtual sessions

While true Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) must be antiracist and equitable, too often resources have been developed through a single, limited lens. Refracting that perspective – re-defining our understanding of SEL as anti-racist (and anti all systems of oppression), open-hearted, and curious – is a critical step in transforming learning spaces for all children and youth. Pulling from a variety of media (articles, videos, and podcasts), this learner-driven series will feature the SEL signature practices of welcoming rituals and optimistic closures, along with guided discussion questions and prompts, facilitated by Whole Child Connection staff.

*This could also be offered as a ‘toolkit’ where we provide the media pieces and session agendas for your staff to facilitate.


Please contact us for more information or to discuss Professional Development opportunities for your location.