Great academic teaching isn’t a gift or a natural born talent. It is a skill set–one that all teachers can build and refine. The following topics are ones that might serve as a good starting place for a customized plan:
Based on my newest book, Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn, this work can help teachers use choice in everyday teaching and learning to boost intrinsic motivation, help students self-differentiate their work, and find more positive energy and joy in daily schoolwork. Some specific topics might include:
- Creating good choices, and helping students learn to choose well
- Teaching metacognition, boosting student ownership, and creating positive learning environments
- Differentiating learning (and teaching self-differentiation!)
- Using choice in literacy, math, science, and any other content areaContact Mike
- Using a step-by-step process for implementing choice well
Have you ever looked at your district/state standards through the lens of social and emotional learning (SEL)? Many academic standards, including Common Core State Standards, have SEL skills embedded throughout. Students must persevere to solve math problems, take others’ perspectives and accept guidance from others as writers, and engage in collaborative conversations in all content areas. Additionally, in order to be successful with just about any academic pursuit, students need an environment that is safe and supportive, and one that will help them develop a growth mindset. Some specific topics might include:
- What is social and emotional learning?
- Identifying SEL skills in academic standards
- Developmentally appropriate practice
- Specific strategies to teach SEL skills (modeling, role play, activities, etc.)
- Personalized learning
- School climate and culture
- Respectful disciplineContact Mike
- Teacher language that leads to a growth mindset
When students have the chance to explore a topic about which they have a keen interest, amazing learning can happen. Based on my first book, The Research-Ready Classroom, this work will help teachers craft independent research projects that will help personalize student learning. Though these kinds of projects can be incredibly flexible and open-ended (such as power-of-one projects), they can also fit beautifully within your school’s science and social studies curricula. Some specific topics might include:
- Creating a classroom where students can function independently
- Connecting content standards within thematic studies
- Differentiation (and self-differentiation!)
- Assessment (and student self-assessment!)
- Effective classroom managementContact Mike
- Social and emotional learning
As a former superintendent of schools, someone who has worked with thousands of teachers and presenters, it is clear to me that Mike Anderson is truly a master teacher. He understands motivational theory and uses it in his presentations with participants.
Barbara Eretzian Director of Field Services, University of Maine, Farmington October 24, 2017
Mike's presentation modeled the very practices he was promoting. He offered choice as a realistic practice for already overwhelmed teachers and provided examples that moved participants from theory to practice.
Cindy Stevens Field Supervisor, University of Maine, Farmington October 24, 2017
Mike's workshop was great. He modeled classroom practices with participants, providing us with choices, interaction, and ideas that can be put to use tomorrow!
Allison Kahkonen Administrator, Brewer, ME October 24, 2017
Mike did a wonderful job of giving our school helpful ways to manage and co-create an ideal classroom environment with students of all ages and backgrounds.
Kristine Kobe Assistant Teacher, Mirman School, Los Angeles, CA August 24, 2017
Mike is a wealth of knowledge of best teaching practices. Implementing these strategies can enhance any teacher's effectiveness.
Jay Frisch Science Teacher, Mirman School, Los Angeles, CA August 24, 2017
Mike Anderson came to our school because faculty and parents alike recognized a need for improved SEL at our school. The workshop provided practical, reasonable, researched-based tools and structures for us to adopt a common language and approach across all classrooms. I can't wait to see the shifts in action!
Tessa McKeown 1st Grade Teacher/Curriculum Coordinator, Mirman School, Los Angeles, CA August 24, 2017
The workshop was engaging and highly informative. Mike has equipped our school tool box with strategies to cultivate reflection and student growth in fun and caring ways. They were two days well spent!
Lori Fine 4th Grade Math/Science Teacher, American Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua August 20, 2017
Mike's workshop was very engaging and he did an outstanding job of modeling the ideas and strategies he presented to us. (Practice what you preach!)
Jason Kittles 1st Grade Teacher, American Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua August 20, 2017
Mike was able to give a thorough overview about proactive and reactive strategies that I can implement in my classroom in an engaging and meaningful workshop.
Karen Zielke de Picado 1st Grade Teacher, American Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua August 20, 2017
This was the professional development workshop that I have been waiting for! I've never before felt so equipped and supported to try out new techniques to start the school year.
Kaya McAnear 2nd Grade Teacher, American Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua August 20, 2017
This workshop was thought-provoking and challenged many of the strategies and theories I have been taught over the years. I'm a new teacher this year, so I really appreciated how this workshop encouraged me to challenge pre-conceived notions and provided me with practical strategies to use and reflect on in my own classroom.
Samantha Goldsmith 4th Grade Teacher, American Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua August 20, 2017
Mike offered realistic, applicable strategies regarding choice and promoting positive social-emotional health in the classroom. I am excited to start this year with so many new tools in my tool belt!
Shelby Buker 3rd Grade Teacher, American Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua August 20, 2017
Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn is a workshop that motivates me to continue shifting my mindset toward giving students the control of their learning. It is meaningful because it applies to everyday practice.
Ruth Albuquerque Primary School Assistant Principal, American Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua August 20, 2017
What a wonderfully rich and informative workshop! Mike's experience and expertise was inspiring and I can't wait to try the proactive strategies! Thank you, Mike, for the engaging experience!
Laura Brannon 2nd Grade Teacher, American Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua August 20, 2017
A refreshing and empowering workshop that opens your mind to the many amazing possibilities of using choices in your class.
Debbie Gracia 4th Grade Teacher, American Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua August 20, 2017
I found this particular workshop the best that we have had, since Mike is a teacher. He truly understands the vision, essence, and soul of teaching. I look forward to having him back again at ANS. Thanks a bunch!
Nylda Romero PreK3 Teacher, American Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua August 20, 2017
Life is about making choices and making good ones. For us teachers it should be about providing them to our students. As a learner, I highly recommend that you choose to work with Mr. Anderson through his workshops, books, blog, etc.
Ryan Nygren 5th Grade Teacher, American Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua August 20, 2017
This is the best workshop I've received in my 4 years at ANS. You were clear, dynamic, and hands-on. The way you gave the presentation was the same way we need to start working--structured, with choices, reflection, with modeling and real examples. Thank you so much! Please come back!
Irene Rodriguez Learning Support, American Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua August 20, 2017
Mike Anderson delivers powerful instruction designed to help every learner be a part of the experience. He models good teaching expertly and keeps the level of engagement high throughout his class.
Francesca Kennedy Kindergarten Teacher, Mast Way Elementary School, Lee, NH July 31, 2017
After working with Mike for a few days, I am returning to school equipped with strategies and ideas to implement, as well as resources to continue my learning.
Caryl Pawlusiak Grade 1 Teacher, Hooksett, NH July 31, 2017
Mike constantly modeled good teaching in our course. He was responsive to our needs, flexible in his planning and provided us with numerous resources to be successful. I appreciate that he gave tangible ways to incorporate our learning into the classroom.
Amy Bates 8th Grade ELA Teacher, Lawrence, MA July 31, 2017
Mike's course at the UNH Literacy Institute was well organized, highly engaging, and addressed many of our needs as educators. I left the class feeling confident in my understanding of SEL in the readers' and writers' workshop.
Molly Termorshuizen Kindergarten Teacher, Hampton Oakes Elementary School, Stafford, VA July 31, 2017
Mike is an amazing presenter. He really opened my eyes to how SEL skills can be weaved into academics. I wasn't sure how this could be done, but it is quite doable, and I think it will be something I will continue to explore and practice.
Sharon 2nd Grade Teacher, Meadowbrook School, MA July 31, 2017
One of the BEST professional development opportunities I've experienced in years. I was engaged in the topic two hours before checking out for the year, so you know the workshop has me involved.
Deana Brodkorb Teacher, Todd County High School, Mission, SD June 16, 2017
I highly recommend Mike's workshops. As a first-year teacher, I walked away ready to implement small but important changes that I know will boost engagement and learning in my second year of teaching this fall.
Olivia Dhaliwal Math Teacher, Todd County High School, Mission, SD June 16, 2017
Mike makes you think, choose, create and then reflect in both small and large groups. He teaches you to tweak and refine rather than re-invent everything you do. This process is a multi-faceted tool for your toolbox and is essential for students' life-long learning.
Mary Lu Rich Teacher, Todd County High School, Mission, SD June 16, 2017
This workshop was a fantastic way to be reflective about my current practices and ways that I can make learning as purposeful, engaging, and relevant to ALL of my students. I left the workshop with significantly more tools in the box than I arrived with.
Kristen Sweeney 8th Grade Science Teacher, Portsmouth Middle School, Portsmouth, NH April 19, 2017
I really enjoyed learning more about how to craft engaging and meaningful choices in my classroom. I'm excited to bring this learning back to my classroom and bring more joy into our learning experiences.
Amy Riley Teacher, Stratham Memorial School, Stratham, NH April 19, 2017
This (workshop) was such a great reminder of how important it is to provide choice to all of our students. It was engaging and informative!
Erin Moore Teacher, Concord, NH April 19, 2017
Mike is fantastic at teaching you new ways of thinking about sharing the responsibility of learning with your students.
Caitlin Bennett Librarian, Londonderry Middle School, Londonderry, NH April 19, 2017
Mike Anderson's ASCD Empower17 presentation, "Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn" is rich in content and resources.
Tina Spurlock Educator, El Capitan High School, Merced, CA March 29, 2017
Mike is incredibly effective in his facilitation. He provides direct experience in the techniques and ignites the inspiration to take it into the world.
Jill Bittinger Founder, Transformed Education March 29, 2017
Wow! Great information. I'm so excited to go share and use what I learned. I left excited and wanting to try more choice with students and adults at my school.
Angie Evans Learning Coach, Red Mountain Elementary School, Washington County, Utah March 29, 2017
Mike was really engaging to listen to. He used his own strategies to navigate through his talk. It is nice to go to a workshop that gives actual strategies and isn't just a lecture about ideas!
Shawna Paraprofessional, Conval District, NH August 11, 2016
I have been in a few of Mike's workshops, and I learn something new each time that are easy to implement in everyday life.
Amy St. Ours Paraeducator, Nashua, NH August 11, 2016
Within three full days of work with Mike, my staff was energized and excited to incorporate choice into their classrooms.
Jeanine Heil Principal, Deerfield Elementary, Deerfield, MA March 16, 2016
Challenge through choice was an excellent experience! I gleaned many bits of wisdom to put to use in my classroom intentionally! The conversations about teacher language and praise were incredibly thought-provoking, not only within my classroom, but also with my personal children!
Dayna Bloomer 7th Grade English Teacher, Carroll County Middle School, Hillsville, VA March 16, 2016
You are incredibly calm and engaging! Humor adds so much to your talks. You should consider a TED Talk!
Danielle Lutenegger 5th Grade Teacher, Deerfield Elementary, Deerfield, MA March 16, 2016
Mike makes choice seem so important and yet so easy to implement at the same time. His realistic approach and easy-going style helps him be very relatable to the whole staff.
Megan Shulda Math Teacher, Deerfield Elementary, Deerfield, MA March 16, 2016
Thank you for reminding me/us what education should look and be like.
Julie Webster 6th Grade Teacher, Deerfield Elementary, Deerfield, MA March 16, 2016
Mike is enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable. He has real classroom experiences and "gets" teachers. His ideas are powerful and are able to be implemented immediately!
Kristen Robinson Literacy Coach, Deerfield Elementary, Deerfield, MA March 16, 2016
Personally, Mike inspired me to vary the choices in my classroom. As a school, he has unified us as a team--all sharing our renewed passion for teaching.
Gillian Andrews 4th Grade Teacher, Deerfield Elementary, Deerfield, MA March 16, 2016
Mike's presentation skills are exceptional. He balances the pace of delivery with a combination of active engagement and reflection. Great energy and fun!
Cheryl Whipple Theme Coach, Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, East Hartford, CT February 19, 2016
Mike was a phenomenal presenter who presented on a Friday before winter break, but somehow he got me eager and ready to go back to work on Wednesday because of our team's new project.
Callie Mish Teacher, Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, East Hartford, CT February 19, 2016
Mike is an excellent presenter! He reminded me why I went into this profession and affirms the efforts I put in on a daily basis. Thank you for being so refreshing to education!
Lindsey Everin Pre-K Teacher, Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, East Hartford, CT February 19, 2016
Best workshop/PD I have had in years.
Karla Gwynn Instructor, Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, East Hartford, CT February 19, 2016
From this workshop (Challenge through Choice, Literacy) I will be able to empower my students and their learning through choice.
Bethany Kliewer 6th Grade LA Teacher, Dublin Middle School, Pulaski, VA February 19, 2016
Learning how to plan for and structure student choice in literature made me both more excited and comfortable with incorporating choice into my classroom.
Emily Reynolds 5th Grade Reading Teacher, Eastern Elementary/Middle School, Pembroke, VA February 19, 2016
Mike is a wonderful presenter with a plethora of knowledge in helping our students have choice and ownership over their work. The workshop was so insightful and I look forward to the release of his book!
Irena Childress Reading Specialist, Floyd County, VA February 19, 2016
(This day was) well worth missing an instructional day with my students...they will benefit from by absence.
Sherry Miller Science Dept. Head, Narrows High, Giles County, VA February 19, 2016
I have at least three goals set that I will start tomorrow! The time and energy to reflect is nice but particularly when structured. Colleague time is always a rejuvenator as well!
April Hobson English Teacher, Narrows High, Giles County, VA February 19, 2016
Mike Anderson is an engaging, interesting presenter who keeps you involved in the learning and thinking all day. Great workshop!
Rebecca Walters Administrator, Lexington, VA February 19, 2016
Mike's practical approach made 6 hours fly by. He has a common sense attitude and truly cares about helping others become great.
Jared Rader Principal, Macy McClaugherty School Pearisburg, VA February 19, 2016
Mike Anderson is a wonderful facilitator. He has a great depth of experience and knowledge. He provided us with a wealth of strategies and concrete examples...so helpful for us in bringing SEL to our district.
Alex Grout Special Education Teacher, Oyster River Middle School, Durham, NH January 25, 2016
Mike's depth of knowledge, sharing of resources and willingness to face the tough questions makes these workshops (about social and emotional learning) invaluable. I only wish we could bring this to my entire school!
Paula Roy Counselor, Oyster River Middle School, Durham, NH January 25, 2016
This workshop around choice was excellent. Actual planning and discussion time makes it time very well spent!
Lisa Armstrong Pearl Rhodes Elementary School, Leyden, MA November 6, 2015
Mike is super engaging--presenting information in a real and fun manner--keeping the group interested and entertained and allowing us to explore topics with multiple modalities.
Kristin Gibbs 1/2 Grade Teacher Warwick Community School, Warwick, MA November 6, 2015
Engaging, fun, highly worthwhile, and professionally engaging.
Jay Loubry 6th Grade Teacher Northfield Elementary School, Northfield, MA November 6, 2015
A day spent working on my practice with Mike Anderson's coaching only sends me back to the classroom with new ideas and the positive energy to jump in with them.
Nolan Kitfield Classroom Teacher Northfield Elementary School, Northfield, MA November 6, 2015
Mike is an engaging presenter who will work with a district to customize their professional development to meet the needs of the many.
Christine Mullen Teacher Warwick Community School, Warwick, MA November 6, 2015
Mike is an energetic, enthusiastic presenter. Very knowledgeable with a compassion for others in the profession!
Jen Proffitt Social Emotional Development Teacher Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, East Hartford, CT October 24, 2015
I could really see how much Mike cares about child-centered practices.
Jillian Kelly School Psychologist Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, East Hartford, CT October 24, 2015
Working with Mike created eye-opening & reflective opportunities for me as a new teacher.
Jessica Zajicek 2nd Grade Teacher Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, East Hartford, CT October 24, 2015
Mike is a polished and sincere presenter. His stories of being a classroom teacher resonated with us all. The content supported our goals and aligned with our approach.
Cheryl Whipple Theme Coach Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, East Hartford, CT October 24, 2015
This (Social and Emotional Learning in Academic Teaching) is one of the best classes I have ever had! Even with my 39 years of teaching, this was a class I needed to jump-start my school year in a positive direction.
Beth Hart, Special Education Teacher, Valley Elementary School, Bath County Public Schools August 6, 2015
What an eye-opening class (Social and Emotional Learning in Academic Teaching)! I cannot wait to implement some new things into my classroom and watch the "magic" happen!
Carrie Snedegar, Teacher, Edgemont, VA August 6, 2015
It is important to celebrate and reflect as a whole staff on both successes and challenges! It was a true gift to have the time to then establish and share goals.
Jenna Tenore Principal, Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, East Hartford, CT July 19, 2015
I truly enjoyed your class! The best thing may be meeting and conversing with unique teachers like you!
James Slavin, Teacher (GED-SEL) Michican Dept. of Corrections, Marenisco, MI June 21, 2015
Challenge through Choice was a very eye-opening session. Through the readings and discussion I was able to reflect on my own teaching and learn ways to empower my students.
Sarah Kovar, Kindergarten Teacher, Marquette, MI June 21, 2015
Mike is true to himself when he facilitates his workshops. He models what he teaches and keeps his learners engaged by using a variety of techniques that truly make learning fun! The content of his work is excellent and relevant to all teachers.
Jennifer, Teacher, Escanaba, MI June 21, 2015
This was an exceptional workshop. Mike did a great job explaining the importance of giving students choices and how to model them for our students. The group interaction and changes in tempo and flow that Mike provided made it both interesting and informative.
Jake Berlinski, Teacher, Escanaba, MI June 21, 2015
Mike not only teaches you how to become a better teacher, he models his own teaching in a way that makes you want to emulate what he does.
Craig LeClaire, Special Education Teacher, Escanaba, MI June 21, 2015
Mike did an excellent job teaching and modeling how to incorporate choice in the classroom. We also had the opportunity to practice and prepare plans for our classroom.
Sherri Teacher Negaunee, MI June 21, 2015
A wonderful opportunity for much-needed self-reflection.
Sandra Castillo 2nd Grade Teacher, JFK School Port Chester, NY May 21, 2015
Mike Anderson is a well spoken and experienced teacher eager to share his exciting vision with the teaching world!
Christen Pratt Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, East Hartford, CT April 19, 2015
This program (Challenge through Choice) offered great ideas about how to infuse choice into daily lessons. The suggestions were practical and easy to implement.
Jennifer Casella Title I Interventionist Union Sanborn School March 27, 2015
This was the best PD day I've been to this year. Mike is engaging and motivating. His presentation sparked new ideas for me to incorporate into my classroom!
Jess Lamb Kindergarten Teacher Sanborton Central School March 27, 2015
Challenge through Choice was a very engaging workshop. We left the workshop with many plans and ideas for incorporating choice into our lessons.
Carmel Lunt 2nd Grade Teacher Union Sanborn School March 27, 2015
Mike always provides that inspiration and reflection that I need.
Karen Shackett Teacher Tilton, NH March 27, 2015
I have heard Mike Anderson speak on several occasions. He provides an engaging workshop full of relevant and thoughtful ideas. It's fun, too!
Lisa Faller Teacher Union Sanborn School March 27, 2015
Mike Anderson's workshop "Challenge through Choice" was engaging and enlightening. It will make you rethink the choices available to the children you work with each day.
Nancy Pierce Title I Reading Teacher Tilton, NH March 27, 2015
This workshop was fantastic! It was engaging and informative. Mike did a great job making it relatable for use in the classroom every day.
Kelly Blier Special Education Paraprofessional Winnisquam School District March 27, 2015
Mike brought many new concepts to the forefront while touching on many subjects teachers all struggle with.
Anna Benevides Library Media Specialist Northfield, NH March 27, 2015
I've had the honor and privilege to work with Mike Anderson as a consultant at Lynbrook. Mike connects with teachers and leaders to bring his knowledge, experience, positive energy and inspiration to lead great professional learning!
Mary McNamee Principal Lynbrook Elementary School, Springfield, VA March 20, 2015
Thinking about and discussing choice with Mike has made me a better teacher and my students deeper learners. Creating opportunities for purposeful choice in my classroom has been an invaluable shift.
Emily Geltz Teacher, Durham, NH March 15, 2015
Mike gave me the opportunity to reflect on and better my teaching practices in an engaging and well thought out format.
Andrea Lawrence Teacher, Durham, NH March 15, 2015
Mike, thank you so much for sharing your expertise and wisdom! I really enjoyed both of the sessions I attended. I came away with practical ideas to implement in my teaching! Thanks for your humor and clear-concise instruction!
Gayle Robert Teacher, Saint Charles Parish, LA March 12, 2015
Mike always delivers…energizing, stimulating, and even a little provocative! He always gets us thinking in new and creative ways.
Elizabeth Musgrave Principal Warwick Community School, Warwick, MA March 12, 2015
Mike’s presentation was lively and engaging, and the activities mirrored the content being delivered.
Lisa Armstrong Leyden, MA March 12, 2015
Mike Anderson understands teachers and the challenges they face. His workshops support teachers while providing solid useful classroom ideas.
Judi Shilling Leyden, MA March 12, 2015
Mike’s workshops are engaging. You always walk away with something you can use in your classroom the next day.
Kelly Guertin Bernardston, MA March 12, 2015
Mike is an engaging, energetic, and intelligent presenter who kept us engaged and gave us lots of ideas on how to apply topics in our classroom. I left feeling excited and confident to try all topics he discussed!
Kristyn Gibbs Warwick, MA March 12, 2015
Mike was obviously very knowledgeable on the subject he presented, fielded questions in a thorough and thoughtful way, was able to give positive suggestions for specific issues, and make it seem less daunting to implement ideas than teachers initially thought.
Pat Shilo Bernardston, MA March 12, 2015
This presentation by Mike made me more conscious of myself as an aspiring teacher in how to interact with students and engage them in the learning process through choice.
Jane Plummer Keene State College March 12, 2015
I always feel revitalized as a teacher after attending one of Mike’s workshops! His in-depth knowledge of children and learning help to put me back into the mindset I need to keep teaching and reminds me why I got into the profession!
Carolyn Baskowski Northfield, MA March 12, 2015
I have taken several trainings with Mike over the course of my career and every one is better than the last. I always leave with new ideas and am energized to apply the skills from the workshop immediately.
Chriss Mullen Warwick, MA March 12, 2015
Mike Anderson spoke to our districts’ educators as equals. It was refreshing to be validated and challenged as an educator.
Ellenjo Gries Northfield, MA March 12, 2015
It’s always a validating, affirming experience as a teacher to spend a professional development day with Mike. He is a dynamic presenter who has a wealth of knowledge and a great sense of humor!
Ashley Fogle Northfield, MA February 18, 2015