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:


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Challenge through Choice

Based on my 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


kids researching
Social and Emotional Learning for Academic Success

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


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Personalized Learning through Independent Research

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
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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