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PARAEDUCATOR & EXPLORERS PROGRAM

FIND OUT IF TEACHING IS RIGHT FOR YOU!

Are you interested in becoming a teacher but aren’t sure if it’s right for you? The Paraeducator and Explorers Program (PEP) is designed to give current paraeducators and individuals exploring the teaching profession a glimpse into the ESD-U teacher certificate program while earning clock hours toward the General or Advanced Paraeducator Certificate requirements.

Participants in PEP attend ESD-U seminars on important topics for educators, alongside ESD-U teacher candidates working towards certification. When PEP is successfully completed, participants may choose to apply for the ESD-U teacher certification program, and the seminar clock hours for PEP will count towards ESD-U seminar requirements.

For the upcoming 22-23 cohort, only individuals within the ESD 112 service region will be eligible for PEP.

LEARN HOW TO APPLY

VIRTUAL SEMINARS ALLOW YOU TO PARTICIPATE FROM ANYWHERE

Seminars are delivered virtually on Saturdays between the hours of 9:00am – 4:00pm. The virtual seminars are live with an instructor present through the entire seminar. All seminars are led with best practices for remote learning in mind, and include a variety of ways to participate and engage with the seminar content and provide opportunities to collaborate and connect with other PEP participants and ESD-U teacher candidates.

PEP participants are expected to:

  • Attend at least five (5) seminars in their entirety, for a total of 15-18 clock hours and must include:
  • Engage in activities and discussions during each seminar
  • Write and submit a reflective paper at the end of each seminar

PEP participants who successfully complete the full sequence of seminars and reflections will be granted a waiver for the seminars they attended, if they enroll in the ESD-U teacher certification program within three years.

Participation in PEP costs $300, which is a discounted block price for the full sequence of five seminars (up to 18 clock hours). The cost includes the three “core” seminars and the participant-chosen two additional seminars according to their interest area.

Participants are welcome to attend additional PEP seminars at the standard cost of $25/per clock hour.

  • $75 = Cost of adding a half-day seminar (3 clock hours)
  • $150 = Cost of adding a full day seminar (6 clock hours)

PEP seminar clock hours can also be used toward:

  • ESD-U teacher certification program seminar requirements, if applied within 3 years
  • The General or Advanced Paraeducator Certificate requirements
  • Salary advancement on district educator pay scales
  • Transfer credit to other teacher certification programs, with every 10 clock hours equal to 1 quarter hour of college credit, or 15 clock hours to 1 semester hour of college credit (note that college credit is granted at the discretion of the receiving institution)

2022-23 Seminar Schedule & Descriptions

Culturally Responsive Teaching Part 1

Sat., Aug. 27 • 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. • 3 clock hours
(CORE/REQUIRED)

This seminar will help participants be more reflective of the ways that their identities shape their perspectives as they interact with and perceive their students and school systems. Participants will reflect on the ways that schooling can be an unwelcoming space for students who have been marginalized due to their race, gender, class, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. The seminar will encourage participants to reflect on their privileges and biases and to challenge the assumptions that they may have about marginalized students. Finally, participants will create an action plan where they are critically analyzing the ways that their classroom behaviors, instruction, and curriculum can be transformed to create a more inclusive space for students who hold different identities.

Classroom Management

Sat., Sept. 24 • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. • 6 clock hours
(CORE/REQUIRED)

This seminar explores why good classroom management can be challenging and will focus on basic behavior principles and positive behavior interventions. Participants will learn classroom management strategies and techniques, including the CHAMPS model of positive behavior supports from Safe and Civil Schools as well as the STOIC framework and how it applies to classroom and behavior management. Participants will develop their own classroom management plan.

Intro to Working with Students with Disabilities

Sat., Oct. 22 • 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. • 3 clock hours

This seminar will focus on the fundamental knowledge and skills required for all educators to recognize and support students with disabilities and other learning challenges. Focus will be on understanding the impact disabilities have on student learning and the ways special education professionals provide support and developmental encouragement. The seminar will explore specially designed instruction in general education settings, as well as supports, instructional approaches, collaboration with other professionals, and processes related to classification and documentation for supportive education.

Intro to Working with EL Students

Sat., Oct. 22 • 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. • 3 clock hours

This seminar will provide an overview of the fundamental knowledge and skills required for all educators to recognize and support students who are learning English. A key focus will be understanding the challenges faced by students who are learning English and identifying instructional strategies to support English language development and content mastery. The seminar will describe many ways ELL professionals provide support and developmental encouragement for language learners, as well as strategies for educators in other specializations to work with ELL colleagues to support and encourage students.

Culturally Responsive Teaching Part 2

Sat., Jan. 7 • 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. • 3 clock hours
(CORE/REQUIRED)

This seminar is a continuation of the Culturally Responsive Teaching Part 1 seminar. This seminar will help participants be more reflective of the ways that their identities shape their perspectives as they interact with and perceive their students and school systems. Participants will reflect on the ways that schooling can be an unwelcoming space for students who have been marginalized due to their race, gender, class, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. The seminar will encourage participants to reflect on their privileges and biases and to challenge the assumptions that they may have about marginalized students. Finally, participants will create an action plan where they are critically analyzing the ways that their classroom behaviors, instruction, and curriculum can be transformed to create a more inclusive space for students who hold different identities.

Creating an Inclusive Classroom

Sat., Feb. 25 • 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. • 3 clock hours

Participants will develop an understanding of diffusion of innovation and systems change. Participants will consider the stages of implementation science and where their school/district teams are in implementing inclusive practices. Identifying system drivers will help participants understand how they, as educational leaders, can champion change in meaningful ways.

Behavior Management

Sat., Apr. 22 • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. • 6 clock hours

This seminar will focus on the current learning and challenges in behavior management, including the impact of trauma on student behavior. Focus will be on the basic functions and strategies of behavior management as well as the escalation and de-escalation crisis cycle. Participants will learn the functions of behavior, as well as strategies and techniques for working with students exhibiting challenging behaviors.

Leading Paraeducators

Sat., May 20 • 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. • 3 clock hours

This seminar explores how paraeducators can be amazing assets and partners in the classroom for teachers. Focus will be on understanding the role and responsibilities of paraeducators and how they are different from the role and responsibilities of a teacher. Participants will learn about the paraeducator standards of practice, as well as methods and strategies for supervising and leading paraeducators.

HOW TO APPLY

APPLICATION PRIORITY DEADLINE IS JULY 31, 2022!

For the upcoming 22-23 cohort, only individuals within the ESD 112 service region will be eligible for PEP.

To apply for PEP, individuals must complete one of the online applications below, and should select the appropriate application based on whether they have completed a Bachelor’s degree. Program staff will follow-up within 1-2 weeks after the application has been submitted regarding application status, how to register for seminars, and next steps for participation.

Refer to the Paraeducator & Explorer Program Application Checklist for more details and instructions regarding the program and application items: PEPChecklist.pdf

Apply With a Degree

Application documents required for individuals with a bachelor’s degree:

  • If currently working in a district, the letter should be completed by a supervisor or HR staff.
  • If not currently working in a district, the letter should be completed by a ‘sponsor’, who may be one of the following: a building leader or HR representative from a school in the ESD 112 region, an ESD 112 staff member working with educational programs, or a member from a community organization that supports diversity, equity and inclusion in professional roles.

For highest completed degree from an accredited institution. If you have multiple degrees, the highest completed degree transcript should reference other completed degrees. If it does not, please provide unofficial transcripts for other completed degrees. Note: ESD-U does not have access to transcripts on file with district HR.

APPLY WITH A BACHELOR’S DEGREE
Apply without a degree

Application documents required for individuals without a bachelor’s degree:

  • If currently working in a district, the letter should be completed by a supervisor or HR staff.
  • If not currently working in a district, the letter should be completed by a ‘sponsor’, who may be one of the following: a building leader or HR representative from a school in the ESD 112 region, an ESD 112 staff member working with educational programs, or a member from a community organization that supports diversity, equity and inclusion in professional roles.

Describe your interest in being an educator and working with students. If applicable, describe your plan for completing a bachelor’s degree in order to fulfill state requirements for teacher certification.

APPLY WITHOUT A BACHELOR’S DEGREE

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