Professional Development in Education Reimagined, Relevant & Fun

2018-08-31 Woodstock - Expert Advice-3Teachers teach for the love of learning. And nothing fills their buckets quite like sharing that love with young people. It’s undoubtedly the reason I became a teacher and, eventually, an instructional coach. But these days, we all know how challenging the profession has become. From pandemic chaos and extra demands to whiplash-level pivots and student disengagement, we’re starting to see an uptick in teacher burnout and an exodus from the profession altogether. 

Right now, teachers need support and a reason to love what they do again. They don’t need professional development that feels like a chore. So what if you could engage teachers in professional development (PD) that isn’t a burden, but instead is refreshing and inspires teachers to fall in love with learning again.  All this, while they learn strategies to benefit students with critical skills? What if we told you that a professional development program was developed with this in mind and already exists? 


Entrepreneurship Training for Teachers of Any Discipline

2022.EAC.collierThe Entrepreneurship Across the Curriculum workshop series (EAC) is a unique opportunity for educators to enhance their entrepreneurship skills by learning tools and methodologies that can be embedded into any course. For example, Family and Consumer Sciences teachers in Naperville, Illinois, used what they learned at EAC to level up an already-amazing food truck project at their school. Students used the creative brainstorming strategies that their teachers learned at EAC to get their creative juices flowing, then used the Idea Model Canvas (a spin on the Business Model Canvas used by real-world entrepreneurs) to future-plan for their truck.


Why is Entrepreneurship Important?

Entrepreneurs span ages and industries, but they share a certain set of skills. Problem-solving, collaboration, and resilience are important skills needed for any and all CTE and post-secondary paths. Through entrepreneurship, students learn to chart their own path, which we know encourages purposeful learning and empowers learner agency. For teachers, it’s like looking at curriculum through a new lens, seeing tools and methodologies they can immediately apply. 


Professional Development for Educators, by Educators

When it comes to Professional Development for Teachers, we all know most teachers either enjoy it and engage with it… or simply endure it. This PD is different. 


Relevant & Empowering Exercises

Teachers’ number one goal is always student engagement and growth, so they need to see immediately how they can apply their learnings to reach this goal. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset helps educators like Nicky Mullenix, a F.A.C.S. teacher at Madison Junior High School in Naperville, find exciting ways to blend new learnings with the tried-and-true techniques they’ve used to form student bonds for years. “You can find a way to use these tools the very next day in every aspect of your curriculum,” Mullenix says. 



Teachers are professionals who know their craft and content, so professional learning opportunities should inspire and empower them to level up. We want teachers to walk away from professional development ready to infuse new strategies into their work because they’ve seen and experienced firsthand how those experiences to help serve and engage their students. 

“Everything we’ve seen in this workshop we can envision in the classroom, during instruction, in our students’ hands.” 

~Adam Schmitt, Madison Junior High’s Learning Support Coach

Learning by Doing

If you want the content and strategies of your professional learning to take root in classrooms, teachers need to experience what students experience and discover for themselves that it’s worthy of dedicated class time. Learning by doing is a cornerstone of the EAC workshop because it’s a cornerstone of all student entrepreneurship programs at Uncharted Learning.


By participating in creative brainstorming exercises, teachers learn that creativity is a skill to be practiced and sharpened. By rehearsing and pitching their own elevator pitch to the cohort, teachers feel the butterflies build up beforehand and the sense of accomplishment that comes after. By taking part in energizer activities and get-to-know-you exercises, they begin to feel the sense of safety required to take risks and collaborate with others. At every turn, they are reminded why it’s so important to make activities like these a daily staple in their classrooms.

EAC gives teachers the opportunity to be the student for a change—and experience how entrepreneurship skills and strategies can support their creative thinking, empathetic problem-solving, and more. Then, they have time to reflect with their colleagues and consider how they might implement instructional strategies that best suit their students and their objectives. EAC is structured to allow the cohort to come together up to three times, and teachers are encouraged to experiment between sessions and reflect with the cohort each time they meet.


Collaborating & Making Connections

2021.Naperville.D203.7 (1)This isn’t your run-of-the-mill teacher workshop or conference. It’s more than asking teachers to meet in small groups or breakout sessions. This professional development experience enables teachers to form connections with one another, so they can learn new approaches, gain new insights, and share new ideas—even after the training session ends.

Our team of facilitators will work with your district to identify the initiatives and values you’re working to advance through professional learning. EAC workshop is designed to be dynamic and engaging for educators and even administrators, to ignite true cross-district collaboration, and to infuse new energy and lasting bonds into their relationships. 


6 Reasons to Explore This Professional Development for Teachers


We are currently facing a crisis in teacher retention. To re-engage teachers and re-ignite their love of learning, administrators, district professional learning administrators, and instructional coaches need to begin building a culture of support and collaboration—starting with professional development training that opens up new ideas for instruction, goodwill, and motivation.

Explore the EAC Professional Development if:

  1. You want to build a culture of connection and innovation in your school or district
  2. You seek training that energizes and inspires teachers
  3. You desire high levels of student engagement and development of real-world skills
  4. You recognize the benefits of entrepreneurial skills and you want to make them accessible to all students—not just those in entrepreneurship courses
  5. Or, you don’t have a standalone entrepreneurship course and you want to find out where entrepreneurship fits in your district 
  6. You desire a PD experience that aligns with the goals of the district

As you plan for the next school year, think about how you’ll energize your staff. How can you help build a bubble of support around teachers? How can you empower them to help students learn future-ready skills and learner agency? Consider professional learning that accomplishes all of this and more. At Naperville Community Unit School, it’s already made a difference:

“What excites me is hearing teachers say, ‘I’m teaching in a different way and it’s bringing joy back to my teaching.’”

~Janet Sommerville, Project Manager for Learner Services, Naperville Community School District


Entrepreneurship Workshop Series for Educators Get the Workshop Overview & Sample Toolkit