professional development

Teacher-Paraprofessional Collaboration & Supervision

Using the three types of interactions missing from observation tools designed for general education classrooms (Teacher-Paraeducator Interactions, Accommodations, and Prevention) RELATE provides insight into levers for change.


Our Professional Development Approach (PDA) starts with teachers using the RELATE Tool to self-assess theír relationships with paraeducators and students. Through online webinars and in-person workshops, RELATE builds on the tool to inform the development, training, and evaluation of collaborative relationships among teachers and paraeducators in special education classrooms.


Districts from around the country are presently integrating the RELATE Tool into team-based professional development. 

Image by Brooke Cagle
professional development

Adult SEL

The key to supporting student availability to learn is to promote teacher availability to teach.

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is essential to success in teaching and learning, and includes evidence-based strategies for how to care for the self, and how to manage one’s emotions, and how to cultivate relationships that are healthy for self and others.


Unlike most existing interventions for student populations which focus on teachers often focuses solely on instructional and curricular issues and overlooks the social dimensions of learning which are critical to teacher and student success, our professional development series knits together the academic and social dimensions of schooling and identifies, intervenes, and improves upon the SEL needs of teachers so that they can meet their own needs as well as those of their students.


Through online assessment, webinars, and in-person workshops, RELATE improves the psychosocial health and well-being of educators. Districts from around the country are presently integrating the RELATE Educator Well-being Series into their professional development offerings. 


Dr. Barnes has created a weekly podcast to expand on the professional development offerings and offer educators, parents, and caregivers weekly support with well-being and self-care.

professional development

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and SEL

As K-12 schools work to adopt, create, and modify their current SEL curricula, challenges with bridging research to practice must be considered. Among the challenges to address is ensuring that, like with academic content, social-emotional instruction is presented in a culturally-responsive manner to ensure that it incorporates the experiences of students who are not members of the country’s dominant culture.


Culturally responsive pedagogy serves as a vehicle to support educators in incorporating SEL instruction in ways that support equity and the inclusion of all students. We talk about these relationships herE.


Dr. Barnes and her research team at the University of Delaware have examined the needs of teachers in incorporating culturally responsive pedagogy in SEL instruction.  They have created a conceptual framework that describes the overlap between culturally responsive pedagogy and SEL and details strategies and examples of delivering SEL in a culturally responsive manner.

Classroom Lecture

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