8.18.2019

Dennis reunites with the country of Jordan!


Dennis was graciously invited to return to the country of Jordan to teach, train, and encourage educators, politicians, and royalty about the vital need to not only include students with special needs and learning needs in the classroom but to receive them with JOY. He spent weeks preparing and praying, trusting the Lord would guide the details of his presentations, his breakout activities, and his ability to encourage and support those who serve these students every day - and - those who have the power to affect lasting change.

When he arrived in Jordan, I asked him to describe the "what" and the "why" of his trip.
This was his response:
"The "what" is to assist in equipping teachers to serve ALL learners in the general education classroom. The "why" is found in Matthew 11:28-30 and Proverbs 31:8-9. 
'Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.' (Matthew 11)
'Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.' (Proverbs 31)

This school is among one of the few Christian schools in the country that is actively pursuing inclusive education for all students. As a result, by God's grace, they have been able to boldly share Christ to those who come in the door and tearfully and gratefully ask, "What motivates you to do this for these children?" 
Being in the midst of this harvest is not only inspiring but incredibly humbling. This group deflects praise to themselves and directs it to God. They are on the front lines everyday exercising their faith and loving on kids. The result? People coming to ask, "Why???"
Because God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, and He loves us and lives in us. That's why."

I LOVE this!

I also asked Dennis to send a description of his presentations. After reading them, I smiled. This is what my husband was made to do. Teach, encourage, and inspire! And he does it WELL! ♥

“I have the right to learn!” Looking Beyond Challenges into Strengths & Talents
The intended goal of every educator is student learning. However, without planning, teaching becomes like a long road trip minus a map, where one or two wrong turns can mean the difference between arriving at your destination or an unintended off-road experience. A crucial element in creating an effective learning experience must begin with knowing and planning for the students who will be in your class. This seminar will explore some of the key elements the instructor can do to prepare to teach ALL learners.

Mindful & Social Emotional Learning Strategies in the Inclusive Classroom
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions (CASEL.org). This interactive workshop will provide instructors with practical skills to effectively assist students in problem-solving, managing emotions, and communication. 

Foundational Practices and Strategies in the Inclusive Classroom
Best practices are consistently student-centered, cognitively appropriate, interactive, and are intentionally planned to serve all students well. This workshop is designed to reinforce foundational practices with interactive strategies that are essential to meeting the needs of all learners.

Made to Move: Strategies to Assist Students with ADHD
This seminar will equip educators to identify areas of student strength and share practical tools to assist students with ADHD with readily identified behavior issues and academic areas such as memory deficits, organization, and self-management.

Classroom Management - Refocusing on What Motivates Behavior: Peeling back the multiple layers of misbehavior in the classroom to cultivate an effective learning environment.
From time to time, many educators find themselves in a classroom where management appears impossible. Disruptions and relational dynamics seem to clash with good pedagogy and great intentions. This seminar will discuss student emotion, motivation and behavior, and tips for succeeding in the challenging classroom environment.

"Is this on the test?" Practical Strategies for Formal and Informal Assessment
Each day a student sits in class they have the potential to communicate a message to the instructor about their level of interest, distraction, or frustration. They also display their capacity for time on task, willingness to participate, and comprehension of the material being presented. To determine the effectiveness of instruction it is essential to measure student-learning outcomes. There are numerous means in which to collect evaluation data, however, it is important to note that multiple measures should be considered rather than a “one size fits all” strategy. This seminar will offer a variety of formal and informal techniques to check for student understanding.

The Power of Self-Reflection
How do you know your lesson was effective? Are the strategies you are using meeting the needs of students? Were the students engaged in the lesson?
Improvement begins with identifying and addressing the areas in which you are in need of growth. Self-reflection provides an opportunity to evaluate your performance in a timely manner to maximize your ability to serve all students. This seminar will introduce ways in which a teacher can practically improve performance within their grade level or subject area to more practically impact the lives of students. 

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