Teacher Professional Development
Professional development that fits like a glove
Unique solutions for every school
Support your staff with customized professional development that focuses on the goals and challenges unique to your school.
On-Site Professional Development Training
In-person support from a Smekens consultant provides teachers with confidence and inspiration to make best-practice instruction a reality.
Live Virtual Teacher Training
Customized professional development to address your specific goals, our live virtual training fits your schedule and provides support for your emerging needs in reading and writing.
After teachers learn about effective mini-lessons, invite a Smekens consultant into the classroom to model a lesson and debrief with teachers afterwards.
ON-SITE TRAINING FOR TEACHERS
Empower every teacher with best-practice strategies for teaching reading and writing.
Focus on your school’s specific goals in reading and/or writing.
Equip every teacher with practical, ready-to-use strategies.
Ask questions, clarify understanding, and troubleshoot problems.
LIVE VIRTUAL TRAINING FOR TEACHERS
Make your budget go further with transformative professional learning that doesn’t involve travel expenses.
Provide high-energy, engaging PD for the whole staff.
Offer job-embedded learning in a convenient format.
Reallocate travel expenses to more pertinent priorities.
Foster collegiality by growing as a learning community.
Watch a Smekens literacy consultant deliver a focused and engaging reading or writing mini-lesson with your own students.
View a four-step mini-lesson.
Engage in a post-observation “debriefing.”
Involve the entire staff in lesson observations.
Emphasize the value of lessons that are fun and engaging.
How to plan customized
professional development for teachers
Contact us to discuss your specific needs and receive a custom proposal.
Secure dates on the calendar and start planning the details with your Smekens consultant.
Participate in customized professional development that is practical and engaging!
What educators say
“When we can get everybody on the same page…they see value in that.”
Tara Bush, Principal
Olive Township Elementary – New Carlisle, IN
“Your trainers are top experts—they know their stuff! That’s very important.”
Nakia Nicholson, Deputy Chief of Leadership Development
Susan Wardell, Principal
Holland Township School – Milford, NJ
Our training topics
Six Traits of Writing
6 Benefits of customized on-site professional development
Every staff has a unique blend of talents and challenges. When you provide customized professional development for teachers with Smekens Education, teachers benefit from strategies and guidance designed just for them.
The entire staff gets involved in achieving your school’s goals in reading and/or writing.
Every teacher is equipped with practical strategies that can be used right away.
Progress happens faster when everyone is working from the same playbook.
Teachers get to ask questions, clarify understanding, and troubleshoot problems.
Job-embedded training and support helps teachers learn in context.
When teachers learn together, teamwork and collegiality become the norm.
How much does customized school PD cost?
When a Smekens consultant spends a day with your school leading customized professional development for teachers, the costs vary according to these variables:
Most Smekens consultants have a base rate of $2,500 per day. Higher rates apply when extra days are required for travel.
On-site travel expenses are established in advance. They may include mileage, lodging, airfare, baggage, ground transportation, and parking.
For no additional cost, a customized handout is delivered to the school contact as a PDF file in advance of the training.
Are we the right PD fit for you?
Typical PD provider approach
Experts tell teachers what they are supposed to do but don’t explain how to do it.
Down-to-earth consultants share simple and effective ways to make change happen in the classroom.
All professional learning is tied together by a core set of vocabulary and strategies that are applied K-12.
You have to purchase an expensive program and resources that accompany the training.
Energy, enthusiasm, and best-practice strategies are delivered without the obligation to buy more.
During on-site professional development, the expert delivers a canned presentation.
Every on-site or virtual consultation is customized to address the unique needs of your school.
How will working with Smekens help?
Teachers will gain confidence and clarity so they can apply new ideas.
Best-practice instructional techniques will result in higher achievement.
A shared language for teaching reading and writing will bolster implementation.
Teachers and students will be more engaged in teaching and learning.
Standards-driven instruction will prepare students for state assessments.
Teachers will have the tools and resources to implement what they learn.
Meet our school consulting team
Top questions about customized school PD
How do we schedule customized school PD?
Booking a Smekens consultant starts with an email or phone call to Brady Smekens, Director of Professional Development. Brady will spend time visiting with an instructional leader (often an administrator) to learn more about your instructional challenges and professional development goals. Then, Brady will identify the best-qualified consultant to support your teachers and find dates on the calendar that work for everyone.
How far in advance should we schedule customized school PD?
Occasionally, we can fill a last-minute professional development need, but in most situations, we are scheduling our consultants to lead customized school PD 6-18 months in advance. This is especially true if you are embarking on a bigger initiative that requires several, carefully-scheduled sessions.
What happens after dates are secured?
After a school has secured dates to provide customized school PD, the Smekens team then drafts a contract that outlines the details, such as start/end times, itinerary, topics, etc. Once the contract is complete, the school contact person and the Smekens literacy consultant will work closely to plan for a powerful experience.
What materials are required?
Smekens deals in best-practice teaching strategies—not in boxed curriculums. For this reason, on-site consultations never require the purchase of any specific resources. Occasionally, we recommend resources to assist teachers with implementation, but it is never required.
How should we plan our time with the consultant?
We want to help you maximize the time with your Smekens consultant so that you can capture the most value for your investment. With that in mind, the day could include a full-day session with the entire staff, two half-day sessions with different groups, 60-90-minute grade-level rotations, before or after-school meetings, or whatever other option we can schedule in a typical school day.
Do you offer half-day sessions?
We are happy to lead a half-day professional development for teachers. However, we still have to charge the full-day rate due to the fact that we’ve dedicated the entire day to supporting your school. That said, there are lots of ways that we can impact teachers during the other half of the day, too, such as mini-lesson modeling, administrative planning, and so on.
What is mini-lesson modeling?
After we’ve taught educators about best-practice mini-lesson strategies in reading and writing, our consultants welcome the opportunity to model those same strategies in your classrooms. Known as mini-lesson modeling, this professional learning involves small teams of teachers watching as the consultant delivers a 10-15 minute mini-lesson with real kids. The mini-lesson model includes a consultant-led discussion before and after the lesson to pre-load and then debrief. Teachers love seeing how strategies come to life with their own students!
Will you do classroom observations?
There’s a lot that can be gained when an outside consultant conducts classroom observations and offers feedback. And while our consultants can perform this role, we prefer to postpone this type of support until several on-site visits have been made to your school. It’s important that we have built a solid trust among teachers so that observations will result in helpful coaching from the consultant, not critical evaluation.
When do we pay for our professional development?
We are happy to send a bill in advance, but, typically, we generate an invoice for on-site professional development on the day the consultation occurs. Schools and districts then have 30 days to submit payment by check. Credit card payments are not accepted for on-site consultations.
How do we get funding for customized on-site consulting?
Schools use a variety of funding sources to pay for consulting from Smekens. Some of the more common funding sources include the general fund, Title I, Title II-A, private foundation grants, community organizations, parent groups, and more.
What is the cancellation policy?
After a date is officially secured to provide professional development, the Smekens team will draft a contract that outlines all the details. Once the contract has been signed by both parties, there is mutual agreement that the contract will not be cancelled. However, in the rare occasion that a cancellation is necessary, notification of the cancellation must occur 90 days prior to the scheduled consultation. Cancellations occurring within 90 days of the scheduled consultation may still result in full financial commitment unless Smekens is able to book the date with another school.