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In District – Professional Development

In District – Professional Development



TCNJ Faculty are available to provide professional development workshops virtually, at your school, or in a hybrid format. Workshops can vary from two to six hours and may span more than one day. Fees, which include participant materials, are based on number of hours, number of participants and the content. All professional development currently offered can be provided at your school or location. Also – lick on each content area below to learn about some of our previous workshops. Can’t find what you are looking for? We are happy to work with you to develop workshops in all content areas. Contact us at, 609-771-2540

Science and Math

Student – Centered Learning: What does student-centered learning in mathematics look like?
This workshop will seek to answer this question with examples at the middle school and high school levels. Problem-based lessons at these grade levels will be discussed and resources will be provided.

Using algebra tiles and other manipulatives to teach algebraic concepts 
Participants will learn how to use algebra tiles to model concepts such as integer operations, arithmetic on polynomials, factoring of polynomials, and solving equations, with connections to other topics. We will discuss reasons for using manipulatives or other concrete materials to teach fundamental algebraic concepts. There will be discussion and hands-on participation throughout the workshop. Grade levels: middle school or high school

Teaching Science Through Issues to Increase Engagement, Meet the NGSS, and Prepare Citizens
Science plays a critical role in society, providing us with the knowledge we need to understand the universe and to better our lives. All persons, not just practicing scientists, need a great science education, and this education must provide students with the ability to use science in their everyday lives, a necessity made crystal-clear by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the importance of science to all, many students are less than enthusiastic about their science courses. Participants will explore how teaching science through personal and current societal issues increases student interest in science, while simultaneously meeting the NGSS and creating citizens capable of applying high-quality scientific information to address these issues. Participants will develop an issue and a module based on that issue that they can implement in their courses.

English Language Arts

The Power of Story
In Minds Made for Stories, author and educator Tom Newkirk argues that narrative is “the deep structure of all good writing” (19). Although many K-12 standards, including the NJ ELA standards and the CCSS, distinguish between narrative and informational text as well as narrative, informational, and argumentative writing, Newkirk troubles these categories, asserting they are not as clear cut as they might seem. We instinctively use story “to inform, to persuade, to entertain, to express” (6); we use story to make sense of the world and our own place in it. Narrative is “a property of mind, an innate and indispensable form of understanding” (34). We will explore the power of story in the texts we read, write, and teach.

Teaching Drama Without Fear
Drama is a genre particularly well-suited to classroom study and yet often neglected. Drama is a communal genre – written to come to life through a company of performers and artists and to be played before a crowd of patrons. Unlike the novel, which is written to be privately appreciated, drama lends itself to classroom study and exploration. This program is designed to increase teachers’ confidence and resources in reading, analyzing, teaching, and critiquing drama from the Western tradition.

Teaching Poetry Without Fear
Attendees will develop greater confidence teaching poetry; understand and appreciate poetic texts as literature;
expand their own critical repertoire and be able to deploy that expanded critical toolkit in designing and delivering material to their students; participate in a community of teachers that promotes curiosity and inquiry and that offers mentorship from experts in poetry, the English language, and pedagogy.

Diversity and Inclusion

Teaching LGBTQIA* Literature in Secondary School
We will examine how teachers might invest secondary English classrooms with LGBTQ literature as well as methods for teaching it. Seminar participants will read two middle grade novels with LGBTQ content, Ashley Herring Blake’s Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World and Kacen Callender’s King and the Dragonflies, as well as excerpts from other texts (fiction and nonfiction) written for children and teens. Using seminal concepts from gender and queer theory as close-reading lenses, participants will investigate how theory is experienced – as embodied, lived, and real – in the lives of the characters in these books. Participants will also explore how to make these concepts accessible to secondary students by examining models of curriculum with LGBTQ content currently in place in local schools. Approaches relevant to whole class novel, book club, or reading/writing workshop models of instruction will be discussed.

Beyond the Book: Critical Inquiry & Rigor in English Language Arts Classrooms (grades 6-12) 
This workshop introduces middle and high school teachers to strategies for increasing rigor and critical analysis of texts. Presenters will model hands-on strategies that foster classroom discussions, and inquiry as springboards into close analysis of social issues beyond the text. Presenters will introduce participants to ready-to use frameworks for analyzing texts. Then participants will apply these protocols to a wide range of traditional and nontraditional texts. Throughout the workshop, emphasis will be placed on motivation, engagement, access, and creating inclusive classrooms where all students can actively participate. The presenters will model a wide range of strategies that differentiate for diverse learners while maintaining high expectations and rigor.

Using Culturally Responsive Pedagogy to Create Engaging Classrooms: Strategies for Supporting All Learners
Classrooms today are more diverse that every before. Consequently, educators seek strategies for creating inclusive learning environments that support the multidimensional needs of all learners. This workshop allows participants to explore how Culturally Responsive Pedagogy can be used as a framework for creating classrooms that engage all students and promote culturally sustaining practices. Presenters will identify techniques for differentiating and adapting traditional instructional practices to allow diverse learners access to the curriculum.

Creating Affirming and Inclusive Educational Environments
This four hour intensive will examine how teachers can break through bias and provide an appropriate curriculum aligned with the new laws, while supporting all students who are still grappling with understanding and embracing the uncertainty in education. By the end of this workshop you will have learned to :

  • Break Binaries and Bias
  • Create Equitable Classrooms and Lesson Plans
  • Customize your LGBTQ Content Curriculum
  • How to best support LGBTQ youth throughout the school year.

Your Role In Supporting LGBTQ+ youth
I. Understanding the Impact/Need for Support
II. Terminology, Is It Important?
III. Creating a Safe and Welcoming Environment
a. Individual Support
b. Group Support
c. School/District level Support
IV. Additional Resources for Supporting Youth
Your Role In Supporting LGBTQ+ youth is available for in district professional development.


Multi Language Learners

Bilingualism & Disabilities: Critical Steps to Differentiate Both
The proper assessment of multilingual populations for disabilities has been a concern among professionals in K-12 settings. This session will explore steps that professionals should consider to prevent the misidentification of these learners for special needs. The presenter will engage participants in reflection and in high levels of participation. Grade Levels: K-12

Strategies to Detect & Correct Misclassification of Multilingual Learners
Detecting whether a multilingual learner has a legitimate disability is a layered and complex task. It requires collaborative efforts and examination of a variety of factors so that appropriate decisions can be made to meet the unique characteristics and needs of multilingual learners. Participants will engage in interactive and collaborative activities as they explore critical information to properly identify and support multilingual learners with disabilities.

Please contact me about In – District Professional Development by TCNJ 


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