Workshop 1: Creating Classrooms Where Teachers Can Teach and Students Can Learn

Led by Vickie Gill
1-day workshop

Program Overview:
Classroom management is one of the greatest challenges teachers face, and it is surely the Achilles’ heel of most new teachers. We can enter the classroom armed with creative lesson plans and a sincere desire to inspire our students only to be horrified as a few troublemakers disrupt our lessons and dominate our time and attention.

In this workshop, we will examine effective classroom management techniques.   We will identify common discipline problems and learn how to prevent disruptions before they occur. We will discuss situations in which teachers actually create their own problems by the way they respond to their students. Participants will leave the workshop with ideas for a specific classroom management plan that will reduce the amount of time they spend on dealing with disruptive behavior.

Program Benefits:
-Practice identifying students’ needs and motivations by becoming familiar with student “archetypes”
-Learn to anticipate and prepare for disruptive behavior
-Generate ideas for setting up an effective, positive system for managing student behavior
-Understand how to shift the “balance of power” in the school’s hierarchy to create a positive, productive teaching environment
-Generate ideas for transferring behavior management from “teacher control” to “self-control”

Workshop 2: The Art of Teaching

Led by Vickie Gill
1-day workshop

Program Overview:
A student who has the courage to ask, “Why do we have to learn this stuff?” will often be considered a troublemaker by his/her teacher, but in truth, that student should be complimented for showing so much interest in his or her own education.  All teachers should have an authentic answer to that question before they ever stand in front of a classroom.

When planning a course curriculum, most teachers begin with the list of skills the students are expected to master at a specific grade level.  These can be found in the teacher’s edition of the textbook or listed as “standards” on the state Department of Education website.   For some teachers, this can feel like trying to create an enduring work of art with a “paint by numbers” kit.  Teachers do not always have a great deal of control in choosing what to teach, but finding a way to communicate the importance and usefulness of what they teach is key to their success.

In this workshop, participants will identify the “Big Questions” that their students will attempt to answer during the school year:  “Why read?” ~ “Why write?” ~ “How do I locate what I need to know?” ~ “What do I need to know to accomplish my personal goals?”.   By starting with The Big Picture, the teachers develop units and lessons that will motivate their students to master the specific skills they will need as they prepare for the future.

Program Benefits:
-Understanding how to “sell” your curriculum
-Finding an answer to the common question:  “Why do we have to learn this?”
-Creating a link between creativity and academic rigor in the classroom
-Using inspiration to generate perspiration (motivating students to increase their effort by connecting the course objectives to their personal goals)
-Helping administrators, teachers, students, and parents visualize the Big Picture to make sure everyone clearly understands the common goals.

About the Presenter

Vickie Gill is the author of The Eleven Commandments of Good Teaching, The Ten Commandments of Professionalism for Teachers, and The Ten Students You’ll Meet in Your Classroom, all published by Corwin Press.  She has taught English, Remedial Reading, and Journalism in high schools in Central California and Tennessee for the past 30 years.  Vickie has won numerous teaching awards and was a finalist for Tennessee State Teacher of the Year in 2000.  Over her career, Vickie has specialized in working with junior high and high school students who struggle with reading and writing, as well as with students who have been labeled as “behavior problems” or “at risk.”  She is currently working as a consultant for public charter schools in Central California.

Who Should Attend

Teachers, academic staff, administrators, and parents home-schooling their kids.


“This workshop has been inspiring for me.  Vickie is a terrific mentor for teachers and administrators.”
-Amy Geriak, Teacher/Librarian
Los Olivos, California

“Enjoyable and full of down-to-earth, practical advice.  As a veteran teacher, I found the message of ‘focusing on the students and their needs’ to be inspirational.”
-Julie Scott, Teacher
Carlsbad, California

“Vickie combines a positive, encouraging outlook on teaching with descriptions of difficult student situations and practical suggestions.  Her workshop is guaranteed to make your enthusiasm for teaching soar!”
-Barbara Norton, Teacher
Fremont, California
“Vickie Gill has the uncanny ability to inspire and get the best out of just about any kind of student. She makes it about every individual kid, and the results are remarkable. Her insights should prove invaluable for any teacher wanting to improve his or her craft.”
-Mark Terry, Parent of Former Student
Santa Ynez, California

“With a manner that is wise and accessible and not without humor, Vickie Gill demystifies classroom management, offers tangible tips and advice, and helps reignite the joy and passion of teaching.”
-Cynthia Carbone Ward, Retired Teacher
Goleta, California