CLAS Staff Professional Development

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EngagingHow to Make Your Teaching More Engaging

This guide is for anyone who wants to introduce energy or enthusiasm to their classrooms using methods that have been tried — and found true — through research and in classrooms.

This guide shares The 4 Principles of Engagement and a “how to do it” section for each principle.  Below is a summary for reference.  

The 4 Principles of Engagement

  • Principle No. 1: Cognitive Resources Are Limited. Emotion Trumps.
    How to Do It: Chunk your class up into smaller time periods. (20-25 minutes each!)
  • Principle No. 2: Your Persona and Performance Matter, Like It or Not
    How to Do It: Observe yourself in action, or get someone else to.  (Peer to peer observations!)
  • Principle No. 3: We Are Intensely Social Creatures, Motivated by Community
    How to Do It: Learn their names. (Use Learning Communities!)
  • Principle No. 4: Stories Are Our ‘Most Natural Form of Thought’
    How To Do It: Share your own stories. (Success and failures!)

How to Make Your Teaching More Engaging - ADVICE GUIDE

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Inclusive Teaching


Inclusive Teaching is one of the core values at CLAS.  It is created by having highly structured activities and lesson plans. (Workshop and examples to follow.)


Inclusive teaching is not introducing current events or “diversity issues”, it is about creating an environment and providing a structure that “helps students feel included and ready to thrive.”

StructureInclusive Teaching

Without structure in any situation, you leave it up to chance whether your goals are accomplished. For example, say you threw a party to bring together your single friends. They are far more likely to meet a variety of people if you plan icebreakers and activities (high structure) than if you simply provide space and time for the event (low structure). The same is true of learning: More structure means more students will engage and learn from you and their peers.”

The following article on inclusive teaching is an easy read and will provide a common starting point for further conversations on this topic.  A professional development workshop on this topic will be announced shortly.