Professional Development and Consulting

Since 1973, AMLE has been a trusted professional learning resource for educators. Just like every school community is different, so are your professional development needs. AMLE can help design an innovative and unique program, aligned with middle grades best practice, that’s right for your team and provide the ongoing coaching to ensure that your professional learning is long term, job embedded, and relevant.  Every educator should have access to high-quality professional development, no matter the size of your team or budget. Connect with AMLE today to see how we can help your team reach every student, grow professionally, and create a great school.

Online Courses

The Successful Middle School Online Course Series

Learners will explore the characteristics of young adolescents and the characteristics of a successful middle school through 21 self-paced, interactive virtual modules. Participants earn 5 contact hours upon completion of the series.

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Book Study

The Successful Middle School Facilitated Book Study

An AMLE coach will lead your team through a book study of The Successful Middle School: This We Believe, or another one of AMLE’s seminal texts. Synchronous and asynchronous versions are available.

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Successful Middle School Assessment

The Successful Middle School Assessment

The self-assessment experience includes coaching throughout and a comprehensive report to help staff visualize a baseline of their implementation of middle grades best practices and includes recommendations for next steps.

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Schools of Distinction

AMLE Schools of Distinction

A recognition and continuous improvement program open to any school that educates students aged 10-15. Schools will be celebrated for their commitment to the middle grades best practices outlined in AMLE’s foundational text, The Successful Middle School: This We Believe, while also being guided through a process of self-assessment and strategic vision setting to help foster ongoing growth and success.

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Professional Development Workshops with AMLE

Bring AMLE to your school! Our in-house team, led by Director of Middle Level Programs and veteran middle grades educator Katie Powell, will design and execute a professional development event tailored to your school and conducted over your identified time frame (one day, one week, across a series of staff meetings, quarterly, or a year-long program). We believe that professional learning should be long term, job embedded, and relevant and our team stays available to meet with your team to check in on your progress after your event and provide ongoing recommendations.

Young Adolescent Development

YAD is the heartbeat of middle school, the why behind what we do—and don't do. However, many educators find themselves in middle grades positions without a strong background in young adolescent development, and sometimes our developmental responsiveness gets dulled under the weight of the countless decisions we make and obstacles we face in any given day. In this engaging session, we lay a foundational understanding of young adolescent development and explore the implications for teaching, classroom management and discipline, and school culture.

Fostering a Positive Brain State for Learning

We may have planned a highly-engaging lesson that spans bell-to-bell with expert strategies, but if our students enter our classrooms emotionally escalated—or practically asleep—they're not likely to learn much of anything. Leveraging educational neuroscience, we'll equip teachers with practical steps they can take to foster a positive brain state for learning so students are ready to receive that expert instruction.

Student Motivation

Let's face it—not every student shows up to class eager to learn. Sometimes we see far more compliance than engagement...and sometimes, we don't even get that. When students aren't eager to learn—or downright refuse to even start—it can feel out of our hands. But there's hope! Learn some of the common root causes of motivation issues and practical steps you can take to start to shift the tide toward participation—and even true engagement.

Supporting SEL in the Classroom

SEL isn't a curriculum or a lesson we teach once a week. It weaves in and out of every aspect of school. Learn ways to support SEL in the classroom in authentic, practical ways without sacrificing instructional time.

A Middle Grades Primer

Do you find yourself working with middle schoolers but don't have a background as an educator? Maybe you are a mentor, run an after-school program, provide career education, or run a club. This session provides an overview of the nature of middle grades learners and strategies for building impactful relationships, planning engaging instruction, and navigating challenging behaviors.

Advisory 101 and 201

Need help starting an advisory program from the ground up? Have an advisory program that needs a little work? We can help! Rather than prescribing a one-size-fits-all approach to advisory, we support your team with information, research, examples, and provocative questioning so you can make informed decisions to develop an advisory program that fits your needs. From duration and frequency to content and delivery, training of advisors and troubleshooting, we can craft a supportive experience just for you.

Interdisciplinary Teaming

The structure of interdisciplinary teaming is a hallmark of the middle school concept. That may mean looking at the master schedule and staffing needs, ensuring that students are grouped together with the same teachers and that those teachers have planning time together. But developing a master schedule that affords common planning time for teams of teachers is just part of the story. Once teachers have that time together, what do they do with it? How can teaming create true learning communities within your school? We will work with you to meet you where you are and help you advance toward truly student-centered, productive interdisciplinary teams.

Scheduling

Does your master schedule limit your vision? Or does your vision drive your schedule? Many of the hallmark practices of the middle school concept require time within the schedule. Our team can work with you to re-evaluate your values and schedule and develop a master schedule that allows your school to fully execute your vision and values.

Student Choice and Agency

Middle school students are discovering who they are and how they navigate the world, and that includes how they function in our classrooms. Rather than being passive recipients of information, middle school students should be at the center of their learning experiences. But when we start talking about increasing student choice and agency, we have some concerns: How do we satisfy the demands of the curriculum and the pacing guide? Are we talking about creating an individual lesson plan for every student? And what happens when a student just wants us to tell them what to do? Unpack these challenges and come away empowered with real steps you can take, within your own teaching style and comfort zone, to start engaging students today.

Developmentally Responsive Discipline

One of the most common challenges for middle grades staff is discipline. We know relationships are essential in the middle school world, but how do we handle student behavior without damaging those relationships? How do we empower staff with real steps they can take to not just smooth over issues, but actually address them at their root? By starting with the lens of young adolescent development and growing our understanding of behavior and discipline from there, we're able to de-mystify middle school behavior and empower teachers to take action that addresses these behaviors, strengthens relationships, and improves school culture.

Boredom Busters: Transform Worksheets, Lectures, and Grading into Engaging Learning Experiences

Sometimes we have the perfect activity to support a lesson. And sometimes...we don't. What do we do when our lesson plan just reads, "page 147"? Boredom Busters are low- or no-prep activities that transform our ordinary worksheets and lectures into novel, exciting, engaging learning experiences, perfect for any grade level or content area. Curious? Your students will be too. And they'll want to come back for more tomorrow.

Frustration Busters: Unpacking and Responding to Classroom Management Frustrations

Feeling frustrated? The steady drip of forgotten pencils, classroom disruptions, and circumstances beyond our control can chip away at our resolve, creating a chasm between our love of teaching and our ability to continue happily in our chosen profession. Even more, frustrated teachers pass their stress on to students, who can experience academic losses and instability from high teacher turnover. Frustration Busters help teachers identify the source of frustrations, learn how to tackle them when they arise, and implement practical ideas that will help prevent them from occurring in the first place.