Van Andel Institute offers distance learning training for teachers

GRAND RAPIDS—Officials at the Van Andel Institute for Education in Grand Rapids announced the launch of a new series of virtual workshops to assist K–12 educators in the upcoming school year. The initiative includes three workshops designed to help teachers master distance learning, foster student engagement, and equip their students with social-emotional learning skills.

There is a charge of $15 for each workshop. Teachers can also register for all three workshops for $35, a discount of 22 percent over the regular price of all three.

The following workshops are now open for registration:

You Got This: Tips and Tricks for Crushing Distance Learning
Wednesday, Sept. 23
Distance learning is sure to be an essential part of the 2020–21 school year. This seminar will show teachers how to navigate a remote learning environment and share strategies for organization, management, communication, and connection. They’ll discover the best practices for high-tech, low-tech, or no-tech classrooms, with help from experienced educators and set their students on the road to productive inquiry.

Is Anybody with Me? Strategies for Engaging Students in Distance Learning
Wednesday, Oct. 7
How do teachers keep their students engaged over distance learning? What if students refuse to fully participate or show up at all? In this session, teachers will learn practical strategies and tools that will genuinely engage students in a remote learning setting. The Van Andel Institute’s experienced educators will share resources to help support the work educators are doing and create meaningful, authentic learning experiences that can work in a distance or blended learning environment.

Don’t SEL Them Short! Fostering Social and Emotional Learning Skills in the 2020–21 School Year
Wednesday, Oct. 21
The 2020-21 school year is ushering in a level of teacher and student stress unlike any other. Students will need well-developed social and emotional skills to successfully navigate not only these uncertain times, but also future relationships and challenges in college, career, and beyond. In this workshop, teachers will discover classroom-tested strategies for improving SEL skills in conjunction with content-area instruction. Learn practical ideas for equipping students with skills that will matter well into their futures.

To learn more about the Return-to-Learn Teacher Support Series, including workshop costs and times, visit

The Van Andel Institute conducts research and education in biomedicine and education. With a staff of more than 400 and a growing network of partners, VAI studies the origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and translates its findings into breakthrough prevention and treatment strategies to improve human health. The Graduate School at VAI offers a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology through a research-intensive, interdisciplinary program that prepares students for successful careers as independent investigators. VAI also is dedicated to creating classrooms where curiosity, creativity and critical thinking thrive, offering engaging programs for K–12 students and transformative professional development and instructional tools for teachers.

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