Professional Development at RBT

RBT Courses

RBT offers a portfolio of professional learning opportunities in the areas of teaching, school leadership, and the effective use of student data. The programs listed below are a sample of the many programs RBT delivers on-site in schools or in districts. Customized professional development experiences, on-site coaching, or consulting in these topics to meet specific needs may also be requested. For more information about these and other opportunities to partner with RBT, please email or call +1 (978) 263-9449. You may also want to check the Open Enrollment Programs for our scheduled courses in Acton, MA and Online Programs for the Making Student Thinking Visible course.

Click here for a full listing of our core programs.

Skillful Teaching

Studying Skillful Teaching: Promoting Motivation, Learning, and Achievement (SST)
37.5 hours (6-Days), eligible for 3 graduate, undergraduate, or para credits through Fitchburg State University

The Studying Skillful Teaching program is RBT’s cornerstone program for building teachers’ capacity – the knowledge and skills as well as the courage and conviction – to promote students’ motivation, learning, and increased achievement. It is based on the belief that teaching is a process of decision-making; and that skillful teachers never stop learning through experimentation, data analysis, study, and collegial sharing about what works best for their students. This reflective dialogue is consistently rated by our clients as an invaluable asset for building common and coherent language among their educators. 

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High-Expectations Teaching (HI EX)
18 hours (3-Days), eligible for 1 graduate credit through Fitchburg State University or
37.5 hours (6-Days), eligible for 3 graduate or undergraduate credits through Fitchburg State University

This program teaches what it looks like and sounds like when a teacher acts authentically from a growth mindset. Participants will learn how to choose language, develop classroom structures, and use effective instructional strategies to motivate all students, but particularly to get low-performing, low-confidence students to change their stereotypes about themselves. 

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Foundations in Teaching (FIT)
18 hours (3-Days), eligible for 1 graduate credit through Fitchburg State University

Beginning teachers need practical skills so that they can be successful in their first years of teaching. This program focuses on three major areas: an introduction to the belief in the growth mindset that says “smart is something you can get through effective effort;” classroom management and climate, emphasizing the elements that need to be in place for a classroom to run smoothly and productively; and the development of clear learning objectives as the anchor for creating daily lesson plans.

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Sign up for an Open Enrollment Course

Making Student Thinking Visible (MSTV): An online course supported by the Collaboration Teacher Model
20 hours - Audited Version or
45 hours - Coached Version,  eligible for 3 graduate credits through Fitchburg State University

This program equips teachers to create robust talk environments where students talk more than teachers and at a high level of thinking. When skillfully applied, these skills build students’ social skills, classroom climate, and high levels of engagement in meaningful ways across grade levels and content areas.  Features RBT founder and president, Jon Saphier, with commentary by Lucy West.

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Online Programs

Skillful Teaching Module: Principles of Learning
6 hours (1-Day)

How can we design learning experiences to maximize student engagement and increase the rate and durability of learning for students? This is the focus question for a one-day exploration of 24 research-based principles of learning that can be applied and embedded in everyday lesson design. We will consider principles related to designing for cognitive impact and designing for motivational impact, as well as technical principles of design and principles impacting attention and engagement.

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Skillful Leadership and Coaching

Analyzing Teaching for Student Results (ATSR)
42 hours (7-Days) plus site-visit, eligible for 3 graduate credits through Fitchburg State University

This is a program for leaders on how to improve classroom teaching and learning.  Reflecting the national shift towards learning-focused supervision and evaluation, the Analyzing Teaching for Student Results (ATSR) program helps leaders zero in on the impact of teaching decisions on students. During the program, participants examine high-leverage teaching strategies and use both a common language and a concept system about teaching to support any state framework. The seven-day curriculum provides multiple opportunities for participants to develop keen observation and analytical skills that will support teachers in building their own capacity to impact students’ learning.  It includes an on-site co-observation with the instructor for each participant.

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How to Build Strong Adult Professional Culture: The Essential Ingredient for School Improvement (APC)
37.5 hours (6-Days)

This is a program about the everyday behaviors of school leaders who successfully build strong Adult Professional Cultures (APC). It is a program for principals, assistant principals, team leaders, and instructional coaches, and very much for central office personnel who interact with school leaders.  Our learning at RBT, supported solidly by research, is that there will be no sustainable improvement in student results and no elimination of the achievement gap until leaders and teachers succeed in making strong certain norms of behavior between adults.  

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Coaching for Sustainable School Improvement (CSSI)
18 hours (3-Days) plus optional virtual follow-up, eligible for 2 graduate credits through Fitchburg State University

For instructional coaches to strengthen their coaching skills based on a partnership approach. This program prepares coaches to play the vital role of improving instruction by working with individual teachers to hone their practice, providing just-in-time professional learning opportunities tied to teacher and school goals, and strengthening a collaborative professional culture. Features the use of classroom video in the coaching relationship and incorporates the work of leading coaching expert, Jim Knight.

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Differentiated Conferencing 
42 hours (7-Days), eligible for 3 graduate credits through Fitchburg State University

The Differentiated Conferencing program instructs supervisors and coaches on how to develop the knowledge and skills to conduct meaningful and actionable conversations with teachers who are at different levels of professional maturity. It helps them build their capacity to have effective conferences with teaches at five different levels of development. Participants will develop a repertoire of skills to apply in situations from non-directive to directive and even to particularly difficult conversations.  Supervisors and coaches grow their conferencing skills and match their clients with just-right approaches.

The Skillful Leader: Taking Action to Improve Ineffective Instruction
18 hours (3-Days)

One of the most challenging aspects of teacher evaluation systems is how to improve the quality of instruction by underperforming teachers. Knowing how to support these teachers, often rated “needs improvement” or “unsatisfactory”, is a source of ongoing frustration. In this practical program, participants will learn to identify and assist individuals whose current instruction is not positively impacting student growth and outcomes. Sample strategies and approaches from the book by Platt and Tripp, Strengthening Teacher Evaluation: Taking Action to Improve Ineffective Instruction, aka The Skillful Leader III (2014). 

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ATSR Refresher:
6 hours (1-Day)

This workshop is designed for leaders who want to strengthen their courage, deepen their knowledge, and refine their skills in engaging teachers in examining the impact on student learning of the decisions they make. The workshop provides both a review of the ideas and strategies of Analyzing Teaching for Student Results and a reflection on our current individual and collective strengths and challenges of giving teachers feedback and support that impacts student learning. In addition to analyzing recent coaching notes, informal observation reports, and/or teacher evaluation reports, participants will assess their current practices in light of their commitment to shift the focus of giving feedback from teachers’ moves to the impact of teachers’ decisions on student learning.  The process of self- and team-assessment will lead individuals and, where appropriate, for teams to develop plans for improvement. Specifically, we will provide resources for collecting data from multiple sources, analyzing data including observational data, and providing capacity-building responses to teachers that lead to improvements in student learning.   

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Skillful Data Use

Coaching High-Impact Teacher Teams: Four Steps to Increasing Student Achievement (TEAMS)
18 hours (3-Days) plus required on-site or virtual follow-up, eligible for 2 graduate credits through Fitchburg State University

High-impact teacher teams build their collective expertise in the practices that matter most for increasing student achievement: they clarify learning goals, they plan for and infuse formative assessment practices throughout their instruction, they analyze results based on pre-established success criteria, and they take timely, targeted action to provide feedback, re-teach, and extend learning. In short, they use data frequently and in-depth to make sure that each student succeeds.

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Sign up for an Open Enrollment Course