Welcome to the Professional Learning Library 

Educators are lifelong learners. As such, Mizzou Academy is committed to continued professional learning. We also know that some of the most meaningful professional learning comes from our peers. Teacher stories matter. Learning together is a powerful way to grow as a learning community. As a global and blended school system, learning together often requires the support of technology such as video conferencing and videography. 

We are proud that our live professional learning sessions are well attended by teachers and school leaders across the globe. However, we know not everyone can attend every session. Often you’re busy with the noble work of supporting young people as they learn and grow. Therefore, we are pleased to release this professional learning library. Within this living library, you will find videos of some of our most impactful professional learning sessions.

We invite you to register for the courses that speak to you, learn along with our facilitators, complete the quiz at the end of the class, and receive a continuing education record of your learning accomplishment. Please check back periodically as we plan to add new courses throughout the year. 

Happy teaching and learning! The Mizzou Academy Team 


To register for each session, please click the link below the session description. Once you are added to the course in Canvas, you will receive an email to begin.

Distinguished Lectures

Human-Centered Leadership for Educational Leaders

Join Dr. Peter Stiepleman, former Columbia Public Schools superintendent and career educator for a teaching lecture on human-centered leadership. In this important workshop, participants will:

  1. Define human-centered leadership and explore a model for human-centered school transformation
  2. Commit to knowing the people in their schools and communities.
  3. Explore a system thinking tool they can take with them as they tackle challenges in their systems (Stock and Flow tool)

Dr. Stiepleman brings a passion for human-centered leadership and experiences working with multilingual and international students to his work. During his tenure as superintendent, he was committed to expanding equity and opportunity to the large public school district he oversaw.  This special workshop includes human-interest stories, practical application, questions that invite inquiry, and specific learning on human-centered leadership for and about people.

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GAM: Soaring With Gifted: The Best is Yet to Come | Teaching Up: What If Excellence Was Our Goal?

In the long era when increasing standardized test scores has been the aspirational target for most schools, we have lost sight of excellence.  Understood appropriately, excellence should be our aspiration for every learner—striving for complex thinking, application and transfer of learning, and what Ron Berger calls “beautiful work.”  What if we adjusted our aspirations and sought both to understand what it means to  teach with excellence as the hallmark of student work and therefore of our work as well?  We’ll explore briefly what “teaching up” means, how it might look, and why it matters so much in a time when equity of access to truly excellent learning opportunities for each of our learners is our clearest mandate and greatest opportunity as educators.  “Teaching up” has profound possibilities for who we recognize and teach as gifted—and for teaching the massive number of students we tend to look at less optimistically. This keynote will invite participants to think about what it means to “Teach Up” and how its philosophy and practices can revolutionize teaching and learning.

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Distinguished Lecture: Teaching Matters

Dr. Beth McCune Whitaker is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri–Columbia. Dr. Whitaker is a former classroom teacher and principal in Missouri. During her tenure as an administrator, her school was awarded the Missouri Gold Star and National Blue Ribbon for excellence in education. Dr. Whitaker has published in the areas of school climate, principal leadership, and staff motivation and morale. She teaches K-12 leadership courses and supervises administrator interns at Mizzou. Prior to returning to Missouri last year, Dr. Whitaker was a professor in the Bayh College of Education and founding director of The Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence at Indiana State University. At our conference, Dr. Whitaker will share best practices and strategies for leveraging community learning in our schools

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Inclusive Teaching

Inclusion and Representation in the CoTeach Classroom

Mizzou Academy is committed to continued, intentional development of inclusive, culturally sustaining, and antiracist practices, curriculum, and instruction. Our design process and professional learning draws on wisdom and examples from many different cultural and identity backgrounds, including, but not limited to, youth voices, people of color, women, Indigenous communities, people with disabilities, and multilingual scholars. We practice intentionality in the language we use (e.g., non-gendered and people-first); the messages sent by images, stories, and examples; and the ways we honor home language. Join us for this special professional learning session on how to operationalize inclusion and representation in the co-teach classroom. We’ll include examples from elementary, middle, and high school. 

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Celebrating Black History Month in a K-12 Classroom

Did you know Black History month was originally intended to be a culminating event after a full year of study? How can we engage in this practice by celebrating Black history in our classrooms all year long?  This course, prepared by Dr. Kathryn Fishman-Weaver and Dr. Adrian Chanel Clifton, focuses on strategies for celebrating Black history through poetry, art, music, innovation, and story.  This course offers a brief overview of the history on Black History Month in the U.S. and then moves swiftly into ways to make the themes come alive through an integrated celebration and study in your own classrooms.  The facilitators also break down resistance (the 2023 BHM theme) as a teaching concept and challenge learners to think of “joy as resistance.” K-12 educators will leave this course with powerful new ideas to put into practice. 

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This session deals with basic concepts of Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition. It is designed to help educators have a general idea of the process that our students go through in an immersion environment so that they can deepen their knowledge of the area and be more prepared to help their students.

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Innovation and Instruction

The Power of Reflection

In this session, educators will learn about the value of pausing throughout their day to reflect on these three questions: What happened? Why does it matter? And, what will I do next? We’ll explore Kolb’s Learning Styles and Experiential Learning Cycle to learn how to note a concrete experience, reflect on it, learn from it, and apply what we learn to a new experience. By the end of this session, learners will practice reflective steps and walk away with tips they can use for themselves and their students—to promote a growth mindset, student engagement, and meaningful connections.

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The Art of Effective Feedback

In this session we discuss how the art and science of teaching combine when using rubrics for student success. Mizzou Academy rubrics are designed to celebrate what students do well and where they can stretch and grow. In this session, we’ll discuss why rubrics matter, how Mizzou Academy uses them to teach students through feedback, and how classroom teachers can help students apply the feedback they receive to future assignments, projects, and exams.  At the end of this session, you’ll find a group brainstorm about best feedback practices that can help support students in your classroom.

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The Writing Process

In a world full of rapid-fire communication increasingly disrupted by AI, how do we connect this generation of students with the value of deep and meaningful writing? This session will offer strategies for engaging your students with each step of the writing process. Together, we’ll explore how students can generate ideas that excite them, and we’ll share how-to’s for organizing those early ideas into full drafts. We’ll also promote the rewards of risk-taking during the later stages of revising with intention and editorial purpose. Overall, we’ll focus on how the writing process can help students find their voices. Please join us for this lively and practical guide to best practices for writing instruction.

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Building a Classroom Library in a Global Community

What is a classroom library? Why are classroom libraries important, and how can you build one that is culturally responsive and inclusive? In this session, you will learn about the power of classroom libraries and how to find books that are windows and mirrors for students (Sims Bishop, 1990). Additionally, we will discuss language learning and literacy, cultural representation, and how to use literature to teach with authenticity and global awareness.

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Partnership and Inquiry

The Student-Centered Classroom: Using Inquiry to Engage Students

Students succeed when learning matters to them. Mizzou Academy values inquiry-based learning because students play an active role in their learning. Attendees will put theory into practice by working collaboratively, discussing, and brainstorming how to create a learning environment focused on students. What is student-centered learning and why is it important? How can we support teachers and students in this model? Join Jackie and Megan for answers to these questions and more!

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Cultivating Learner-Centered Communities

The work of education can have/take many directions, many aspects, many perspectives…but remaining at the very center of the teaching and learning experience is our students.  Keeping our students at the very center of our work in the classroom can sometimes be a challenge, whether we’re aware of it or not.  In this presentation, we will explore what it means to have a learner-centered classroom, how to grow and sustain a classroom that focuses on students, and how to recognize and overcome some of the challenges that different educational environments might present. 

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Access and Technology

Podcasting in the Classroom

The medium of podcasting has taken the media world by storm! Over the past 15 years, hundreds of thousands of podcasts have made their way online on every conceivable topic. In this talk, educators will receive tips and resources for how to structure a podcast series as an assessment throughout a semester so that students can demonstrate their knowledge using research, writing, speaking, and technology skills. World Religions high school teacher Greg Soden will offer tips, show examples and rubrics, and discuss the various tools available to educators who want to assess their students via podcasting!

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Academic Integrity and AI

As educators, we want to encourage each student to write in their own, authentic voice. The consistent message we want them to hear is that they are valuable and what they have to say matters. We have a responsibility to stay well-informed and to teach our students about the responsible, intelligent, and practical use of AI tools. In this session, we will explore the benefits and pitfalls of these tools. We’ll discuss the motivations behind students’ use of these tools, and we’ll share strategies for encouraging responsible AI usage to enhance academic work. We’ll also share resources to help you navigate this AI-driven educational landscape. We look forward to learning together about the best ways to guide our tech-savvy students in safeguarding their distinct voices and growing as critical thinkers.

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Affective Education

Fostering Belonging

What is the role of belonging in our classroom communities? How does belonging facilitate academic and affective development? We invite you to join us for this session on how to teach and learn in ways that support acceptance, celebration, and courage. This session draws on specific examples from across our Mizzou Academy programs.

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Affective Education and Student Support

Student support is dynamic. In this interactive session, we will offer strategies for building emotional literacy, setting up tiered interventions, responding to mental health challenges, and keeping relationships at the center of your teaching practice. Bring your great ideas to add to the conversation and plan to leave with more resources and support as you engage in the noble and important work of caring holistically for young people.

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