Dedra is an internationally known speaker, trainer and author in the educational world. She is a former middle level teacher and district professional development specialist who now consults and provides staff development in classroom management, differentiated instruction, technology integration and instructional leadership across the country.
Dedra has presented in 3 international schools and over 30 states. Much of Dedra’s time is spent supporting high-risk schools in an embedded capacity. Dedra holds an administrator and superintendent’s license and collaborates with district leaders, principals, coaches and teachers across the country supporting their work in providing quality instruction that produces success in the classroom.
Dedra’s personal story of her educational journey will leave audiences with a newfound determination to do “whatever it takes” to reach the students in their classrooms. For the last 12 years, she has been helping educators bridge the digital divide and improve school performance through publications and hands-on trainings at conferences across the globe. Dedra creates entertaining workshops that get crowds energized, motivated, and inspired to be their ‘best’ for the students they serve.
Her topics range from technology to classroom management and are always grounded in research-based best practices. Dedra regularly publishes in professional journals and participates in educational podcasts. Dedra has the unique ability to put educators at ease through humor and practical skills that directly relate to school improvement. As a former classroom teacher, she understands the need for professional development where practical ideas can be implemented immediately into the classroom.
You will laugh, learn, and have a new enthusiasm about technology, climate, curriculum, and classroom techniques in Dedra’s trainings.
- Reaching and Teaching the Digital Learner (Keynote or all day Session)
- This keynote address is upbeat, motivational and informative. It can be a presented as a one hour keynote to a full day session.
The Digital Natives are not the students of the past. They learn and think differently which means teachers must learn to teach differently. In this keynote, Dedra will show teachers how to speak the language, use the tools, and make learning relevant to the 21st Century. Blogs, wikis, and web 2.0 will be explained and showcased. Done well, technology can be an awesome tool in the classroom, but it is not always easy! That’s why teachers need to sometimes be motivated to rise to the challenge by grabbing the attention of the video game generation and helping them use the tech skills of their future!
- Understand the reason why technology must become a part of the classroom.
- Identify the difference between integration and seamlessly integrating technology
- Use technology as a Communication tool, Instructional tool and a Performance tool in the classroom.
- The Happy Teacher: 5 Secrets to a ‘Stress-Less’ Education Career (Keynote or Session)
- This keynote address is a light-hearted look at education and personal health and wellness. The presentation format is high energy and can be presented in a 45-60 min format.
The high stakes testing environment in education today is contributing to the fact that we are losing teachers and potential teachers at record highs. Teachers came to this profession with a passion but many don’t have the tools they need to balance stress, life, and work. The audience will laugh and have fun as they work through the 5 techniques in staying healthy, happy and balanced in the classroom and at home. The techniques Dedra will share will help the natural nurturers of the world take care of themselves so that they can stay connected to the passion for touching the lives of children and others!
Session Descriptor: In the high stakes testing classrooms of today, teacher burnout is occurring more and more. Teachers need tools for teaching but they also need tools for managing the work-life balance of staying happy and fulfilled. Come laugh, learn, and find your HAPPY TEACHER again.
- The “Best Stuff” is in the Middle (Keynote)
- This session will be full of energy and audience interaction and presented in 45min-60min formats.
This keynote will remind educators how important we are in the lives of the middle school students we teach. Dedra will help teachers realize how the middle level research reinforces what we have known all along, middle school can be the most impacting period in the educational journey.
- Recognize the pivotal role middle level education plays in overall student success
- Reconnect to the passion you have as an educator
Session Descriptor: Just like the Oreo cookie, middle level is where all the magic happens in education. A student’s journey is guided and misguided by the impact people have around them. Come in a celebrate with Dedra as she makes you laugh, cry and remember the best kept secret of education “The Best Stuff” is in the middle!
- Pep Assemblies, Red Pens, and School Lunches – Is that all it’s really about? (Keynote)
- This keynote address is a hilarious look at attitudes and how choosing the right attitude can make all the difference! It can be presented in 45min-2 ˝ hr formats.
Teachers don’t really teach for the summers…Do we? This keynote will remind educators why we CHOOSE to walk through the doors of a school building even after we have received our diplomas! Dedra will help teachers remember what they do every day matters. She will talk the audience through making choices in their daily attitudes; and how to avoid the “zappers” who we let affect our attitudes. This session will be full of energy and audience interaction. Dedra will share her personal story of education and why teachers must stay healthy and fully present every day.
- Techniques that keep you balanced and positive in education and life
- To avoid the negatives that pull you down
- To reconnect to the reasons you went into the field of education
Session Descriptor: You came into the education field full of hope, energy, and a desire to CHANGE the world! Now you catch yourself looking at the bank attendants, and door greeters wondering how hard it would be to make the transition. Educators are care givers who give until they can’t give anymore. Dedra will help you put yourself at the top of the list, create habits that will prevent burnout, and remember why you are where you are. This keynote will have you laughing and learning as you get reconnected to your passion for teaching.
21st Century Sessions (The sessions below can be combined together or with a keynote to become a full-day workshop):
- iPad in Education: Out of the Box and into Our Schools
- This full day workshop will take the participants from the basics of operation into the hands-on real applications for educators. After the basics are covered, the workshop will highlight every day uses of the iPad for principals, teachers, or students (dependant on the audience) The workshop will give participants hands on experience using apps, forms, and tools that are specifically useful for the educational field. Whether you want to use iPads as an administrator, teacher, or student, this workshops is designed to help you be more productive, connected, and tech savvy.
- iLearn, iRemember and iPad….. Using technology to Engage Today’s Learner
- “Whatever it Takes” is the motto for keeping the multitasked generation active and engaged in our classrooms. Come in and learn what tools are out there for iPads and iPods to facilitate learning, collaborating, and creating. This session is always changing as the best apps have yet to be released! Bring your own device to this session for a hands-on experience.
- iLead: Principals using iPads to work smarter not harder
- Is your iPad a vital tool daily? Or does it sit on the shelf? Discover how an iPad can help you become a more effective leader. We will cover a variety of topics from iPad tips & tricks to apps & techniques for all your obligations. From walkthroughs to student/teacher communication, the apps are out there & we'll show you how they can work for you. iPads facilitate learning, collaborating, & creating, if they become a daily part of your life.
- App Swap: iPad App Session
- Yes… there is always an “app for that” and there is never enough time in the day to know them all. Apps are being developed at lightning speed (over a million apps to date) and as a busy teacher there is never enough time to explore. This session will be an old fashion swap party with a technology twist. We will share the latest and greatest apps for the classroom and productivity. You will see educational apps in action and get a chance to share your favorites. We will also discuss how to stay informed when it comes to new educational apps and how to use apps as a parental outreach tool. Bring your favorite apps, ideas, and discussions to this swap!
- Teach This…. Not That: Integrating Technology into the Classroom
- Technology is ever-present, touching almost every part of our lives, but sometimes schools struggle when it comes to integrating technology into the classroom in a meaningful way. The potential tech offers for teaching, learning, and authentic engagement is real and not as hard as one might think. This session will focus on how to twist a non-tech lesson into a lesson that supports curriculum while seamlessly integrating technology. We will go beyond the 20 min computer lab full of test prep and math games to real honest discussion on what it means to add technology into a lesson. “Teach This…. Not That” will help you transform your lessons and move from a traditional classroom to a 21st century learning center.
- Take Classroom Involvement to the Next Level w/ Smart Boards , SMART Teachers and SMART Students!
- Is the Interactive white board in your classroom/building used as a fancy overhead? Smart Boards can be used as more than just "Write and Wipe," if you know the capabilities. We often provide our teachers with the initial "where the buttons are" training for Smart boards, but they need the next step of training that shows how to take this new tool and get the most student involvement out of the technology. In this session, we will use the Smart Board© Software and simple classroom interactive principles to get students raising their hands, raising their scores, and truly interacting with the board/instruction like never before. Smart Boards+ Smart Teachers= Smart Students.
- Flipping Classrooms: More Valuable than Flipping Real Estate
- Have you heard the new term “flipping”? Would you like to see just how it could work in your classroom? This session is presented in a mocked flipped format where you will get to see how a flipped classroom might look, as you learn the components on flipping. We will cover the basics of the flipped concept and then work as a collaborative team during the session to make a plan for all classrooms. Flipping will help you find more time for assessments and help kids think critically. Bring an open mind to this session and you’ll walk away with a whole new perspective on flipping!
- The Key to Motivation- TECHNOLOGY
- The students we are teaching today are digital natives who have never known a world without technology. How do you engage the multi-tasking, on-demand, Facebook generation? Learn how educators across the globe are using QR Codes, Videos, Web 2.0, podcasting, blogging, wikis and other tools to teach the students of today. We will explore many resources which can increase communication, collaboration, and engagement in your classroom.
- Twitter This: Websites that make you say “COOL!”
- This session is a tech lover’s dream! Come in and learn about the websites that everyone is talking about (or tweeting about). No theory, lecture, or research in this session. It is an old fashion swap party. We will highlight the latest and greatest websites educators can use to teach, learn, and have fun with. You will share your favorite websites and ideas and learn everyone else’s. If you like learning…. This is the session you will not want to miss!
- QR codes in the classroom , it’s too EASY!
- Have you seen the little black and white 2D square boxes on posters and products? They are QR (quick Response) codes. Cell phones are everywhere, why not capitalize on them in the classroom and across the district? Simple, free QR generators allow you to create codes that can link to just about anything-YouTube, text message, voice recordings, email, URLs, and so much more. This is not something only the tech nerds can do! It really is easy. Learn how this technology can be used to engage students in a variety of learning activities and resources, such as test reminders, checking answers, scavenger hunts, providing supplemental materials or tutorials, promoting school or class events, and more. Get the attention of the iGeneration, use a simple techie tool: QR Codes.
- Student Voice and Your Curriculum- A Powerful Combination
- Giving your students a voice is a powerful tool in creating learning environments that students of the “Youtube generation” respond to. Student’s who create authentic assessments using video creations will retain information and tie it to previous knowledge. Teachers can harness the excitement and energy of the viral videos and tie them to the curriculum. Come in and learn easy ways to make this concept reality in your classroom.
- Web 2.0 Tools of Classroom Collaboration
- The next generation of the web is the new web 2.0. Collaboration websites cater to the on- demand, video game generation of today. See how these sites can work in the classroom. Move your class into the future and out of the past with Voice Thread, Wikis, Blogs, and the ever-popular QR Codes. See how you can learn, teach, and assess student learning all with this and many more great websites.
- Videocasting: The Nuts and Bolts of It
- Now that you understand what vodcasting is and how it can be used in the classroom, come in and make one! We will use the computers and free software to create a simple vodcast. You don’t have to be a techie to make this happen. Learn the ins and outs of the vodcasting basics and Audacity software and be ready to enhance your curriculum with
Content Sessions (The sessions below can be combined together or with a keynote to become a full-day workshop):
- Classroom Management: The Real Secret to Success! (This Session is best when ˝ day to full day in length)
- Set aside the vision board and the meditation tapes the real “secret to success” is classroom management and relationships. Best practices like DI, technology, and RTI are all great ONCE YOU MASTER CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT. New teachers and veteran teachers must attend this session. You will keep your sanity, once you learn effective management systems, partner plans, teacher timesavers and much, much more. Come in and bring a pencil; you will want to write this stuff down!
- 101 Student Motivation Strategies
- With all the texting, moving, and multitasking in the world, how do you really expect students to come in, sit down, and be motivated to learn? This session will give teachers new tools for motivating students in the classroom. This is an active session that is focused on formative assessment and collaborative learning strategies for any classroom. Ok so we may not cover 101 Strategies…. But we will cover tons! After this session your students will come in and be engaged and eager to learn, all you need is a few new tricks for your classroom toolbox.
- Attitude Adjustment! Does Your School Need One?
- This session is designed to remind administrators that relationships are still relevant! In this high-stakes testing and Common Core environment we can easily move away from the fundamentals we know work. To motivate and reach a staff, you must show them that they are valued and create a sense of belonging in your building. Dedra will share tips on how to wake up your staff and keep them smiling! From faculty meetings that are FUN, to quick little ways to make everyone feel appreciated--- this session will be full of inspirational ideas to change the climate in your building. Bring your attitude and an open mind to this session!
- Differentiated Instruction – The Nuts and Bolts of It
- DI is a foundation of classroom instruction that will allow teachers to stop teaching to the middle and start teaching in a reflective professional way. The tenets of DI practices are easy to understand but implementation is something teachers need help with. This session is an overview of the DI concept along with practical strategies and examples of the components in the classroom from flexible grouping to exit tickets. Teachers will listen, learn, and collaborate about the ins and outs of creating opportunities for learning using DI.
- Differentiated Instruction – The Management of It (Can be combined with the DI Nuts and Bolts session)
- Once a teacher understands how DI works and all it has to offer, then the next step is, “how will I control the classroom?” This session is focused on classroom management of a DI lesson along with the pitfalls and successes that can happen along the way.
- Very Pinteresting! Classroom Ideas You Will LOVE
- Pinterest is the highly addicting do anything site where people across the globe share, pin, and learn new ideas on just about ANY topic, including EDUCATION. Great teachers (just like you) are pinning ideas from classroom management to organization and everything in between. In this session, we will overview the site Pinterest but more importantly, Dedra will share 101 (well maybe not that many) ideas that are classroom tested and teacher approved. You will want to bring a pencil to this session, because the classroom ideas will be too good to miss!
- Helping Students Own Their Education
- The research is showing what we have known all along. Students need intrinsic motivation to truly be successful. Based on the book by Debbie Silver “Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8” Dedra will lead teachers in research based discussions about the need for thinking and collaborating classrooms that allow students to take ownership of their learning. Dedra will help show teachers fundamental ways to adjust teaching practices that will help kids become self-motivated, critical thinking, “life-long learners”.
- TEAM-A-NOMICS: The little things teams do to achieve BIG!
- What makes a good team? A good team name, a celebration, or luck? Teams are an important part of school but great teams are no accident. Teaming must be done with purpose. If you are not careful, teams will become a group of people in the same hall and team meetings will be nothing more than a glorified complaint session. This session will help you create organization & time management in a fast-paced environment. Get on task & productively focused on the goals of your team and go from blah, blah, blah to Wow we really ROCK!
- Teambuilding for the Rock Star Teacher! (Can be combined with the TEAM-A-NOMICS session)
- Need an easy to implement team building activity? The best way to build team unity in middle school is getting the kids engaged and understanding why we team. Come to this session, participate, and walk away with several activities that can be used on teams and in advisory programs. The spotlight is on you and you will ROCK with these great activities.
- Reading for Meaning- How to Motivate the Middle Level Student to Read
- With all the texting, moving, and multitasking in the world, how do you really expect students to come in, sit down, and read the text and COMPREHEND? Students need a little more than “read this passage” to get them focused on a classroom textbook in this day. This session will give teachers new tools for motivating students to read the text for meaning. Your students will come in and be engaged on the task at hand, all you need is a few new tricks for your classroom toolbox.
- History Happens!
- History is more than a lecture and a podium! Get kids actively involved in recreating history! Add a little spark to your lecture and get kids actively involved in History. Have them dance, draw, sing, debate, & recreate history in the classroom. Open your students to a world where history is brought alive through projects & activities that cater to the different styles of learning. The ideas that are presented here can be adapted to teach any time period. Remember History Happens every day….in the Classroom! (This is a 2-4 hour session)
To request information on Dedra Stafford, e-mail email@example.com