Professional Development and Coaching

“There is no separation of mind and emotions: emotions, thinking, and learning are all linked.”

–   Eric Jensen


 In both books, our theoretical premise is simple. Systems change when the people in them change. 

According to America’s national and local school data trends, the same groups of students, those who are poor, BIPOC, LBGQT+, or have learning or physical differences are more likely to feel marginalized while at school. 

It’s time that we acknowledge two other underserved groups in regards to social-emotonal development and fostering resilience. Sadly, there have been enough school shootings that a profile has been created (Peterson and Densley 2019). The typical school shooter experienced childhood trauma, is depressed, angry and/or has been a victim of bullying (Peterson et al 2019, Shapiro 2018). Psychologist Suniya Luthar and associates also identified another overlooked group- teens from upper-middle class families. According to their study, these students are more likely to have higher rates of depression, anxiety, eating disorders ,substance abuse and non-suicidal injuries than any other socioeconomic group. 

The curb cut effect describes what happened after sidewalks were changed to accommodate one group of Americans, people using wheelchairs for mobility. A study of pedestraian behavior revealed nine out of ten able-bodied walkers used the curb cut (Blackwell 2017). Parents pushing strollers, skate boarders, people rolling suitcases, and joggers also benefitted from curb cuts. By example, the learning for educators suggest that doing something special for one group, will benefit all groups. Structuring our culture to foster our innate resilience will benefit all members of any school’s community.

Both working books,  Building Resilience in Students and Race Resilience share strategies and resources to help educators become more informed about how trauma and the intersectionality of race and trauma impacts their practice, policies, and procedures. Both books share processes for implementing whole-school change to nurture resilience.

Wherever there are beginners and experts, old and young, there is some kind of learning going on, some kind of teaching. We are all pupils, and we are all teachers. –Gilbert Highet

Our professional development is designed to equip educators with the knowledge and tools to transform their classroom and school cultures into emotionally safe spaces to meet their needs and the needs of their students. Student success should not be based on a child’s race, gender identity, ableism, religion, or economic status. 

Depending on your need,  our series can help school staff:

         Building Resilience in Students

  • Understand the different experiences and unique challenges of students impacted by ACEs in rural, suburban, and urban schools
  • Recognize behavior is a form of communication and how to use a trauma-sensitive multi-tiered support system (MTSS) to mitigate disruption
  • Incorporate instructional strategies that foster innate resilience, promote growth mindset and positive self-identity, and develop social-emotional competencies
  • Reconstruct systems to make sure school remains safe, accessible, and initiative taking for all teachers and students
  • Involve professionals in physical and mental health, child welfare agencies, and community resources to support school staff in meeting the needs of students and families in more therapeutic and compassionate way


I took notes the entire time. Best professional development our district has ever provided for my role.”        

                   Quote excerpted from evaluations-West Des  Moines School District (IA) 2019

      Race Resilience

  • Become more knowledgeable about the concepts of racialization: epigenetics and transgenerational trauma, stereotype threat, microaggressions, white identity orientations, internalized racism, and implicit bias 
  • Develop strategies and deepen sensitivities to engage in conversations about racialization and racial positioning
  • Promotes interaction by using guiding questions and videos designed to encourage self and group reflection to look within our professional selves to mitigate any barrier  racial identity, political and religious ideologies might pose in their work
  •  Commit to developing and implementing a school culture where more of our students, across more of their differences, achieve at a higher level and engage at a deeper level without giving up who they are (Howard 2016).


Professional Development Models


We offer remote or in-person and virtual workshops for administrators, teachers, school counselors, special education staff, social workers, school leadership teams, deans, behavior specialists/interventionists, school board directors, school resource officers, classified staff (maintenance, transportation etc.) and paraprofessionals. We encourage schools/districts to invite representatives from their local mental health and social service agencies to join in the workshops as well. Our schools create strong community partnerships that address the holistic needs of students and families. 

Since no two schools/school districts are the same, professional development services are tailored to meet the needs of each client. Facilitators plan with school/district administrators to design an approach that addresses the needs of the school/district while building upon its strengths. We align and integrate trauma-informed practices within the systems already in place, helping to maximize effectiveness rather than “add on” one more initiative.

For more information, please contact Victoria at  Join our Constant Contact list serve to receive updated resources on Wellness While Working and Transformational Pedagogy every first Sunday, August-June. 



Coaching: Leading for Resilience 

Our coaching services support administrators, educators, and social workers to lead for resilience within their schools, classrooms, and organizations. 

To support a school/district transformation to trauma-sensitive systems, coaching provides opportunities for school leaders and/or leadership teams to clarify and achieve goals. 

Coaches assist the client in reframing challenges as opportunities for growth. The client develops action plans that prioritize relationships while staying grounded in measurable outcomes. 

Coaching sessions can accompany the professional development dates or occur virtually. 

“ Victoria and I had a coaching partnership. Her use of inquiry as a strategy helped me to think about my thinking. As a result, I became a trauma-sensitive leader for my staff, students, and parents.”     

                                                                                                          Mary McDaniel, Principal, Seattle Public Schools

“Thank you all!!!!  I can honestly say I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy with how it went.    I thought our people were very receptive.  I have received many text messages and a lot of positive thoughts.  Victoria—-You nailed it!!!!!!  Your kind approach and soft tone brought so much sunshine and kindness to a negative situation.  I appreciate you so much.”

                                                                                                             Tracey Streeter, Superintendent, Hamburg SD Arkansas