Professional Development for Teachers

Practical solutions for the classroom


Participants in my professional development workshops enjoy a light, purposeful and dynamic approach. I have facilitated hundreds of hours of professional development since 2008. Formats include 90-minute workshops, 1- or 2-day seminars, as well as week- or year-long planning sessions. What I love about these opportunities: encouraging creativity, exchanging ideas and generating solutions.

I like to spend very little time on theory and 90% of our time on practical matters (because teaching is very hands-on!). Here are some strategies I have adopted over the years: showing video demonstrations, allotting time for analysis of student work, sharing personal and professional anecdotes, setting time aside for application through planning, teaching new games or activities through material manipulation, reading excerpts from my favorite children and tween literature…

I make sure that my participants have a few takeaways each time we meet, whether it’s book lists, a ready-made lesson plan, a newly revised unit, an annotated list of read alouds, a classroom or student checklist… I believe in working smarter, not harder by sharing documents.

Most professional development workshops are tailored to a school or district’s needs.  In consultation with the leaders, I develop a plan that meets your exact needs.  Leaders can use my list of areas of expertise to generate ideas.  Two weeks prior to our scheduled presentation, I provide a facilitation guide for your review.  While I have conducted workshops for more than 80 participants, I find it a lot more beneficial to teachers when we keep numbers down to 20 or 25 participants. 

Sample Facilitation Guide

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Blake Ramsey

I had the privilege to attend three 2-week long bilingual institutes, all conducted by Marie. She guided us through the complicated web of yearlong curricular mapping, backwards planning, and integrating Social Studies and Science into our literacy workshops.

What I found most impressive was Marie's ability to adapt to change and her on-target interpretation of the newly implemented Common Core Standards. Had it not been for Marie's planning institutes, my work would have tripled due to the standard shift. While I am deeply saddened to see her leave PS 58, I feel confident that she will have an even greater impact on bilingual education through Creative Bilingual Solutions.

Blake Ramsey  Dual Language Teacher at PS 58 The Carroll School in Brooklyn

Fields of Expertise

  • Bilingual Literacy

  • Balanced Literacy

  • Data-Driven Instruction

  • Thematic Approach

  • Backward Planning

  • Project-Based Learning

  • Grammar Instruction

  • Oral Language Development 

  • Academic Vocabulary Development

  • Informational / Nonfiction Reading

  • Aligning Bilingual Instruction to the Common Core

  • Content Area Instruction

  • Curriculum Mapping Across the Grades

  • Supporting Visual Learners

  • Managing Parent Expectations

  • Bilingual Parent Communications