[semester equivalent = .66 credits]



Heritage Staff



Join this video course and learn more about ways to connect and support your students both in distance and regular classroom instruction.  Adapted from the virtual class given in Spring, 2020 this course is designed to assist you in developing an environment that is engaging and fun-filled for virtual or bricks and mortar classroom. You will learn how to aid students in developing social and emotional skills, and will explore digital tools to support distance learning. You will gain strategies to care for self and students in these stressful times.  In this course, you will emerge healthier, stronger, more innovative, and technically savvy.

Topics covered by the recorded version of the zoom sessions include:

  • Let's Be Mindful: Creating Space for Inner Peace.
  • Virtual Teaching.  
  • Getting Gritty in an Age of Distance Learning.  
  • Hardwiring Happiness: Get Rid of Negative Energy and Fear.   
  • Building Relationship in The Virtual Learning Age.  
  • Battling Boredom.  
  • Empowering Social-Emotional Learning: From Research to Practice.
  • Stem to Steam: Digital Photography Across the Curriculum. 
  • Wellness & Finding Your True North
  • Finding Meaning In The Global Pandemic: The Ultimate Teachable Moment.

This course is most appropriate for elementary and middle school teachers.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  • Gained concepts and strategies for lowering stress in themselves and their students at this very trying time.
  • Reviewed ways to optimize remote learning with students.
  • Understood the importance of humanizing the educational experience, particularly within a virtual learning environment.
  • Experienced a variety of options available to teachers and students when using zoom meetings for learning.
  • Had an opportunity to frame the global pandemic experience in a more meaningful way for themselves and their students.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



None. All reading is online.

None. All reading is online.





Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators active in the course. Feel free to read and respond to others comments. 


Introcude ytourself: 

  • Describe your current professional situation. 
  • What brings you the most joy in your work?  
  • What struggles have you experienced teaching during this pandemic?  
  • How did you choose this class, and what outcomes do you hope to achieve?

Record your response using this Flipgrid (a really cool digital tool for distance learning). Please view the video of others before you make your own. 

Assignment #2: Let’s be Mindful: Creating Space for Inner Peace.  Brenda McKinney & Mike Seymour

Now more than ever, our society is caught in a collective panic. Depression, stress, loneliness are all problems that occur in isolation and fear. Join us for a journey looking into how you can restore your life rhythms by establishing daily habits of mindfulness.

  • Watch the following video session: 
  • Briefly answer 1-2 of the following questions below:
          *  What are two or three things you would be willing to incorporate into your
              daily routine, your schedule, and what time of day do you see this working?
          *  Were you able to embrace the mindfulness activities, or did you find your brain
              fighting you?
          *   What thoughts kept bombarding your mind?
          *   What might you do to push these away in order to find a way to balance
              the inner and outer you?
          *   What are the times of day when you know that a quick 1-minute informal
               breathing activity would benefit your stress level allow you to breathe
               through those moments? 
          *   How can you work to change the dialogue of your brain from stress,
               fear, negativity, and anger to seeing positives, being grateful, and
               choosing to feel the moment, but then move past it?

Post your response.

Resources from this session, Let’s be Mindful.

Courses by Brenda McKinney
Email address for Brenda McKinney is and Mike Seymour’s email is

Assignment #3: Virtual Teaching.  Chris Hill

This session is designed to help teachers learn various ways to connect and support students virtually. Session participants will learn how to effectively create, facilitate, and distribute content to virtual learners. Educators will create motivational and relevant classroom activities, teacher support materials, and assessment tools. 

  • Watch the following video session:


  • Briefly describe what new information you gained from this session and how you plan to incorporate it into your classroom.

Post your response.

Resources for this session, Virtual Teaching.

Courses by Chris Hill:
Email address for Chris Hill is

Assignment #4: Getting Gritty in an Age of Distance Learning.  Patricia Dickenson

Patricia shares practices for crafting tasks, which include grit and growth mindset, to develop self-directed learners and talent development in your teaching practice.

  • Watch the following video session:
  • Briefly share an experience of how you supported students to persevere in your class. What intentional strategies did you evoke?

Post your response.

Resources for this session, Getting Gritty.

Courses by Patricia Dickenson
Email address for Patricia Dickenson is

Assignment #5: Hardwiring Happiness: Get Rid of Negative Energy and Fear.  Brenda McKinney

In this session, Brenda will show you how to begin turning good moments into a great brain. I will also explain why your brain hangs on to the negative and why fear and terror can hold your brain in their grip. Right now, we all want to feel safe and connected. You will learn specific techniques to help you embrace the positive and help your brain through tough times. 

  • Watch the following video session:

  • Briefly answer 1-2 of the following questions.
  • How do you respond to the learning that we overlearn from bad experiences and under-learn good experiences?  How do you see yourself responding to this science?
  • How can using the HEAL steps really help you focus and build resilience in the days ahead?
  • Are you amazed that doing 3-6 small experiences a day is enough to create something big and literally change the wiring of your brain? Are you encouraged by this new knowledge and ready to begin acting on it?

Post your response.

Resources for this session, Hardwiring Happiness.

Courses by Brenda McKinney
Email address for Brenda McKinney is

Assignment #6: Building Relationship in the Virtual Learning Age.  Charity Staudenraus

Teachers need to stay human with students in remote learning not only for its own value but also to ensure they engage with their academics. Charity will share tips on personal sharing, having rituals for student intros, using break-out rooms on zoom meeting sessions, and more.

  • Watch the following video session:
  • Briefly answer 1-2 of the following questions:
  • What resources will you use to connect with students in real-time?
  • Which resources will you share with parents, and why?
  • After listening to the Happiness song, how do these resources change how you will connect with your students?

Post your response.

Resources for this session, Building Relationship in the Virtual Learning Age. 

Courses by Charity Staudenraus
Email address for Charity Staudenraus is

Assignment #7: Battling Boredom.  Mary Ann Johnson

Every teacher, from time to time, needs a targeted novel approach to "​battle boredom​." In this mini-class, you'll sample nine of the 99 strategies from the book Battling Boredom by Bryan Harris, one from each targeted category.

  • Watch the following video session:
  • Briefly answer 1-2 of the following questions:
  • What are some things you have already done successfully to get students engaged?
  • Looking back at the ideas you saw, did you find one that might work for you, and how would you apply it in your classroom?
  • If you were talking with a colleague who was discouraged because of student boredom, what advice would you give them?

Post your response.

Resources for this session, Battling Boredom. 

Courses by Mary Ann Johnson.
Email address for Mary Ann Johnson is

Assignment #8: Empowering Social-Emotional Learning: From Research to Practice.  Patricia Dickenson

Explore the five core competencies of social-emotional learning and how you can explicitly teach and apply the competencies to guide students' behavior, choices, interactions, and reactions to life circumstances.

  • Watch the following video session:
  • Briefly respond to the following:
  • SEL ideally is integrated into every aspect of the school: classroom instruction, climate, and culture, community-family partnerships. Share how you have or may support
  • SEL in your work with students.

Post your response.

Resources for this session, Empowering Social-Emotional Learning

Courses by Patricia Dickenson.
Email address for Patricia Dickenson is

Assignment #9: STEM to STEAM: Digital Photography Across the Curriculum.  Debbie Supplitt

By accessing iPads, Chromebooks, and Smart Phones, participants will be introduced to free or low-cost apps that will generate creative lessons that bridge the curriculum for every digital, remote, or brick and mortar classroom.

  • Watch the following video session:


  • Briefly describe what new information you gained from this session and how you plan to incorporate it into your classroom.

Post your response.

Resources for this session, STEM to STEAM.

Courses by Debora Supplitt
Email address for Debora Supplitt is

Assignment #10: Wellness & Finding Your True North. Brenda McKinney

Learn to embrace your true self and dissolve obstacles that have limited you. Learn three specific tools that could change your life and inspire you to head towards your North Star.

  • Watch the following video session:
  • Briefly describe what new information you gained from this session and how you plan to incorporate it into your classroom.

Post your response.

Resources for this session, Wellness & Finding Your True North.

Courses by Brenda McKinney
Email address for Brenda McKinney is

Assignment #11: Finding Meaning in the Global Pandemic: The Ultimate Teachable Moment.  Mike Seymour

What are the personal and collective lessons we are trying to learn from this pandemic? This shock to ourselves, students, and their families is the ultimate teachable moment. We need to decide how to discuss this meaningfully with our youth so that we all can go on within a framework of greater wisdom and maturity, free of fear and blame.

  • Read this document and follow instructions to praticipate in sharing via the Flipgrid video.
  • Watch the following video session:
  • Briefly answer 1-2 of the following questions:
  • What new insights are you having now about your role in life?    
  • Is anything new calling to you and, if so, explain.
  • What good is coming into your life as a result of the pandemic?

Post your response.

Email address for Mike Seymour is



In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators active in the course. Feel free to read and respond to others comments. 


Assignment #12: Teaching During A Crisis (Required for 400 and 500 Level)

In the current health crisis, the teaching and learning environment, methods, and unwritten mission need to change. How that is done is important if educational aims are to be met. There are layers of priority from students' and teachers' physical health and safety, their emotional well-being, changes in pedagogy from in-person to virtual instruction, or blends of both.  Family members, out of work, under stress, and an on-going uncertainty, and many are struggling to accommodate to doing things in a new way. Added to this are issues in inequality as low-income students are disadvantaged with less technology access. It may be that trying to return to "normal" may at some stages present more problems than solutions.

Review the following articles and/or ones of your own choosing

In 250+ words, explain what your plans are to address the social, emotional, health, safety, and equity issue in your teaching of students going forward. Write your response in a text document and either copy/paste below or upload.
Post your response.

Assignment #13: Lesson Creation: (Required for 400 and 500 Level)

Complete one of the following options.

  • Focus on any one area addressed in the video sessions. Adapt/create an activity or lesson reflecting what you’ve learned in this course.
  • Implement your lesson with students in your class. (If possible. If not, submit your lesson using the tab below.
  • Share what you've learned with other teachers taking our courses by checking the lesson library box when you submit your lesson.

Assignment #14: (500 Level ONLY) Reflecting on Lessons & Impact of the Pandemic

History will likely portray the COVID-19 pandemic as the most significant global event in human history in the last 100 years.  Due to its far-ranging impact on health, economies, livelihoods, ways of working and relating, and changes in perspectives, which are too early to sort out at this time. If you believe as I do that this situation is not just "out of the blue" but has precedents, then it's logical to assume every event in our lives has some prior causal factors, and as such are invitations for us to reflect and learn.

Complete Option A and one other.
Option A:
In this assignment, you are invited to reflect on the personal, community, and global meanings of the pandemic. I am providing a few examples of prompts and articles as a starting point:

What good is coming out of this crisis? What do you think you and the world at large are trying to learn? How do you imagine the life of you and your community may change? Then, read at last three of the following articles or ones of your own choosing, and summarize your reflections in 500+ words.

Option B: ​
Although nobody likes to talk about death, it's likely over the coming years that someone known to you or within your student's family and friend networks will die, and this may be traumatic for the student(s) involved. Describe in 250+ words your experience in dealing with this kind of trauma, and what protocols or strategies you have in place.
Options C:

Assemble either in a word doc, PowerPoint, Google Classroom page, a list of resources your students would find helpful during this time. (provide at least ten (10) resources)
Options D:

Develop an assignment of your own choice with the instructor's prior approval.
Post your response


Assignment #15: (Required for 400 and 500 Level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 350-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.





Beck, Martha. 2008. Steering by Starlight. The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny. McMillan Press.
This choice is perfect for all of you who have studied and journeyed with me in True North. This book is an aide in staying on course and reminding you again about how to overcome obstacles. Remember that in all learning there are setbacks, if you run into any roadblocks, are still struggling in your True North direction, then you will enjoy meeting up with Martha again in this one. I know you will enjoy the approach of looking at the Stargazer, the Mapmaker, and the Pathfinder.

Hanson, Rick. 2016. Hardwiring Happiness. The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence. Harmony Books. Text for the course.
Hardwiring Happiness lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures full of happiness, love, confidence, and peace. Learning to see through the lies your brain tells you will change your life. Dr. Hanson’s four steps build strengths into your brain to make contentment and a powerful sense of resilience the new normal. Hardwiring Happiness takes practice. This book is just what you need to support you on this journey. It will help you transform your brain into a refuge and power center of calm and happiness.  Prufrock Press

Sanguras, L., ( 2017) Grit in the Classroom: Building Perseverance for Excellence in Today’s Students. Waco, Tx.
This book provides a wonderful blend of research in the area of motivation, and classroom-based practices to support and foster grit. Written by middle school teacher Laila Sanguras, the author includes anecdotal experiences from the classroom and the latest research in motivation from growth.

Carbaugh, Eric Mason, and Kristina J. Dourbet, The Differentiated Flipped Classroom: A Practical Guide to Digital Learning, Corwin, 2015, paperback, 216 pages, ISBN 978-1506302966.
This groundbreaking guide helps you identify and address diverse student needs within the flipped classroom. You’ll find practical, standards-aligned solutions to help you design and implement carefully planned at-home and at-school learning experiences, all while checking for individual student understanding.

Awakening Self, Mike Seymour’s blog
This blog, by educator and The Heritage Institute President Mike Seymour, explores the inner revolution and spiritual awakening that its author suggests underlies the current global shift toward a more environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling human presence on Earth.