R4 Empowering Educator Program (Alameda Office of Education)

Complete this Cohort Sign Up and INTEREST SURVEY to learn more about being a member of the cohort!!


Greetings R4 School Staff, CBOs and Community College partners:

The R4 grant focus for 2017-2018 is LIVE.  There are many ways that we will be supporting our students to LIVE more healthy and successful lives in the next year.  It is important for us, as an adult community, to also put into place support structures that take care of our own health, hearts and desire to learn.   

That is why ACOE is offering to you a very special FREE professional renewal and development opportunity called Empowering Educators.  Empowering Educators is designed with you in mind, the educator, who works with the students who fall within the gaps of our schools and our communities.  This program is meant for anyone who anyone who touches the lives of young people!

Empowering Educators will offer you the opportunity to:


your love of teaching,


upon their your personal strengths, and


a transformative environment for your students.

Our goal is to nurture the best in each participant in ways that will pay it forward to your students.

There are 2 different ways that you can participate in the R4 Empowering Educators professional development opportunities.  Become a member of a cohort that travels through the year’s professional development together OR attend workshops that specifically interest you! More information about each option is below:  

Be apart of the R4 Empowering Educators cohort:

  • Become a member of a circle of educators who work with similar students for similar goals
  • Learn to understand your own transformative journey within the Hero’s Journey
  • Attend a special cohort Summer Institute August 3-4 at ACOE
  • Attend all of the Empowering Educators Exploratory Workshops
  • Post workshop debrief with coach and expert presenter
  • Receive 4 hours of personalized mentoring and support
  • Participate in a bi-monthly Peer Learning Circle conference call
  • Receive CEU credits upon completion

Complete this Cohort Sign Up and INTEREST SURVEY to

learn more about being a member of the cohort!!

Choose to attend one or all of the 1-day Exploratory Workshops:

  • Each workshop is designed to peak interests in innovative approaches and transformative processes that support educator renewal, student learning, community building, and emancipatory pedagogy.
  • Participants are encouraged to bring a student with them to the workshops.  We see these workshops as opportunities to create live encounters with students, therefore opening dialogue for true application of practice.
  • Workshop participants receive a book related to the workshop topic and students receive $25.00 gift card for attending.

What happens after the Workshops?

Immediately following the workshop, there is a shorter follow up session called the Deeper Dive. The Deeper Dive gives a chance for participants in smaller groups to more deeply integrate the content of the workshop into their real work and personal lives.  In the time right after the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to dialogue with the expert presenter in a smaller group on a more personal level.  Our goal is to provide you with multiple ways to integrate the content where it matters most to you.

In the days following the workshop, you are also invited to sign up for our FREE One-on-One “Touchstone Coaching” sessions (1 on 1 time with the expert or New Leaf coach) and our “Peer Learning Circles” (a 1.5 hour Zoom video conference call) 1 month after the workshop to check back in with the expert).  

We will give you more information about these opportunities as you sign up for the workshop!

Do you need Graduate Level Credits to move up in the Pay Scale?  

We have what you need!   Graduate level credits or CEUs are available for your participation in Empowering Educators workshops. Contact Sierra Mathias for more information.

Let Your Voice Speak in Your Hero’s Journey

(Click Here to register)

Saturday, September 23, 2017 – 8:30am – 3:30pm at Location TBD

This welcome and orientation workshop for the Empowering Educators cohort will introduce the arch of the year’s program.  Together we use Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak to inform the sharing of our vocational stepping stones, explore our personal and professional paradigms, and experience the processes of transformation outlined through Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey archetype.  In this first session, we will cultivate the practice of personal reflection and self-awareness and root the experiences throughout the year into a circle of trust.




Embracing a Strengths-Based Teaching Practice

(click here to register)

Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28, 2017 – 8:30am – 3:30pm at Location TBD

This 2 day workshop introduces educators to the paradigm of learning and teaching from a positive, strengths-based paradigm, rather than one of deficit and weakness. Participants will discover their own strengths, and learn how to magnify them in ways that transform their lives from one of focusing on what is wrong, to what is right.  Participants will explore the power of positive psychology and strength-based classroom design and practices that support and appreciate the intrinsic nature of each person.


Emotional First Aid for Youth (& Adults) – Caring for Ourselves & Each Other

(click here to register)

Friday, December 1, 2017 – 8:30-3:30pm and Cohort continues: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Participants in this workshop will gain a greater understanding of the profound impact of mental health and mental illness on young people. Participants will learn to identify students in crisis and practice strategies to return those students to a point of coherence.  This workshop is an introductory workshop and will not provide mental health first aid certification.


Trauma-Informed Care for Social Justice and LGBTQ Youth

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Saturday, February 10, 2018 – 8:30am – 3:30pm and Cohort continues: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The focuses of this workshop are to understand the impact of trauma on both students and educators, and to begin imagining and creating classrooms and schools that provide healing and inspiring environments. Six key principles will be presented and discussed: 1)  safety, 2) trustworthiness and transparency, 3)  peer support, 4) collaboration and mutuality, 5) empowerment, voice and choice, and, 6) cultural, historical, and gender issues.


Transformative Facilitation

(click here to register)

Saturday, March 10, 2018 – 8:30am – 5:00pm and Cohort continues: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

21st century education is rapidly living up to the old adage that states “Don’t be the sage on the stage, but rather the guide on the side.”  Participants will discuss and practice various methods of powerful classroom facilitation that balance the needs of the students and the requirements of the curriculum. Facilitation is one of an educator’s most effective tools that has been largely overlooked; this workshop will teach participants to begin wielding this tool with strength and skill.


Brain Sparks: Uncommon Solutions to Common Classroom Challenges

(click register Here)

Friday, May 4, 2018 – 8:30am – 5:00pm at Martinez Unified School District – Board Room 921 Susana street, Martinez , ca 94553

A heart and science-based approach to connecting with your best self in the midst of challenge… and helping students to do the same. What can you do to help illuminate new passageways for students who have “meltdowns” in your classroom? What can you do to help them begin to move forward, rather than staying stuck in a “fight or flight” mindset?  Or for that matter, what can you do for yourself to keep from nearing your own meltdown point? Join us as we learn brain edged and heart-centered strategies to help our students [and ourselves] better manage moments of stress and high anxiety, and to be open to change.  



New Leaf Collaborative

Rona Zollinger, Ph.D