Tangible

Anyone can repeat what they read in a research article. That's not consulting; that's regurgitation. And most anyone can demonstrate a new teaching technique. But simple "tips & tricks" can reduce teaching to manipulation and can position teachers as technicians. What educators need are structured opportunities to develop their craft, opportunities that treat them like the professionals and public intellectuals they are. 

In other words, professional educators need tangible, useful, and practical solutions that are rooted in evidence drawn from valid and reliable sources, tested by experimentation, and affirmed by our most impacted populations. As public intellectuals, educators also need rich material from which to build new knowledge, challenge the status quo, and support flourishing communities.

Dr. Toshalis is committed to translating research into tangible, useful forms that educators and other public school stakeholders will use to achieve positive outcomes both for students and for the teaching profession. Below are examples of various consultations that demonstrate this commitment.

 

CONSULTATIONS RELATED TO STUDENT RESISTANCE IN SCHOOL

  • Re-Envisioning the Student Engagement and Conduct Guide: Project for Portland Public Schools

Chief writer, editor, and facilitator of revisions to what was previously called the "Student Responsibilities, Rights, and Discipline Handbook" to better align with SB 503, and to better reflect the research on racial disproportionality (sample links herehere, and here), the positive outcomes offered by restorative practices, and the important changes to school climate realized through PBIS approaches (examples here and here). (2015-present)

  • Student engagement: The causes, contexts, and consequences of an activated learner. 

A series of professional development sessions across the academic year, designed and implemented in consultation with the administration and leadership team at Roosevelt High School in the Portland Public School District, Portland, OR. (2014-2015)

  • They resist for a reason: Helping classroom teachers make sense of adolescent oppositional behaviors in the classroom.

Presentation & workshop for the Oregon School Psychologists Association. (2014)

  • What counts as “resistant behavior”? Toward changing the way we think before we attempt to change the way students act.

Presentation to students in critical pedagogy at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR. (2014)

  • Student risk-taking & resistance: The logic of withdrawal & refusal.

Presentation to groups of teacher-leaders and facilitation of curriculum development in the Learner-Centered Professional Development Project in Cromwell, Connecticut. Supported by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents and Jobs for the Future, and sponsored by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. (2013)

  • Making things happen: Risk-taking and resistance in adolescence.

Half-day training session for the Oregon School Psychologists Association. (2012)

  • Making things happen: Risk-taking and resistance in adolescence. 

Half-day training session for after-school program professionals, Planned Parenthood officials, mentors from Big Brothers & Big Sisters, staff from Health & Human Services, officials from the Housing Authority, juvenile probation officers, therapists, substance abuse prevention counselors, coaches, social workers, funders, and youth advocates in Austin, TX, sponsored by United Way and Communities in Schools of Central Texas. (2012)

  • Encountering behavioral “problems” in the classroom.

Co-consultation with teachers at University Charter Middle School in Camarillo, CA. (2008, with K. Tollefson)

 

CONSULTATIONS RELATED TO ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT

  • Transforming adolescents: The role of possibility, identity, and imagination in our work with youth.

Half-day training session for after-school program professionals, Planned Parenthood officials, mentors from Big Brothers & Big Sisters, staff from Health & Human Services, officials from the Housing Authority, juvenile probation officers, therapists, substance abuse prevention counselors, coaches, social workers, funders, and youth advocates in Austin, TX, sponsored by United Way and Communities in Schools of Central Texas. (2012)

  • Promoting the optimal development of adolescents in middle school classrooms.

Co-consultation with middle school teachers at the Martin Middle School in Austin, TX. (2008, with M.J. Nakkula)

  • Promoting the optimal development of adolescents in middle school classrooms.

Co-consultation for teachers, administrators, counselors, and social workers at Roskruge Middle School in Tucson, AZ. (2009, with M.J. Nakkula)

  • Knowing and being known: Understanding sociocultural influences in adolescent development & achievement.

Presentation to Pima County teachers, counselors, and administrators in Tucson, AZ. (2009, with M.J. Nakkula)

  • Middle school, the transition years: Parents and early adolescent identity development.

Presentations to four gatherings of middle school parents in the Austin Independent School District, at BedichekO. Henry, and Webb Middle Schools in Austin, TX.

  • Positive youth development: The roles of schools and community partners.

Co-consultation with local education fund managers, educators, parents, and youth advocates at the United Way in Austin, TX. (2009, with M.J. Nakkula)

 

CONSULTATIONS RELATED TO THE TEACHER-STUDENT RELATIONSHIP

  • Connecting & correcting: The indispensible teacher-student relationship. 

A half-day series of presentations and professional development activities for all faculty and administrators from Grant High School, in Portland, OR. (2012)

  • Helping teachers understand youth: Engaging interpretive gaps, self-regulation, and resistance in middle school classrooms.

Presentation to all middle school counselors and parent support specialists in Austin Independent School District in Austin, TX. (2012)

 

CONSULTATIONS RELATED TO LEARNER-CENTERED CLASSROOMS

  • Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative: Initial planning and envisioning

On behalf of the Student at the Center Project at Jobs for the Future, I coordinated efforts to envision, clarify, refine, and plan a multi-year research collaborative in the six new England states. Designed to build the evidence base for student-centered learning and explore how such methods are implemented and adapted in classrooms and schools, the project integrates the expertise of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to bring student-centered learning to scale. (2015-present)

  • The learner-centered professional development project.

Two days of co-planned presentations and work sessions in Cromwell, Connecticut, to support secondary teachers as they create and pilot professional development modules for their colleagues that will promote and enhance student-centered instruction in middle and high schools. Supported by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents andJobs for the Future, and sponsored by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. (2013)

 

CONSULTATIONS RELATED TO TEACHER ASSESSMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY & DEVELOPMENT

  • Revising Portland Public School District’s teacher evaluation instrument. 

A series of presentations and facilitations in which I worked closely with a group ofPPS school administrators to revise their teacher evaluation instrument to better attend to race, ethnicity, cultural difference, social justice, and equity issues in the classroom. (2013)

  • Collaborative inquiry: Using a video protocol to analyze classroom practice.

Multimedia professional development activity for all faculty at Grant High School, in Portland, OR. (2012)

  • Findings from the study of TECA students’ evaluations, motivations, & aspirations.

Report presented to faculty at the Teaching and Educational Careers Academy at Pacifica High School in Oxnard, CA. (2009)

  • Developmental alliances in middle school leadership teams.

Co-consultation for all middle school leadership teams in the Austin Independent School District, at Garcia Middle School in Austin, TX. (2009, with M.J. Nakkula)

  • Expanding developmental alliances into developmental networks.

Co-consultation for leaders from the Public Education Network, the Ready by 21 Coalition, and Austin Voices, in Austin, TX. (2008, with M.J. Nakkula)

  • One in ten: Discussing career concerns of queer educators.

Convened/organized/hosted a panel of Portland area LGBTQQIA educators to discuss various interviewing, employment, and induction recommendations for gender and sexually diverse preservice and inservice educators. Graduate School of Education and Counseling, Lewis & Clark College. (2013)