Description & Goals:

Join us for a book launch party! Hear from authors of the new Empowering Educators series from CRS Publishing. This series of resources features books for three grade ranges: K-2, 3-5, and 6-8. The authors will share ways to create learning environments where all students are safe, have fun, and feel a sense of belonging with strategies for developmentally responsive teaching, effective management, positive community, and engaging academics. They will also share tips for supporting students who are returning to classrooms after a year of at-home and hybrid schooling.


Participants will:

  • Learn strategies for successfully launching a classroom to build engagement and autonomy for students throughout the year
  • Explore strategies to get to know students in a variety of ways at the start of the school year
  • Hear how experienced Responsive Classroom teachers use self-care strategies, particularly at the start of the school year, to build a habit of self-care
  • Gain an understanding of how the resources in the Empowering Educators texts can be used throughout the school year to build success for students



Becky WanlessBecky Wanless

Rebecca “Becky” Wanless is currently a second grade teacher with New Albany Plain Local Schools, just outside of Columbus, Ohio. and a Responsive Classroom Consulting Teacher. She has been active in the field of education since 2005. In her spare time, she enjoys walking her dogs, Matilda and Kobe, and trying out new coffee shops.



Amanda Stessin – BlevinAmanda Stessin - Blevin

Amanda Stessen-Blevins is a primary grade teacher at a public school in Brooklyn, New York, and a consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools. Originally from Syracuse, New York, she is the daughter of two teachers. Amanda has a background in teaching English language learners from all over the world. In her spare time, Amanda likes to read, listen to podcasts, and spend time with her family.


Brian SmithBrian Smith

Brian Smith is the Head of Student Life for Kindergarten through eighth grade and director of technology at Holy Spirit Episcopal School, where he teaches the middle school technology classes. Brian has been involved with the educational world for over 20 years, since graduating with his bachelor of science in psychology from Sam Houston State University. Brian’s journey has included providing instruction in a Texas state jail, teaching special education and science in an inner-city Title I school, and, after receiving his MEd from the University of St. Thomas, serving as an administrator in a private Episcopal school.



Kristen VincentKristen Vincent

Kristen Vincent is the Assistant Director of Marketing for Center for Responsive Schools and has over 20 years of experience working in education. Kristen is co-author of Closing Circles: 50 Activities for Ending the Day in a Positive Way and The Joyful Classroom: Practical Ways to Engage and Challenge Students Students K–6, and Make Learning Meaningful: How to Leverage the Brain’s Natural Learning Cycle in K–8 Classrooms.


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