Professional Education offers highly interactive virtual professional development opportunities to educators outside of our traditional degree-granting programs.
About Professional Education
The Professional Education team works to share Relay’s accumulated knowledge and best practices in teacher development to a broader audience across the education and non-profit landscape. Our work focuses on serving teachers, schools and aligned organizations in order to support skill building for teachers across a range of content needs and experience levels.
Current Professional Development Opportunities
Teaching and Learning Online: Professional Education has created a set of two-hour interactive trainings designed to provide teachers and school leaders with the tools and resources needed to lead effective and engaging online learning experiences. Using Zoom, Nearpod and Google Suite, we model virtual best practices, share helpful tips, and provide opportunities to practice and discuss online teaching solutions.
Introduction to Best Practices in Online Facilitation
Introduction to Best Practices in Online Facilitation is a workshop on tips, tools and resources needed to lead effective and engaging instruction online. We focus specifically on community building, strong engagement practices and the basics of virtual design in this foundational session. This workshop is great for school leaders, teacher-leaders, and anyone who wants to get a sense of what strong synchronous teaching practices look like and pick up some key tips on implementation.
Strategies to Spark Engagement Online
Strategies to Spark Engagement Online is designed to support teachers and school leaders in creating highly engaging learning environments for students or adults engaged in professional development. This workshop focuses on easy to implement strategies to create a highly engaging online classroom environment where students are constantly thinking and participating. Participants will have the opportunity to apply and practice engagement techniques.
“Onlineified” Instructional Methods
“Onlineified” Instructional Methods supports teachers and school leaders in translating in-person facilitation methods and design to the online environment. This workshop focuses on keys to virtual design thinking for planning lessons or professional development. We set participants up to engage in design challenges to build stronger muscles for synchronous online planning. Participants will have the opportunity to apply and practice online design principles using an upcoming lesson or PD plan.
Coaching and Developing Teachers in Online Instruction
Coaching and Developing Teachers in Online Instruction is a workshop focused on supporting school leaders or teacher leaders in setting up and facilitating live practice. In this workshop, instructional leaders will participate in a virtual demonstration of online coaching best practices and have the opportunity to apply and practice virtual strategies to enhance the quality of their coaching.
All aspects of this session directly addressed everything that has been swimming in my head -- especially how to keep kids engaged throughout a session and how to utilize tools to maximize thinking!
- Kate Ring, Principal, Lead Public Schools
Meet Our Team
Get acquainted with the leaders behind Professional Education at Relay.
Zach BlattnerCo-Founder & Co-Director of Professional Education
Zach Blattner is the co-founder and co-director of Professional Education. Alongside co-director Chanel Ward Biddle, Zach launched teacher professional development programming at Relay GSE — bringing high quality, interactive online learning experiences to thousands of educators across the country. Within five months, Zach leveraged his unique skill-set in virtual learning to support over three thousand educators in their pivot to online instruction during the COVID crisis. Before launching Professional Education, Zach joined Relay Online as founding faculty where he taught graduate-level coursework to teachers across the country. In that role, he honed his skills in online teaching through combining his expertise in adult facilitation with digital technologies.
Zach has also recently served as a consultant to organizations striving to strengthen the quality and impact of their synchronous online offerings, including Next Gen Personal Finance and The Together Group. Prior to Relay, Zach served as an Assistant Principal in Southwest Philadelphia, helping lead his school to increased achievement results each year. Zach started his career as an AP English teacher in the Rio Grande Valley. His students became the first in school history to pass the AP Language and Composition exam.
Zach holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the George Washington University, a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and a principal certification through the National Principal Academy at Relay GSE.
Chanel Ward BiddleCo-Founder & Co-Director of Professional Education
Prior to launching Professional Education, Chanel served as Director of Residency for Relay Online, partnering with numerous schools and networks nationally to build innovative support systems for teachers in residence. While serving as Director of Residency, Chanel also taught graduate courses in core pedagogy and elementary methods and supervised clinical practice.
Before joining the Relay faculty, Chanel was an Assistant Principal in South Philadelphia. During her time as Assistant Principal, the School District of Philadelphia ranked her school first within its peer group and second citywide for academic growth. Chanel began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in Philadelphia.
Chanel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from Barnard College of Columbia University, a Master’s in Education from University of Pennsylvania, and a principal certification through the National Principal Academy at Relay GSE. Chanel currently lives in her hometown of Philadelphia and serves as a proud board member of Philadelphia Hebrew Public, the city’s first racially and linguistically diverse-by-design public school, and member of Fleisher Art Memorial’s programs impact committee.
The workshop made me assess and reflect on my teaching to find new ways to enhance the engagement opportunities for my students.
- Christina Kavaja, Woodbridge High School
If you have questions about our Professional Education opportunities, or about our partnership options, contact our team.
For schools, districts, or networks interested in Relay directly providing training to your teaching staff, please reach out!