The University of New Mexico College of Education and Human Sciences is launching a new program, The Pandemic Pivot Project – courses designed to support educational professionals around New Mexico in making an impact on their students and clients with a growth mindset during and after the pandemic.

"Our mini-courses will focus on implementation and execution," - Dean Hansel Burley, UNM College of Education and Human Sciences

The project allows for around the clock instruction; participants will also earn credits that could one-day lead to course credit and easy graduate program admission.

“This is the time to pivot. Due to the pandemic, educators are making monumental changes to how they do their work. We have designed this program to support that pivot that our patrons are making. Our mini-courses will focus on implementation and execution, with not so much theory,” said Dean Hansel Burley

The four courses offered are geared toward all educational professionals, including newly licensed teachers coming into their first year of in-person learning to veteran teachers.

Pandemic Pivot Project Courses:

  • Assessment in K-12 Classroom
  • Classroom Management
  • Innovative Teaching in a LMS
  • Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.

All courses will be offered online; educators can work at their own pace and courses are designed to be completed in under 20 hours. UNM faculty plan to roll out new content each month. Interested participants can register starting Thursday, Oct 13. Some courses offerings are free, while others now in development will require a nominal fee.

“Like many of our colleagues in the field, we are at a ground zero. The Pivot Project is a way for us to lock arms with our stakeholders and rebuild our way to new levels of excellence for New Mexico’s youth and their families,” Burley said.

Current course offerings are focused on the classroom.

Assessment in K-12 Classroom | Associate Professor Carolyn Hushman
This instructor-supported, self-paced course for educators is designed to facilitate and assist individuals as they reflect on and plan for classroom assessments this school year. The course will provide individuals with strategies and practices which can be implemented in the classroom the next day. Individuals will also have the opportunity to build a theoretical understanding for equitable decision making when reflecting upon and considering aspects of classroom assessments in the classroom.

Classroom Management | Associate Professor Glenn Hushman
This professional development course will cover some basic information on classroom management strategies accompanied with some specific interventions that can be used to address student misbehavior. The course is comprised of four modules that include an introduction, some basic theory on the management model presented, and some specific strategies a teacher can use to effectively manage student behavior. This course is set up for the participant to work at their own pace. Discussion boards are included for participants to correspond with one another if interested. 

Innovative Teaching in a Learning Management System | Visiting Lecturer III Jenn Gutierrez
Educators taking this course will be led through a series of self-paced activities toward intentional decision making for enhancing existing and/or new material with an eye toward equitable integration of technology. Emphasis will be on theories of best practices for meeting the needs of all learners. Participants will leave the course with a differentiated unit plan integrating digital tools that adhere to theories of best practices for meeting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse learners.

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, K-12 and Higher Education | Mack Hines, Consultant
This strand of mini-courses focuses on strategies needed to validate students’ cultural backgrounds as a way of helping them learn. Teaching in a way that resonates with students requires a mindset of inclusiveness, which translates into developing active engagement strategies, learning how to use students’ learning styles, and using adaptive learning approaches. Such strategies work across all fields of human endeavor where people are being taught, including medicine, law, engineering and business. They crosscut these fields as practitioners serve in a range of roles, including service, analysts and leadership positions.