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Teacher as Investigator: Developing Awareness of Student Strengths and Needs (K-12) is a Course

Teacher as Investigator: Developing Awareness of Student Strengths and Needs (K-12)



Full course description

Course Date:





1-2 hrs/week



Course Type:





Teachers wear many hats. Understood helps teachers identify what "hats" they need to put on in order to best serve the 1 in 5 students with learning and thinking differences in classrooms. Starting as "investigators," teachers will gather key understandings and facts about their students and debunk common myths. Teachers develop a deeper understanding of what learning and thinking differences are and how they manifest in classroom. Teachers will learn the power of careful observations to make intervention decisions, recognize student strengths, and respond with empathy. Teachers will understand the key systems of support for students including intervention processes and IEPs.


At the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand key facts about learning and thinking differences and concepts in neuroscience that impact student learning.
  • Recognize that developing awareness of students strengths and needs and responding with empathy are essential for supporting students that learn and think differently.
  • Develop observation practices that drive intervention decisions and recognize student strengths.
  • Describe steps in the IEP process and their role.
  • Create a plan for implementation of IEPs in their classroom and tracking progress.

Target Audience: General education teachers (PK-12) and aspiring educators in the United States. School leaders, specialists, Special Education teachers and other educators in the U.S.

Course is offered by Understood.

Course Instructors

Brittney Newcomer

Brittney Newcomer

Associate Director of Professional Development Programs

Brittney Newcomer is the associate director of professional development programs at Understood, which she joined after serving in public schools for more than a decade as a teacher, evaluator, and curriculum manager. She is a nationally certified school psychologist.


Sign up for this course today!