In addition to the fifteen Foundational Courses embedded within the six primary Tracks of the Virtual Lab School, we also offer a series of Focused Topics. Each focused topic course is centralized around a specific topic, offering in-depth content and resources. These courses help staff members strengthen their knowledge and practices relevant to a specialized content area – such as supporting language diversity, identifying stress and stress-reduction techniques, and essentials for food service staff.
Staff members in care settings are often stressed. When staff members learn strategies to identify and manage their stress, it increases their overall well-being. This course helps people reflect on how stress works in their bodies, how they typically respond to stress, and introduces stress-reduction strategies such as belief disputation, emotional reappraisal, controlled breathing and visualization. Learn ways to help build resiliency in yourself, and support a resilient workplace for your coworkers and the children in your care.
The Essentials in Child Care Food Service course provides training for food service staff working in child development centers or school-age and youth programs. The seven-lesson course details important aspects of food service in child care settings and covers the following topics in detail: menu planning; family-style dining; preparation & presentation; inventory management; hygiene & sanitation; temperature control; and pathogens & allergens.
Learn the facts about gender identity and development. This course contains information, strategies, activities, and resources to construct inclusive programs for all children, including those who are gender-expansive or LGBTQ. Create spaces where all children feel authentic and safe to ensure the development of healthy self-esteem. Lessons one through five provide key information for all program staff, while lesson six provides additional details for administrators and training & curriculum specialists.
Given the large number of languages spoken in the U.S, it is very likely that you will serve children, youth, and families who speak a language that is unfamiliar to you. Your own communication skills and language strengths will be called upon frequently. If you speak a language other than English, this course will help you use those strengths in your work with children. If you do not speak a language other than English, this course will give you strategies to build a language-rich classroom and program.
Given the large number of languages spoken in the U.S., it is likely that your program will serve children, youth, and families who speak a language unfamiliar to you or your staff. Capitalize on the strengths that bilingual and multilingual staff bring to your program by fostering a culturally diverse and language-rich environment for children and families. Help mono-English speaking staff members create language-rich programs that support children and families from a range of backgrounds.