He always did his best to get the group to participate in relevant discussion,  and shared stories that made the these sessions relevant for us. I liked how he could pick a specific topic and be able to elaborate on the philosophy behind it using themes that were relevant to middle school children in our school. I appreciated learning about child development because I thought it was helpful to put my students' behaviors into context. 

"A Case Study Approach to Professional Development"

Objectives: Teachers will work collaboratively to make individualized plans to improve academic performance and behaviors of identified students.

Activities (to take place over 4 sessions):

Session 1 (45 min): Present a case study outline format to groups of 3-5 teachers. Support teachers through open discussion in selecting students to study.

Session 2 (45 min): Review with teachers the gathered artifacts and information from students. Support teachers in preparing written drafts of the case studies.

Session 3 (45 min): Teachers will present written material to share. Each will be followed by guided discussion, emphasizing collaboration, in the creation of “individualized plans.”

Session 4 (45 min): Teachers will present written material to share on stage, in a theatre style final oral presentation in front of peers. Final papers will be published with appendixes.
 Make School Better 

Professional Development

Instructors teaching and materials encouraged me to develop analytical skills, engage in critical thinking and question assumptions. I opened my mind to different methods based on neuroscience.

Superior Quality Professional Development

For All Teachers

I learned about adolescence and the different situations that can potentially have a positive or negative affect on development in school and at home. I learned about the different levels of attachment and how closely parenting and teaching are related. I also learned how to use my own experiences as an adolescent to have a better understanding of why adolescents indeed act the way they do, along with coming up with effective solutions in helping them channel their emotions. 



  • DEVELOP knowledge and skills in "pyramid planning" leading to implementation of differentiated instruction by developing wide ranges of brain based activities to meet the individual learning needs of all students in diverse classrooms.
  • IMPLEMENT lessons designed to enhance language development in literacy and content area instruction to enage more special needs students in learning.
  • LEARN behavior management techniques designed to change student behaviors that have universal design implications for helping every child improve.

For School Leaders

  • If you would like further information about productive professional development in your school community,  please call or email to arrange a meeting.


James Bensdorf, M.Ed. 
Educational Therapist, School Consultant
200 E Pearson, Apt. 5W
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(847) 987-8721


  • INSURES all participants are actively involved in the process of gaining knowledge and skills to improve the school community and promote inclusion.
  • RESPONDS to the unique concerns of specific school communities, developing problem solving initiatives that lead to productive strategies for interventions.
  • PROMOTES research based, state of the art, brain based and developmentally responsive approaches to meeting the individual needs of those in the school community
  • EMPHASIZES  Collaboration as an essential element to strengthen complex relationships in the context of an entire school community. Ongoing interactive activities insure collaboration skills are learned and practiced.