Speaking Menu

Are you, your school, or your district in need of a keynote speaker, breakout session leader, or emcee? Submit the form below or email sydneyclarkjensen@gmail.com to book Sydney for your next event. Be sure to include the date and location in your message.

Speaking Menu

What I Really Need Right Now (KEYNOTE)

This keynote is an extension of Sydney's popular TED talk focused on supporting the emotional well-being of teachers who work with students experiencing trauma. Teachers give their hearts, minds, and spirits in support of their students, and that comes with stress, secondary trauma, and compassion fatigue. Teachers cannot pour from an empty cup, and as we acknowledge this challenge facing the teaching profession, we can do more to counter it with self-care, resilience, and connection.

Takeaways from this session include:

  • Reflection questions to help teachers and school leaders ground themselves in wellness

  • Strategies for building a connected and intentional school community

  • Resources to support the emotional well-being of school staff

Where Do We Go From Here? (KEYNOTE)

As we continue to deal with the occupational hazards and unintended consequences of the pandemic, school districts are facing a potential hiring crisis. We need intentional recruitment and retention strategies to ensure that all students have access to great teachers. To do this, we must find ways to commiserate with teachers after the challenging years of the pandemic, and be purposeful in our pursuit of getting out of survival mode. This keynote focuses on sharing research about teacher retention and recruitment that will help districts and buildings be intentional about their next steps. How do we keep the excellent teachers we have now? How do we add to our hiring pool for the future?

Takeaways from this session include:

  • Steps for creating a "grow your own" program in your local high schools to encourage the students of today to become the educators of tomorrow

  • Resources to support the emotional well-being of school staff

  • A roadmap for creating a culture that welcomes new teachers and sets everyone up for success

Trauma-Informed, Trauma-Responsive (KEYNOTE/WORKSHOP)

Sydney teaches a graduate level course at Doane University focused on teaching students experiencing trauma. Additionally, she collaborated to create a similar course offering for Walden University. In this presentation (a keynote or a workshop, depending on your needs), Sydney will share the pillars of trauma-informed teaching along with actionable strategies to make every classroom a safe space for students to learn and teachers to thrive.

Takeaways from this session include:

  • A baseline understanding of the anatomical response to trauma

  • Trauma-informed strategies for responding to behaviors

  • Instructional practices that create inclusive and safe environments for all students to take academic risks

I'm a First Year Teacher and I'm Going to Change the World! (KEYNOTE)

This keynote is specifically tailored towards a new teacher audience. In this passionate speech, Sydney shares her journey as a struggling student and the impact teachers made on her life. She shares her story of overcoming a disastrous first year in the classroom and sends a message of inspiration and hope to the newest generation of educators.

Takeaways from this session include:

  • A roadmap for building a professional learning community

  • Advice for making the first year full of growth

  • Reinvigorated passion for entering the teaching profession

The Person Talking is the Person Learning: How to Get Kids Talking (WORKSHOP)

We've all experienced the moment where we pose a question to the class and are met with absolute silence. Many kids love to socialize, but it can be a challenge to get students to talk to each other about their learning. This session focuses on building capacity for all students to use their voice. As students are empowered to verbalize their learning, engagement increases and so does achievement. Get ready to incorporate these strategies into your classroom immediately and watch hear your classroom transform.

Takeaways from this session include:

  • Concrete strategies to empower all students (no matter how introverted) to use their voice

  • Management strategies to maintain control while raising the volume

Building Relationships Through Feedback (WORKSHOP)

One of the most time-consuming tasks that teachers face is the process of providing feedback. Often, we spend hours writing or typing feedback on assignments only to find it on our floor a few minutes after the bell. Teachers have the power to use their feedback not only to provide next steps to our students, but also to foster positive relationships with students and invest in a learning community. This session will focus on how teachers can use feedback to build confidence in students as learners, increase engagement, and create a positive learning community.

Takeaways from this session include:

  • Research and pedagogy supporting the power of timely and specific feedback

  • Strategies for how teachers can use feedback as a pathway to building positive relationships with students.

  • The ability to build confidence in students as learners, increase engagement, and create a positive learning community through feedback.

Staying Well Through the Struggle -- Specifically Responsive to the COVID19 Pandemic's Impact on Teaching (KEYNOTE/WORKSHOP)

Grading, lesson planning, classroom management, meetings, and connecting with parents/guardians are often cited as "challenges" for teachers, and they certainly can be tough. However, the hardest part of teaching is maintaining a work/life balance and taking time to give energy to ourselves as educators. This session is focused on building a personal wellness creed with commitments to your self, your family, your students, and your school community. Creating space for authentic reflection increases capacity for teachers to truly practice self-care.

Takeaways from this session include:

  • A personalized wellness creed

  • A range of wellness strategies to incorporate into your daily life

  • Methods for staying connected while socially distancing during the COVID19 pandemic

Building a Culture of Coaching (WORKSHOP)

Leaders in education know that everyone needs a coach, but the logistics of developing a culture of instructional coaching can be challenging to navigate. Jensen is a member of a three person instructional coaching cohort seeking to shift the culture at Lincoln High using this strategy. Over the past two years, she has learned that the first step to creating a culture that accepts coaching for all teachers—new and veteran, struggling and thriving alike—is to take an affirmative approach. This session is geared towards administrators and buildings seeking to implement coaching as an essential part of professional development in their buildings/districts.

Takeaways from this session include:

  • Research and pedagogy supporting the importance of instructional coaching

  • Action steps to implementing an instructional coaching model

  • A clear understanding of what instructional coaching is and what it is not

  • A model for using coaching to increase collaboration among teachers

Choosing the Right Strategy: The 3 E's of Instructional Technology (WORKSHOP)

John Hattie’s research on effect size is enlightening to all districts striving to make every moment (and dollar) count. His research shows that purely having technology exist in a classroom does not highly impact student achievement. This is because teachers have to change their instruction with the technology for it to truly make a difference. This workshop will focus on aiding teachers in choosing the right strategy to teach or measure their learning objectives by subscribing to the three E’s of technology: is it efficient, effective, and engaging?

Takeaways from this session include:

  • A framework for deciding when to incorporate tech tools and when to "kick it old school"

  • A deeper understanding of what it means to be an engaged learner and how technology can empower students

  • Lesson development strategies to create more dynamic learning opportunities in their classrooms

Building Relationships Through Books (Keynote)

Sydney is an English/Literature teacher, so it might surprise you to hear that she has not always loved reading. This inspiring speech utilizes a story-telling model that engages listeners instantly. It is geared toward an ELA audience and highlights the ways teachers can use books to bring a learning community together through shared interests, discussion, and engagement. When our students feel represented in our curriculum, they are more likely to engage as readers and learners.

Takeaways from this session include:

  • A heart-based approach to "book talks"

  • Tips for using books to foster a sense of belonging in your classroom community

*Note: If there is something you were hoping for that you don't see here, fill out the request form below. I love adding to my repertoire to fit the needs of schools, teachers, and districts.