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Expert Learning In Action

Create sustainable ways to recharge, reflect, and set a collective vision for a more inclusive and equitable future.

The hope for this course is that it feels different - more reflective, empowering, and simple. A time to breathe, reflect, and cast vision for your professional hopes for the next season of instruction (and on). A time to tap into your professional identity as an expert learner.

This course came to life in the Summer of 2021, when education was neck deep in one of the most disruptive periods of our modern human history. A time when educators were being forced to change their practices in the most drastic ways. Gone were the days where we could reuse the teaching materials from last year, gone were the days where we could ignore educational technology and gone were the times where we could remain fixed in inflexible teaching and learning. In the midst of all this change, we were left with two questions,

1) How are we going to give ourselves space for a collective breath and learning after this time of extreme turbulence and adaptive thinking? and

2) Why isn’t collective reflection built into our everyday seasons of teaching and learning?

This course is meant to address these two questions. The hope is that educators across the globe take time to stop, breathe, reflect, and cast a vision for the future of their teaching and learning practices. With the myriad of challenges education currently faces, this degree of expert learning will be required to meet these challenges as we create sustainable ways to recharge, reflect, and set collective vision for a more inclusive and equitable future.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding the importance of reflection and relaxation (and tactics to do so!)
  • Expert learning
  • Reflecting on the highs and lows of the previous season(s) in education 
  • Goal setting
  • Leveraging and building communities and collectives
  • Progress monitoring
  • Mapping learning for future success 

At a Glance










Zach Smith





Course Objectives

Educators grow in their ability to be an expert learner who learns and grows through the “highs” and “lows” in education.
Educators feel rested and reflective as evidenced by their own perception of where they are emotionally, physically and intellectually in their work. 
Educators develop clear, actionable, and personalized goals for the areas that  they would like to grow in their current and future seasons of teaching and learning.
Zach_Circle_2020 copy

About Your Instructor

Zach Smith was born and raised in Fresno, California. Growing up with siblings with disabilities and siblings from Ethiopia, Zach saw first hand the impact of exclusionary and non-culturally responsive instructional practices. After graduating from Fresno State, he began his career as a special education teacher. He worked for eleven years in a small rural district named Sanger Unified. In his last three years with Sanger, he moved outside the classroom to co-lead the implementation of UDL for all teachers in the district. In the fall of 2019, Zach started a new chapter in his professional journey as a student in Harvard’s Doctorate of Education Leadership program.

Zach has extensive knowledge in UDL; presenting, coaching, planning, and building organizational capacity around this initiative. Zach is a passionate advocate for the power of inclusion to revolutionize the way teachers teach and as paramount for closing opportunity gaps and creating classrooms inclusive of students farthest away from justice. 

Zach lives with his wife and best friend Dorothy, as well as their four daughters, Grace (10), Amy (8), Isabella (6), and Sydney(3). 


What to Expect

How the Course Works

  • Each module begins with a brief video to orient you to the topic and lesson. 
  • As you navigate through the course, each module features key lessons accompanied by options to dive deeper into the content by reviewing readings and resources. 
  • At the end of each module, students will have a chance to assess their learning. Assessments can be taken as many times as needed.
  • Throughout the course, you'll have the option to post to the course community discussion board and publicly reflect on your learning.
  • A final project, optional for all, a requirement for graduate credit
  • Receive your completion certificate for 30 continuing education hours at the end of the course. 
  • For those taking the final project, upon successful completion, receive 15 continuing education hours and 3 graduate-level continuing education credits. 
  • Runs on the Thinkific platform. 


There are no prerequisites or required texts for this course.  All materials are linked freely within the modules. 


Pricing Options

Our standard and group pricing covers your course registration with Novak Educational Consulting, Inc. only. You may also choose to purchase graduate credits and/or clock hours (for Washington State teachers) at the time of registration. For questions regarding pricing or to request a purchase order, contact us.

Course Certificates & Transcripts

You will receive a completion certificate from Novak Education at the conclusion of the course. Please check in with your school or district to determine if this alone will be sufficient for salary points or advancement. Some states require additional proof of completion such as clock hours, contact hours, or credits. Graduate credits (3 continuing education credits) may be obtained through our accredited university partners. Learn more about our graduate partners: Gordon College and Teachers College of San Joaquin.