Volunteer Trainings

Volunteer Trainings

Get ready to volunteer!

Volunteer Foundations Training

ABE teachers and tutors have busy schedules, so finding time to attend in-person trainings or live webinars can be a challenge! Literacy Minnesota has videos that can be viewed asynchronously, with accompanying reflection guides which can be submitted for attendance credits that count towards certificates and generate CEUs.

In order to view the recordings, click on the links below and register for the training through the Literacy Minnesota website. After registration, a link is sent to a webpage where the recordings, materials, and reflection guides can be accessed. Once the reflection guide is complete, send a copy to Literacy Minnesota to receive full participation credit. Teachers and tutors can access high-quality professional development independently, working with their own timeframe.

Program coordinators can use the recordings and reflection guides to facilitate small group PD events. Have volunteers and/or teachers view the recordings on their own time, and come together to discuss the reflection guide questions, or watch the videos together and pause to discuss the reflection prompts throughout the recording.

Note: Due to conditions stipulated by the Minnesota Department of Adult Education, recorded training reflection forms submitted by out-of-state residents will not be reviewed by Literacy Minnesota staff, and therefore cannot result in CEUs for out-of-state residents. Out-of-state residents can, however, earn CEUs from live webinars.

Core Training Modules: Please note that the recordings for the core training modules are available only if volunteers cannot attend a live training online or in-person, which are the preferred methods for completing the requirement. Please check our events calendar for upcoming live training dates. 

  • Core Module 1:  Overview of Minnesota Adult Education and Program Accountability  Participants learn about Adult Basic Education programming in Minnesota, demographics of learners, instructional content standards as well as initial and on-going assessment. This session wraps up with learner motivations, barriers and persistence. (2 CEUs)
  • Core Module 2:  Understanding Adult Learners  Participants develop their personal cultural awareness and learn how expectations around school culture shape how people teach and learn. Guiding principles for effectively delivering instruction to adults are also covered. Finally, participants increase their sensitivity to the challenges of learning English and developing literacy as an adult. (2 CEUs)
  • Core Training Module 3: Instructional Best Practices--Working with  Learners  Participants learn how to apply teaching practices that support language and skill development for all learners. These practices include ensuring that instruction is learner centered, using an appropriate level of teacher talk and delivering error correction. (2 CEUs)
  • Core Training Module 4: Instructional Best Practices: Working with Materials Participants will engage in a couple of classroom activities to experience scaffolding, checking comprehension and the gradual release of responsibility. These aspects of teaching and tutoring are then defined, explained further and participants get opportunities to practice them. (2 CEUs)

Remote Instruction

  • Remote Teaching 101: Learn best practices for connecting and communicating one-to-one with learners on the phone or online, get suggestions for correcting errors and checking comprehension in a virtual setting, and discover language activities that can be done over the phone or on a video call. (2 CEUs)
  • Making It Work: Adapting Materials for Remote Teaching: In this workshop, learn recommendations for adapting materials designed for in-person instruction into a remote teaching format. The presenter will demonstrate approaches for introducing reading, writing, and vocabulary on a phone or computer, and will model adaptations for common ESL classroom activities. (2 CEUs)
  • A Roadmap for Success: Remote Lesson Planning: During this webinar, you will learn how to design lessons so that both the teacher and the learners experience success. Topics covered include: how to write effective objectives to guide your planning, tried and true planning methods and lesson plan formats, and how to build in comprehension checks throughout the lesson. (2 CEUs)
  • Facilitating Positive Learner Experiences during Remote Instruction: In this webinar, Literacy Minnesota teachers will share some of their favorite virtual routines that promote successful learning. Discover tried and true practices for creating interactive and engaging small group and large group virtual activities, and learn tricks and explore free tools to make virtual lessons go smoothly. (2 CEUs)
  • Talk Amongst Yourselves: Building Up to Student-Facilitated Conversations: Learn about three essential skills students need in order to join a conversation and keep it going. This webinar will demonstrate how to introduce those strategies and get students talking in small groups online. (2 CEUs)

Special Topics

  • Teaching Citizenship In-Person or Online Jessica Horning, citizenship teacher for the Literacy Minnesota Open Door Learning Centers, shares important background information and multiple ways to teach and review the content of the citizenship interview in fun, interactive ways. Participants will receive links to online resources that can be used in one-on-one or small group teaching settings. (2 CEUs)
  • A Volunteer's Introduction to Universal Design for Learning Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach that enhances educational equity by creating more accessible learning experiences for all students. This introductory webinar covers fundamental UDL concepts, the similarities and differences between UDL and disability accommodations, and some UDL strategies for adult learners across levels. We’ll also highlight the UDL connections in Literacy Minnesota’s new curriculum, English Unlocked. Join us to learn about how you can help implement UDL in any volunteer role, whether you serve as a classroom assistant, tutor, or teacher. (2 CEUs) Note: This session is primarily designed for volunteers who follow predetermined curricula and lesson plans. For those with control or discretion over lesson and classroom design, we also recommend the PANDA UDL training (offered annually in January).
  • How to Work Effectively with Muslims Watch this session with Jaylani Hussein of CAIR MN to learn how to effectively work with Muslim learners by bringing awareness and eliminating potential bias. Participants will answer questions to both learn about Muslim culture, while simultaneously learning ideas about unconscious bias. The session also includes an in-depth explanation of the religion and cultural norms, including keywords, holidays, and customs held in Muslim culture, and it concludes with a discussion on how Muslims practice their beliefs, emphasizing the continuum of diversity of practice within the religion. The presenter also touches on religious accommodations in educational settings. (2 CEUs)
  • Culturally Responsive Practices for Diverse Adult Learners  Join presenter Jimmie Heags, Jr., MA, LSC, LPCC, LADC, ACS, for this session that explores how cultural identities and experiences impact student-instructor interactions and shape the way we make meaning of the world. Participants will gain awareness of their own cultural perspectives, social location and the need for cultural humility in Adult Basic Education with the goal of enhancing the outcomes of adult learners and educators' own professional development. Learning will be acquired through the explanation of concepts, anecdotes and stories, videos and deep reflection. (1.5 CEUs)