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Trust First Essentials

In-Person • Live • Online • 15 PD Hours

Classroom Management Credential Track

Improve classroom management by building a positive classroom culture of safety and trust for children and teachers.

Trust is essential to healthy childhood development. When adults build trust-based relationships with children, children feel safe to make mistakes and learn from them. Trust First Essentials focuses on how to foster trust and safety so children have room to stumble, recover, and develop resilience within a calm and nurturing classroom environment.

This course is built for teachers and coaches! You will learn the skills needed to manage classrooms of any size, including how to establish clear expectations, set boundaries, anticipate problems, and react proactively when they do.

  • Start Date: New cohorts are accepted six times a year: September, October, November, February, March, April
  • Course Level: Beginner
  • Requirements/Prerequisites: None
  • Target Audience: Instruction and Effective Practice, Support Services
  • Course Meeting Times: In addition to online coursework, learners will be required to attend live instruction sessions to successfully complete the course. Sessions will be held on Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.
  • Please note that the meeting time is subject to change based on facilitator’s availability.
  • Completion Timeline/Duration: One month
  • Alignment with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF):  This course supports programs in meeting the 1302 Subpart C-Education and Child Development Program Services requirements of the Head Start Program Performance Standards, in which programs must “ensure teachers and other relevant staff provide responsive care, effective teaching, and an organized learning environment that promotes healthy development and children’s skill growth aligned with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five, including for children with disabilities.” This course is aligned with the ELOF: Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional Development.

Module Topics: 

  1. Getting to Know the P.I.T. Stop
  2. Go to Solution
  3. We Love Mistakes!
  4. A.R.F.F.
  5. Respect and How to Teach It
  6. Questions – Your New Response to Everything
  7. Giving Permission – The Secret to Reaching Potential
  8. The Power of the “Good Thinker”
  9. Stating Your Needs
  10. No More Consequences

Learning Objectives:

  • At the end of this course, you will have ten strategies to use in the classroom to develop strong trust with your children. These strategies will also teach the children how to build trust with adults and their peers.

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Download the Syllabus 


15 Hours of Course Material

Online, Self-Paced Content

2 Months of Access to Course

Video Content
Discussion Forums
Digital Badge
Certificate of Completion with PD Hours
24/7 Access to Transcript


Rhonda Conn-Parent

Rhonda Conn-Parent

Rhonda Conn-Parent is a high-trust teacher for 20+ years. She loves the teaching profession and working with children. Art integration has been her vehicle for growing children’s souls and minds since she started teaching in 1991. She continues to teach in Colorado Springs and doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon!

Course Author

Dr. Deborah Bergeron

Dr. Deborah Bergeron

Dr. B served as director of the Office of Head Start from 2018-21. From 2019-21 she broadened her leadership as director of the Office of Early Childhood Development in the Administration for Children and Families. Known as "Dr. B" to former students and teachers, she spent three decades in pre-K–12 public education as a classroom teacher and school administrator. She currently serves as deputy director for Community Engagement and Innovation at the National Head Start Association.