Partner Spotlight: Kansas National Education Association (KNEA)

The Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) is a state-level affiliate of the National Education Association, and provides support to state affiliates through advocacy, legal support, grants, trainings, and benefits. Their mission is to advocate for education professionals and to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world through public education.

Partnering to Support Educators Across Kansas

321 Insight partnered with KNEA to provide an innovative approach to addressing educators’ professional learning needs. One of the many challenges educators face is finding the time to focus on their own learning.

Idalia Shuman, Director of Teaching and Learning at KNEA, set out to find a solution that would provide high-quality learning that was flexible enough to address educator time constraints, and that could be consistently tailored to meet their learning needs.  “Educators need flexibility with their demanding schedules,” Shuman said. “They don’t have time to meet their own learning needs because they’re so focused on addressing their students’ needs. We wanted to partner with 321 Insight to create a solution that allowed educators to engage in meaningful, job-specific PD that works for their demanding schedules.” 

In addition to providing flexible learning options for members, it was also important to build the capacity of KNEA’s on-site educators to facilitate 321 Insight’s PD at their own schools and districts. With these goals in mind, 321 Insight and KNEA collaborated to create a custom solution to meet their specific needs. 

A Hybrid Approach: Combining On-Demand, Virtual, and In-Person PD

The KNEA and 321 Insight collaborated to implement a professional learning model that effectively combines on-demand, virtual, and in-person learning to address educators’ needs.  “The benefit of this partnership is that we’ve been able to continue to offer quality professional learning that educators can access on their schedules, that addresses the challenging behaviors they’re seeing, and that we can tailor specifically to what they told us they needed.” said Shuman.


Building Educator Capacity to Continue the Training

Shuman also wanted to find a way to build the capacity of on-site educators to facilitate this learning at their own schools and districts. To address this need, 321 Insight developed and delivered a Train-the-Trainer in-person PD session designed to build a deep understanding of adult learning, and best practices for delivering selected 321 Insight professional development sessions at their locations. 

The response to the Train-the-Trainer session was overwhelmingly positive.  Amelia Black, an EL teacher and KNEA member, found the session to be particularly helpful. “It was an incredible opportunity to acquire valuable skills in presenting to adults.” she said.  “I have presented many times within my district, but I have never been formally trained in how to present to adults. I feel very confident in my ability to present, and I have already been asked to present twice at my building with the possibility of presenting to my district.”

Another participant, educator and KNEA member Erica Huggard, was excited to have the opportunity to participate in the session. “I am passionate about enhancing the quality of education and empowering fellow educators to make a positive impact in the classroom.” Huggard said, and is looking forward to implementing the best practices and strategies she learned to help foster supportive learning environments for both educators and students. 

Positive Feedback and Continued Success

The entire initiative continues to be extremely well received.  “The feedback we’ve received from participants has been overwhelmingly positive.”  Shuman said. “KNEA’s continuing partnership with 321 Insight allows our association to increase its reservoir of leading-edge professional learning opportunities that address relevant, to-the-minute needs and concerns of classroom educators and support professionals.”

Empower educators with flexible tools for addressing challenging behavior. Visit for more information on our customizable in-person, virtual, and/or hybrid PD workshops.