Personal Improvement Institute

Course Descriptions


 • Stress and What To Do About It  (Instructor: Lisa Kopp)

          “Fully 40% of employee turnover is stress related” " ~ Psychology Today ~

   Today’s fast-paced, pressure-laden way of life creates health problems that were not recognized as serious seventy-five years ago. Stress-related diseases are now the number one concern in personal and professional health. The leading cause of death {heart disease} in America is believed to be due mostly to “un managed” stress. These facts highlight the importance of understanding the physiological and psychological effects stress can have on our body. More importantly, we must learn means to fortify ourselves against these ill effects lest they shorten our lives and discount their value. Stress and What To Do About It is custom tailored for this purpose. 

• The Heart Of Teaching - Core ingredients of the greatest (Instructor: Lisa Kopp)

                   “If commerce of the heart is present, so is a culture for learning”

   The Heart of Teaching is a focused examination of the key ingredients of teaching. It is designed for educational practitioners in classroom and administrative positions and is premised on the belief that only those who have a thorough knowledge of great teaching should be allowed to teach our children. The primary objective of this course is to encourage and assist students in a personal examination of their character, personality, and behavior as compared to the themes common to the best teachers. Research shows clearly what our best teachers are and do. The Heart Of Teaching will not only examine these, it will allow the student to experience a strength inventory. This inventory will provide valuable personal insight into his/her strengths as compared to the best in the field.

• The Teacher in Teaching (Instructor: Craig Schmidt)

                                                     Good to Great

   The Teacher in Teaching is designed to be a summary of the areas of personal growth and struggle that have surfaced over the 20+ years Craig Schmidt has been teaching courses he developed. The thousands of you who have taken courses from Craig will be familiar with many of the topic areas studied in this course including but not limited to: 



Emotional Scars & Pain - The toll we pay 

My Reaction, My Choice - Feelings & Actions

The Ego 

Our Thoughts 

Maps in our lives - The good, the bad, and the "useless" 

Pleasing Personality - How Likable Are You?

Facing My Struggles

What I Get (Personal Responsibly) 


Finding Peace

Sharpening The Saw 

The Teacher in Teaching will provide students a unique opportunity to examine the areas of struggle in their lives and look at ways to ease the weight of these struggles on their the path of life. 

• Emotional Intelligence - Understandings & Applications (Instructor: Brenda Benedict)

      “Finding equilibrium between intellectual faculties and animal propensities"

   Emotional Intelligence - Understandings  & Applications is a journey to understand the scientific insights into emotions and how they impact personal and professional lives. In gaining an understanding of Emotional Intelligence we come by insight into the puzzling and difficult times in our lives and communities.

Understanding the interplay of thought and emotion is quintessential to controlling behavior. Students will assess their own emotional intelligence in preparation for group discussions designed to help understand how their behavior relates to the mastery of their emotions. This will pave the way for a study of the skills necessary for mastering emotional intelligence 

An added benefit of the course will be explaining how these self-management tools can be introduced to students so they can begin to manage and take responsibility for their own progress in managing emotions. The benefits of school kids learning about emotional intelligence (and control) are immeasurable in their value to educational progress.

• Differentiating For Individual Styles (Instructor: Donna Lanning)

                      “If you want me to learn it, let me touch it" 

   We know that children are similar to snowflakes in that there are no exact replicas. Going along with this knowledge, we also know that people learn in different ways. Gaining a better understanding of how to teach to various learning styles will help maximize teacher effectiveness. 

Differentiating For Individual Styles will study some well-known theories of differentiated learning such as Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence but will not credit any as being the sole means to reaching students. 

Our emphasis in DIS will be on the idea that everyone learns a little differently than the next student. Our study will not only help teachers understand that a personally tailored education can be a major asset in reaching children, it will also provide teachers with practical ways to deliver individualized (differentiated) instruction. This is a challenge but not one from which we shrink. 

• Humor In The Classroom (Instructor: Donna Lanning) 

“Want people to pay attention to you? Make them laugh" ~ Good Advice ~

   The evidence is legion that humor is not only one of the best healing agents known to medicine but also the best 'life-lubricating and pain-alleviating' tool available to the human race. There is recent evidence that if children can laugh while learning a lesson, they will retain the lesson much better than if they sleep through it (figuratively, of course). What is needed now is a way to help educators making humor a vital ingredient in their teaching repertoire. 

At Personal Improvement Institute, we believe that humor is truly a gift to human race from God himself (or herself). For this reason, we accept the challenge of creating a course that will help teachers weave humor not only into the fiber of their classroom curriculum, but in the fiber of their personal lives. Remember, at Personal Improvement Institute, it is our firm belief that improvements we make in our personal lives will benefit the millions of children we serve. We can't think of a better mission.

The Essence of Student Motivation (Instructor: Brenda Benedict)  

                      “Increased determination in the face of resistance”

   The Essence of Student Motivation is designed for educational professionals in both classroom and leadership positions. The main objective of the course is to develop an understanding of students who do not seem to care and to learn strategies for use in schools and classrooms that will stimulate students to become engaged in the learning process. During the class we will work to understand the unmotivated student and the reasons for their disengagement. This will be done with interactive activities and discussions. Shared each week will be practical approaches and activities that encourage student engagement 

• The Human Component In Learning (Instructor: Donna Lanning)

“The Quality of Education Can Only Be As Good As The Quality Of The Teacher In The Classroom”

   We’re excited about our newest of offerings that we launched recently.  Based largely on the concepts and work of Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, this course will be an in depth look not only at the importance of the human element in the teaching and learning process, but it will allow students to look within for those characteristics that comprise these elements.   The person (teacher) is the most important element to the success of the student. The Human Component In Learning offers unlimited opportunities to learn about or improve upon the meta-cognitive skills required to reach the pinnacle of effective teaching.