Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) offers professional training on a variety of topics including sexuality, sexual health, education and prevention. Our trainings and workshops are specifically designed to help participants develop the skills and awareness it takes to be effective sexuality educators. All professional training opportunities are facilitated by experienced PPLM professional training staff.
Professional Training opportunities
- Tools for Creating LGBTQ+ Inclusive Spaces
- Examining Sexually Explicit Media: Tools for Conversations with Youth
- Exploring the Impact of Masculinity on Sexual Health
- Discussing Protection Methods and STIs in the Classroom
- Being an Askable Adult
- Working With Parents
- "Am I normal...? Is it okay if...?" Answering Student Questions About Sexual Health
Get Real Trainings:
You will also find our frequently asked questions at the bottom of this page.
SECS is our most popular training opportunity for foundational information about sexuality education. SECS is designed for educators, youth-serving professional, and individuals interested in entering sexuality education who are seeking a basic foundation of knowledge in sexuality and sexual health information that they can share with their populations. Participants receive up-to-date information about protection methods, anatomy, puberty, sexual and gender identity, communication, and sexually transmitted infections; they also develop the knowledge, skills, and practice needed to deliver information and answer questions related to sexuality. Each session of this lively, interactive, 3-day seminar combines discussion and hands-on practical experience in specific subject areas.
At the conclusion of the seminar, participants of this course are able to:
- Discuss key sexual health topics.
- Utilize interactive lessons for a variety of topics in sexuality education.
- Implement teaching strategies that address diverse learning styles and experiences.
- Answer questions related to sexuality in a non-judgmental, inclusive, and comprehensive manner.
- List 3 vetted resources for information on sexual health topics.
- Identify key elements of effective sexuality education.
- Define harm reduction theory as it relates to imparting information related to sexuality education.
- Describe the role of facts versus values, attitudes, and beliefs in teaching and learning about sexuality.
A certificate of participation is given upon successful completion and evaluation of the three day seminar. This training does not certify participants as sexuality educators, though some professional development and continuing education credits are available (see below).
August 27-29, 2019 - 9:30am-4:00pm
Boston, MA - register here
November 5-7, 2019 - 9:30am-4:00pm
Worcester, MA - register here
January 28-30, 2020 - 9:30am-4:00pm
Boston, MA - register here
March 24-26, 2020 - 9:30am-4:00pm
Springfield, MA - register here
May 12-14, 2020- 9:30am-4:00pm
Brockton, MA - register here
Frequently Asked SECS Questions
Who should attend? We encourage attendance by any professionals who are or will be talking to young people or adults about sexuality. We welcome those who are interested in entering the field of sexuality education as well as those needing a refresher on foundational sexuality information. Topics include: puberty, anatomy, sexually transmitted infections, protection methods, communication, sex readiness, consent, and sexual and gender identity, among others. Attendees could be, but are not limited to: educators, school social workers or nurses, youth workers, community workers, parent/adult educators, public health practitioners, college graduates new to the sexual health field, etc.
Is this the Get Real curriculum training? No, it is not. If you have purchased the Get Real curriculum and are interested in training, please visit the Training & TA section of the Get Real website. If you are interested in purchasing the Get Real curriculum, please visit ETR’s website for more information.
Are continuing education credits offered? This program approved for Category One Continuing Education hours for relicensure, in accordance with 258 CMR by the collaborative of NASW and the Boston College and Simmons College Schools of Social Work. It is also approved for Professional Development Points by The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Additionally, it meets the requirements of the Board of Registration in Nursing for contact hours of nursing continuing education.
What does the certificate of participation say? The certificate of participation given upon completion of SECS states that the individual whose name it bears successfully completed the seminar. It also includes information about the professional development points and continuing education units participants may be eligible for. This certificate does not provide sexuality education certification.
This full-day training is for professionals committed to creating inclusive spaces for people of all sexual identities and genders. This training will cover vocabulary, using gender neutral language and correct pronouns, answering tough questions, and will provide opportunities for skill building utilizing real-life examples plus more. Any and all are welcome to attend, including educators, nurses, school nurses, human resource professionals, medical and health providers, disability service providers, youth-serving professionals, law enforcement officers, etc.
March 12, 2020, 9:30am-4:00pm
Sexually Explicit Media (SEM) is one way that youth are learning about sexuality. Using the lens of media literacy education, this interactive, one-day training will provide educators, youth workers, and professionals with an opportunity to explore how pornography can play a role in young people's sexual development and sexuality, their awareness of gender and gender stereotypes, consent, sexual behavior, bodies and body image, healthy and unhealthy relationships, and sexual identity. Participants will learn strategies to teach critical thinking skills about media literacy, how to discuss SEM with young people, and leave with activities to utilize in the classroom.
December 12, 2019, 9:00am-4:30pm
Puberty: a time of great (and sometimes daunting) change for both young people and the adults in their lives. This interactive, full-day training will provide educators, school nurses, youth-serving professionals, and other caring adults with skills and strategies for teaching pubescent youth about their changing bodies, emotional growth, and navigating the path to adulthood in a way that is inclusive of students of all genders and sexual identities. Through a social emotional learning lens, participants will have an opportunity to engage in lessons and activities that will build their own skills to teach anatomy, menstruation, hygiene, cultivating empathy, and more.
February 11, 2020 9:00am-4:30pm
All people deserve access to medically accurate, developmentally appropriate information related to their sexuality and sexual health. And yet often, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are not included in sex education. Training participants will have an opportunity to identify and examine values, practice intentional language, work on concrete skills for adapting lesson plans, share challenges and successes, and learn best practices for implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) through lecture, peer-to-peer conversation, modeling and skill-building activities. This full-day, interactive training was informed by a team of multi-disciplinary experts, and a focus-group of youth self-advocates. We hope you can join us for this brand-new training intended for educators, service providers, and anyone who is working directly with individuals with IDD.
April 30, 2020 - 9:00am-4:30pm
When the role of sexuality educator falls to the PE, science, and sometimes even the math teacher, it might feel scary or overwhelming - but it doesn't need to! This full-day training will provide educators who are newly tapped to teach sex education the foundational skills necessary for teaching this subject. From learning about group rights, to setting the classroom tone, managing potential challenges and establishing appropriate boundaries, and exploring personal values as they relate to teaching about sexuality - this training will cover it all. Participants will leave this training with an increase in their knowledge, skills, and comfort to successfully teach sexuality education.
May 7, 2020 - 9:00am-4:30pm
What does it mean to be an “askable” adult? How do we improve our active listening skills? How do we validate questions? How do we really serve the young people we work with? Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to explore these important questions and more. This workshop will help equip adults with tools to support the young people in their lives and to ensure they are meeting those young people where they are. Participants will also have the opportunity to identify how personal values might interact with their work, and will practice responding to youth questions while maintaining professional boundaries.
October 15, 2019 - 2:30pm-5:30pm
Designed for teachers, youth workers, and other professionals, this workshop recognizes the importance and necessity of partnering with parents and other caring adults in order to support and complement successful comprehensive sexuality education. Participants will develop specific strategies to engage parents in clarifying their values and creating ongoing conversations with young people so they can make informed choices about their own health and safety relating to sexuality. Get Real Educators will find this workshop a useful supplement to existing resources on getrealeducation.org. All participants will receive a resource packet and complimentary copy of “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie Harris.
October 15, 2019, 6:00pm-9:00pm
**Attend both workshops for a discounted rate of $150! Continuing Education Units are available for participants who attend both workshops.**
Far too often, masculine expectations lead those who identify as male to engage in harmful behaviors, including high risk sexual behaviors. Educators, youth workers, and other caring adults frequently see the negative impact of these expectations and struggle to reach male identified folks unwilling to seek out and utilize health care services and other support networks. In this workshop participants will explore and attempt to understand harmful masculine expectations and will leave with strategies for challenging and countering these expectations with the goal of promoting more positive, uplifting expressions of masculinity.
November 13, 2019 – 9:30am-12:30pm
Anyone who talks to people about keeping themselves healthy will benefit from PPLM’s newest professional development opportunity. This workshop serves as an introduction for educators who are teaching sexuality education for the first time and a refresher for those who need updated statistics and new activities. As a result of attending this half-day workshop, participants will be able to use the Protection Methods Kit to explain protection methods in detail, facilitate activities on both contraception and STIs, and identify best practices for doing so in a classroom setting. All participants will receive a resource packet and have the option to purchase a Protection Methods Kit.
January 14, 2020- 9:30am-12:30pm
Young people have endless questions about their bodies, their relationships, their sexuality, and so much more. In this interactive, half-day workshop educators (and really anyone who finds themselves in conversations with youth!) will identify types of sexuality questions, examine the role personal values plays in answering these questions, and develop facilitation skills needed to answer sexuality questions in their teaching. During the workshop, participants will practice responding to real questions from real kids, receive feedback, and leave with increased confidence in their ability to respond to challenging questions.
January 23, 2020 - 9:30am-12:30pm
Youth voice is powerful. Young people are passionate, eloquent, dedicated, thoughtful and when they speak up the world takes notice. But there is a difference between lifting up the voice of young people and co-opting their voice. This workshop will help participants explore common pitfalls when working with young people and will help build skills to authentically engage with youth voice in education and non-profit work. Join us for this interactive workshop to learn how to effectively create an authentic space for young people in your work.
March 7, 2020 – 9:30am-12:30pm
Get Real Trainings:
The Get Real Training Institute (GRTI) offers educators a Get Real Training of the Educator (TOE). The TOE provides an invaluable professional development experience for teachers implementing Get Real. This research-based approach includes participation in a 10-12 hour, self-guided online course followed by participation in a two-day, skill-building, in-person training. In addition, teachers are provided two follow-up support sessions when they begin teaching Get Real in the classroom and receive ongoing online support through the special interactive Teacher Resources area of the Get Real website. This phased training approach helps ensure that teachers develop the necessary knowledge and skills to become competent and comfortable teaching comprehensive sexuality education with the ultimate goal of impacting student behavior.
The GRTI has also developed a Skills Booster Day, created in response to high demand from Get Real Educators. The Skills Booster Day is an opportunity for educators to practice facilitating activities from the Get Real curriculum. Get Real Educators who have completed the Get Real TOE are eligible to attend our Skills Booster Days for the middle school or high school curricula. These day-long Skills Booster Days take place immediately following the two-day, in-person TOE. The Skills Booster Day is open to the participants of that scheduled TOE as well as any other Get Real Educator looking to brush-up on their teaching skills and boost their confidence in the material.
For more information and to get registered, please visit the Training & TA section of the Get Real website.
Get Real Middle School TOEs
September 25-26, 2019 - 9:00am-4:30pm
Boston, MA - register here
March 4-5, 2020 - 9:00am-4:30pm
Boston, MA - register here
Get Real High School TOEs
October 23-24, 2019 - 9:00am-4:30pm
Boston, MA - register here
April 1-2, 2020 - 9:00am-4:30pm
Boston, MA - register here
November 14, 2019 - 9:00am-4:30pm
Boston, MA - register here
*this skills booster day is open to all Get Real Educators teaching either the middle school or high school curriculum
The GRTI also offers a Training of the Trainer (TOT). This training opportunity is open to those with advanced training skills who have successfully completed a PPLM-facilitated TOE since January 2015 and have implemented the curriculum in a classroom setting. The 5-day TOT is a high-level professional learning process that builds the knowledge and skills required of qualified trainers to provide Get Real TOEs and technical assistance/capacity-building assistance to adult learners who intend to implement Get Real. Registration applications will be required and all individuals will need to be approved before officially enrolling in this training. Additional pre-work will be required. For more information and to request your application, please visit the Training & TA section of the Get Real website.
June 8-12, 2020
Please email [email protected] for an application.
We are thrilled to offer the following professional development webinars to select audiences:
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) has become a framework that many schools are using to not only bolster students' academic achievements, but also their social and emotional skills. Teaching SEL in the context of comprehensive sexuality education can help young people develop the understanding and skills needed to navigate healthy relationships and healthy sexuality throughout life. In this webinar participants will examine SEL foundations and how to utilize core understandings to enhance their sexuality education classrooms, including a focus on decision-making, relationship building, consent, and primary prevention of sexual assault and harassment.
October 10, 2019 - 3:00pm-4:00pm EST
Research supports that children who have frequent and open conversations with their parents about sex and sexuality are more likely to make healthy and responsible decisions about sex. We also know that engaging parents as the primary sexuality educators of their children can be difficult. During this one hour webinar, educators will have an opportunity to build empathy for parents and to examine some of the challenges of engaging parents and other caring adults. In addition, educators will practice ways to overcome some of these challenges and leave with concrete tips for how to answer parent questions and concerns confidently and effectively.
May 21, 2020 - 3:00pm-4:00pm EST
The brain is the largest sex organ – but how does it play a role in sexual decision making in young people, and how do we better understand how the adolescent brain works? Educators, youth-serving professionals, and anyone who interacts with young people on a regular basis looking for introductory information will benefit from this one hour webinar on adolescent brain development. The webinar facilitators will describe and explain the developmental differences between young people and adults, and how messages – especially as they pertain to sexual decision making and relationships – may be heard differently between young people and adults. Participants will be guided through different regions of the brain and brain functioning, theories of development, and walk away with ways to apply what they’ve learned to their interactions with young people. This webinar will offer introductory information, and is not led by a behavioral psychologist.
December 5, 2019 - 3:00pm-4:00pm EST
How do I register? Participants should register using the registration link for the desired training date. The course is paid via credit card at the time of registration. Please note that many of our courses fill up well in advance and are filled on a first come, first served basis. Your seat will not be reserved until payment has been received. If no registration link is provided, please contact [email protected] for more information.
Can I bring this training to my workplace? Yes. Schools or organizations may host a private training for their staff, either at your location or ours. For more information on booking PPLM for your professional training needs, please contact [email protected].
How do I find out about future professional training opportunities? Our trainings will always be listed at this site (pplm.org/training). You can also sign up to be added onto the Professional Training mailing list, as well as a number of other listservs from our Education & Training Department; you can do so by clicking here.
What if I have other questions? All questions about our professional training offerings can be directed to [email protected].