Must-Attend Conferences for Elementary Educators
- Montessori Observation and Record Keeping Workshop
- Comprehensive Literacy and Reading Recovery Conference
- Unconventional Teaching Workshop
- Southern Conference on Children
- Opening Minds Conference
For educators tasked with shaping the paths of elementary level students, conferences serve as a pivotal nexus in which they can meet, learn, and share their experiences. Education is not a profession in which one can do everything, discover new approaches, and stay abreast of the constantly shifting standards of the field, without the support and inspiration of peers or mentors. Below are five conferences that recur annually and will bring innumerable benefits to educators who attend them.
Montessori Observation and Record Keeping Training Conference
While not all early childhood educators are working with Montessori institutions, the central tenets behind this ideological and pedagogical structure can offer benefits to each of them. Because education of the young involves a more intensive relationship with parents, caregivers, and guardians of pupils, learning to use the strategies and interpretive lenses common with the observation of student progress is beneficial. It also provides a closer look at enhanced communication strategies with parents and guardians of young students, which comes in handy for parent-teacher interactions.
Comprehensive Literacy and Reading Recovery Conference
Literacy skills are paramount for students of all abilities and cultural backgrounds. The Comprehensive Literacy and Reading Recovery Conference is held January 23-25, 2019 at Chicago Magnificent Mile Marriott and provides elementary educators with a host of opportunities to confer with peers, learn new teaching strategies, and attend panels of experts in the field. The importance of the ability to read and understand the material, to internalize and utilize printed information, and to be able to use written language to express complex ideas cannot be overstated. In the past, many students who fell behind in these early phases of literacy were allowed to move forward without these essential skills. But today, elementary educators are provided with the tools and skills to ensure each student is prepared for future challenges.
Workshop for Unconventional Teaching
Held in Phoenix, Arizona on March 9, 2019, this day of intensive workshops will provide elementary educators with a new take on the traditional skills they employ. The elementary years are fraught with moments of becoming, and students cope with these new experiences in a variety of ways, some of which are inappropriate. In addition to learning how to maximize the depth of student learning, several vital lessons featured focus on curbing inappropriate behavior and creating a respectful, collaborative, and fun classroom environment.
The Southern Conference on Children
Held in January of each year on the campus of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, the Southern Conference on Children (SCOC) focuses on several key issues. Every elementary educator knows that teaching children academic subjects is only a portion of their role. SCOC focuses on social and institutional factors, such as the political or cultural climate of a school and how teachers can manage their responsibilities to both children and the institutional framework. However, they also focus on creating an enriched environment that promotes healthy personal student development. Many of their workshops offer the latest techniques to encourage empathy in children, community interaction, and provide positive suggestions for story time or crafting activities.
The Opening Minds Conference
Many conferences for educators tend to focus on educators. While that makes perfect sense, when students are young, it helps to take a broader view. The Opening Minds Conference is held in Chicago each year, bringing together the top voices in medicine, childcare, nursing and medicine, social justice and social service, parks and recreation, policy, tech, business, and library science to name but a few fields. It is indeed an interdisciplinary event. However, each of these professionals or experts has a singular goal—to enrich and nurture young learners within and outside of the classroom.
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Teaching the young is an enormous responsibility that requires educators to devote vast reserves of energy and care. Conferences and workshops serve as opportunities to recharge enthusiasm for elementary education, set new goals, and reinforce professional relationships that provide support and inspiration for teachers across the country.