If you care about education, this is the conference for you! Grab your mouse -- not your suitcase -- and head for The Right of America's Children: Recruiting and Retaining Quality Public School Teachers, an NEA hosted conference, taking place online from May 22 through June 2.
The free conference, which runs from May 22 through June 2, includes almost everything you'd expect to find at an actual convention -- except, of course, the sightseeing. It's an event you won't want to miss!
Like all conferences, this one begins with registration and a quick trip to the Welcome Center. There, attendees pick up a conference schedule and learn how to navigate the convention center and participate in conference events. Those events include a leadership roundtable and separate sessions on teacher recruitment and teacher training.
The Leadership Roundtable
The Leadership Roundtable runs from May 22 through 25. During roundtable sessions, panelists representing each of the sponsoring organizations answer questions about teacher recruitment and retention issues. From May 22 through 24, the panelists answer questions posed by a moderator. On May 25, they'll answer questions posted by conference participants.
Roundtable panelists include Dr. Franklin Dean Grant, president of the AASPA; Dr. Mary Dilworth, vice president of research and information services for the AACTE; Dr. Phil Rusche, dean of the College of Education at California State University, Northridge; Dr. Chuck Williams, NEA priority organizer for teacher quality; Dr. Shirley Schwartz, director of special programs for the CGCS; and Dr. Fredrick Frelow, director of urban initiatives for the NCTAF.
Teacher Recruitment Events
Teacher Recruitment sessions, which run from May 25 through May 30, include presentations and discussions on a number of topics, including
Innovative Pathways to Teaching:
Teacher Retention sessions, which run from May 30 through June 2, include
Induction and Mentoring:
The conference -- like conventions everywhere -- also offers a networking lounge, a resource center, and an exhibit hall.
As the instructions for using the Networking Caf point out, "Some of the most helpful conversations at conferences are those that happen in the hallways, between and around the official sessions." This online teachers' lounge is the virtual equivalent of those fervent hallway debates. The lounge is open throughout the conference, online facilitators are available, and attendees may start discussions on any relevant topics.
The Resource Center provides lists -- and links -- for books, Web sites, multimedia presentations, and other resources to help maximize the conference experience. The Exhibit Hall lists sponsors and other appropriate organizations. Both are open 24 hours a day throughout the conference.
In addition to the typical convention events and services, the NEA site provides step-by-step instructions for attending and participating in virtual conferences. If you've always wanted to join interactive online events, but were too shy to try, this is the place to begin!
Article by Linda Starr
Copyright © 2006 Education World