Pre-Conference Sessions

Pre-Conference January 24 | Main Conference January 25-26, 2019


Best Practices for Teaching Middle Level Sex Ed with Elizabeth Schroeder

This interactive, full-day pre-conference is designed for classroom teachers who address or teach about sexuality at the middle level. The focus will be on group teaching methods, not counseling skills. Sample activities will be modeled and skills practiced to support effective delivery of lessons as well as skills for responding to challenging questions from young people. Additional content for the pre-conference will be determined by the expressed needs of those who register for the session, who will be surveyed in advance

Because of the interactive nature of this workshop, attendance will be capped at 25 participants.

Intended audience: All classroom teachers, Advisory teachers, Counselors, Health teachers, Curriculum Coordinators, Coaches, and Administrators.

The Art & Science of Co-teaching: Building on Student Assets & Teacher Assets with Jon Nordmeyer

How can we transform the conversation from what multilingual learners can’t do, to what they CAN do? Twenty-first century international schools need courage and commitment to develop collaborative cultures, programs, and practices to truly serve multilingual learners. When EAL teachers and classroom teachers intentionally co-plan, co-teach, co-assess and co-reflect, they can build on student assets to provide meaningful learning opportunities for all learners. And when schools inquire together about what each individual brings to the community, professional collaboration can both ignite student learning and fuel teacher growth. In this interactive session, participants will learn about practical tools for initiating or deepening collaborative practices in international schools.

Intended audience: All classroom teachers, EAL teachers, Learning Support teachers, Curriculum Coordinators, Coaches, and Administrators.

Teach Your Children Well: Developing a coherent approach to mindfulness-based wellbeing in middle school with Kevin Hawkins and Amy Burke

In our work of introducing mindfulness to schools we find we are increasingly focusing on how to effectively support those schools that already including some form of mindful awareness training in their programs. If we want to harness the possibilities of bringing a more mindful awareness to students, educators and parents then we need to create a more coherent approach to promoting wellbeing. In this experiential pre-conference, we will explore various ways that teachers and schools are approaching wellbeing and we will draw on participants’ experiences and perceptions in addressing questions such as:

  • How can mindful awareness training help promote wellbeing?
  • How can mindfulness help 21st century learners?
  • What if not everybody wants to do it?!

By situating mindful awareness training within a framework of wellbeing and connecting it to already existing programs we can begin to build the coherence we seek. In this way, mindfulness becomes much more than an add-on activity and student wellbeing becomes a key driver in school development. As we increasingly find ways to weave this work into the school day it brings subtle changes - moments of reflection and calm for both students and teachers - that can help shift the school culture towards a more humane, sane environment for learning and teaching.

Intended audience: All educators interested in personal and student wellbeing.

Next Generation Leadership: Maximizing Your Leadership Future with Yolanda Murphy-Barrena

If you are a teacher leader, curriculum leader, year head, tech director, assistant principal, principal, or aspiring leader in your school, and looking to maximize your leadership future in the international school setting, this workshop is for you! This session will provide you with the opportunity to explore the science of leadership within the international setting, and learn more about the skills and attributes that are critical for next generation leadership, while reflecting on the personal art and passion of leadership that make you successful within a unique setting. Time and techniques for reflecting on your individual attributes, skills and strengths as well as support in identifying areas for growth will be provided. We will redefine and clarify core leadership values while creatively exploring your goals for your current or future leadership role. You will leave invigorated and ready to approach your middle grades leadership role with the clarity, purpose and skills for success. Networking and use of professional learning options that are critical to move forward on the path to your next leadership goal and role will be investigated, with time and collaborative support to map out your own plan to maximize your leadership future. Your leadership journey should be as unique as you are…come join this session and Maximize Your Leadership Future!

Intended audience: All leaders and aspiring leaders.

Valencia, a full sensory experience with José Femenía-Macias and Florence Verniolle

Valencia is a unique city with its Mediterranean cuisine, its green spaces, its 2000 years of History, and its cutting-edge architecture.

Valencia is also a bike-friendly city that is perfect to pedal around. Our goal this year is to share with you our long experience of traveling with students to this remarkable city and to let you discover by bike major places like the former bed of the River Turia and the City of Arts and Sciences amongst other surprises that Valencia has in store for us.

This workshop will explore ways to expand creativity while focusing on how to see and to absorb the city. It is an ideal pre-conference day for any Middle School teacher that is curious about arts, ecology, sciences, and cuisine. Our workshop will stimulate collegiality and cooperation while exploring the process of promoting creativity in the Middle School years. In addition, we will learn how to prepare the famous “paella” dish which originated in this region!

This active day will give participants opportunities to learn, connect, and share around various city landmarks by exploring mindfully how to promote creativity in cooking, writing, and filming, or in researching sciences through photography and art.

Be ready for an atmospheric Valencia bike ride! Make sure to wear appropriate clothes and comfortable walk/bike shoes.

There is a limit of 25 participants for this pre-conference session.

Intended audience: Educators focused on culture, creativity, arts, ecology, sciences, and cuisine.

Artists Have Ateliers; We Have Workshop

Implementing Reading and Writing Workshop in the Middle School with Jenny Killion and Johanna Cena

In this interactive, pre-conference, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the workshop model and what it looks like in the English and/or Humanities classroom. Participants will experience the power of read aloud, learn to craft teaching points based on skills and strategies, plan for a mini-lesson, and more! Participants will walk away with lesson ideas they can implement right away, as well as some big picture ideas they can use to plan for the rest of the year.

Workshop Objectives:

  • understand the philosophy and key components of the reading and writing workshop model
  • understand the key components of minilessons and how they can be used to laung daily workshops
  • learn to craft standards-based teaching points that explicitly teach students the skills and strategies they need to become independent readers and writers
  • experience the power of interactive read aloud and how it can effectively be used with middle school students
  • have time to create tools and plan for workshop lessons, as well as a larger scope and sequence of instruction

Intended Audience: English and Humanities Teachers, Administrators and Support Teachers who are new to the workshop model and/or have experimented with it and are looking to refine their instruction.