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5 Reasons Why Future Teachers Should Attend Teaching and Learning 2015

One of the most important questions I ask my teacher preparation candidates to consider is “Who benefits?”

There is so much in education that has become convoluted in terms of benefits. Who does does testing benefit? Students? Teacher? Testing companies? Do students really benefit when teachers look like they are learning or when they are actually learning? Is it more important for a class to look well behaved when students walk down the hall, to move down the hall quickly so that learning can start in the classroom sooner or, is walking in the hall time better spent participating in active learning, even if it looks disorderly?

This is the type of thinking I hope to produce in my teacher preparation course.

When I look at an opportunity like the Teaching & Learning Conference and I ask, “Who benefits?” It is easy for me to see how teacher candidates would benefit from attending the conference. Here is a short list:

  • Teacher candidates can build networks with professionals up and down the educational endeavor from policy to classroom;
  • Teacher candidates become introduced to the most salient issues in education from a participant instead of historical point of view
  • From Bill Gates supporting teacher leadership to the counter narratives of Jose Vilson and Pedro Noguera teacher candidates realize that there are a myriad of views on education and they need to make their own decisions about what they believe
  • Teacher candidates get to see accomplished teachers leading the profession from the classroom:

Possibly most important, teacher candidates have the opportunity that there are thousands of people out there who care just as much about making a difference for kids as they do! I have put together a session called, "Making the Standards Real in Early Childhood" in which I hope to introduce folks to what it looks like to be a student in my classroom. I did this by giving my 3 year-old students my camera and helping them to record me teaching them. Here is a sample:

There are still opportunities to attend the conference for free.

2 Comments

Susan Graham commented on March 9, 2015 at 4:16pm:

T & L opens windows and doors!

T& L opens windows to a bigger view of the teaching profession and opens doors that connect us to fellow teachers and other education stakeholders. Looking forward to being there, learning new things, making new connections as well as seeing old friends.

See you there! And thanks for the glimpse into your classroom! It was fun to watch you with your kids.

Tricia Ebner commented on March 9, 2015 at 9:36pm:

So many advantages!!!

Who benefits, indeed?

First, I want to be a student in one of your classes--both early childhood and teacher preparation. Such a great plan to get preservice teachers thinking about the whole 'who benefits' question. 

Secondly, yes to Teaching & Learning! My short answer:  everyone benefits. I learned so much at last year's conference; it was easily the best conference I've ever attended. It was truly a transformative experience in my career. I can only imagine the power it would have had to help shape my career, had I been able to attend such a conference before I was "flying solo" in my own classroom. 

Everyone who can attend the conference, should!

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