This week is the MSTA convention in Columbia, Missouri. I have attended many times in the past, but this is the first in which I will not serve as a voting representative of Joplin teachers. I will still represent Joplin, however, as I focus strictly on the professional development portion of the convention. This will be the second year I have presented professional development workshops to teachers from across the state who are interested in gleaning something - anything - practical to use when they return to their own classes.
Last year, I developed a workshop appropriately titled, Stop Not Reinventing the Wheel, in which I share methods of using media to stimulate and enhance student engagement. I presented the same material to our own teachers in Joplin, this summer. The workshop was quite well-received in both locations, so I proposed to bring it back to the state convention, for 2018.
I will also present Give and Take, a workshop I first delivered at the Summer Institute in Joplin, last summer. In this presentation, I introduce teachers to some improv/theater games that emphasize the importance of focus and respect for students.
Both workshops are described in convention materials as such:
Stop Not Reinventing the Wheel
Give and Take
Additionally, I will attend some workshops on my own, early tomorrow morning (if I can drag my keister our bed that early). I am interested in seeing how Eric Langhorst, a teacher in Liberty, Missouri, uses 3D printers and other technology in his history classroom, and I may check out another presentation about technology tools. Dr. Langhorst is the person who first alerted me to the opportunities available at Mount Vernon.
The keynote speaker at 10:30 will wrap up the convention for me. John Antonetti will present Rigor Is Not a Four-Letter Word in the general session, described as follows:
As he works with schools around the country, John Antonetti is often asked to help teachers plan rigorous instruction. Sadly, we often confuse rigor with difficult, tedious, lengthy or hard. Webster’s Dictionary actually defines rigor as “a condition that makes life difficult, challenging or uncomfortable.” What student would want that? John will help us discover that rigor is not a single entity, but rather a product of three important design facets: personalized thinking...captured by each unique learner...in tasks of engagement. In other words, my thought that comes from the waymy brain works to make sense of this problem. (Shhh! Don’t tell anybody it’s rigor---just thinking, logic and laughter.)