Opening Communal Discussion

Led by Rebecca Sachs and Kevin Martin

April 7, 2017 from 8:45 am to 9:45 am

This is intended to be a co-constructed, participant-driven professional learning experience and networking opportunity inspired by the theme and goals of the conference and the intended topic of Elaine Horwitz’s plenary.

Guiding questions:

  • How might a more participant-driven approach to teacher education and other professional development opportunities make them more collaborative, meaningful, sustainable, and transformative?
  • How might such initiatives be enhanced by drawing on the identities, communities, beliefs, and practices of the pre- and in-service teachers engaging in lifelong educational development?

In a series of group activities, we will seek to develop an initial collective and personalized understanding of how the identities, communities, beliefs, and practices of pre- and in-service educators can be harnessed to enhance and advance the lifelong learning we recognize as the ideal meaning of the phrase “teacher education.” We hope the discussion will not only spark ideas that you can continue to explore throughout the conference, but also give you opportunities to form personal and professional connections that last beyond this experience.


Our Teachers’ Voices: Positioning Themselves in the Profession

by Heather Weger and Ana-María Nuevo

April 7, 2017 from 10:00 am to 10:30 am

While research about student motivation abounds, the voice of the English language teacher as a motivated individual is largely silent. This session reviews a study of nine teachers’ motivation to teach English, distilling their professional experiences and identifications through the lens of Barkhuizen’s (2008) theory of interconnected levels of story. 



Virtual Professional Learning Communities

by Leslie Salley

April 7, 2017 from 4:40 pm to 5:45 pm

Scheduling conflicts often interrupt or create barriers for Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and finding time to meet is challenging. Administrators try creating common planning times, but coordinating calendars and other commitments quickly interfere. Adding a virtual component to a traditional PLC is a great way to enhance professional development programs.



Speaking the Language of Peace: Strategies for Using Nonviolent Communication in Our Classes, Schools, and Communities

by Joy Kreeft Peyton

April 8, 2017 from 8:45 am to 10:45 am

This workshop reviews key principles and components of nonviolent communication, which educators can use with students, colleagues, parents, and members of the wider communities we serve. Applying Rosenberg’s (2003) clear, accessible framework for speaking the language of peace, participants will work in groups to practice Observing, understanding Needs, expressing Feelings, and making Requests, and will reflect on how these concrete strategies can facilitate effective, peaceful communication across a range of settings, from classes to faculty meetings to parent-teacher conferences and beyond. The desired outcome is that teachers and administrators will have a clear understanding of what nonviolent communication involves and the ability to practice it in contexts in which they live and work.