by April Gamble, Region 5 Advisory Council Member
From the well-organized registration and helpful student volunteers to the beautifully decorated tables, the energy in the conference ballroom was palpable! What fun to “Socialize” with other educators at the end of a work day at the Region 5 North Carolina Association of Elementary Educators spring conference held on the pristine campus of High Point University!
As a member of the District 5 Regional Advisory Council, I can attest to the fact that we worked diligently behind the scenes for months planning for this conference and I can say without a doubt that it was all worth it to see the faces of 140 educators sharing the same space for a few hours and enjoying every minute! Each conference goer was gifted with several teacher supplies and one lucky educator at each table got to take home the centerpiece!
The evening began with a welcome from Dr. Debbie Linville, Director of Region 5. She took a moment to recognize me and the other Regional Advisory Council members for our help and support in helping to make tonight a reality.
And then…it was time to be “Energized” by nationally known, well respected, keynote, Kathy Bumgardner. She began her presentation with a quote from Mark Twain: “Teaching is like trying to hold 35 corks under water at once.” The audience erupted with laughter and the giggles did not stop until she concluded her session on best literacy practices in the era of the Common Core. I thought one of the most encouraging things she shared was the fact that the climate of education is changing and that as educators we have to be able to handle the change by “planning” for it. She stated, “If you change nothing, nothing will change.” I agree. I must be the change I want to see!
After a delicious dinner, participants made their way to the School of Education to attend two breakout sessions from among a total of 18 choices! Surely it was a hard decision for conference goers because there were so many amazing choices. I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions I attended and was delighted to see that all of the time spent planning for this evening was such a huge success.
One of the many highlights of the evening was the 15-minute Door Prize drawing blitz where over two dozen fabulous prizes were given away - including one FREE 2014 NCAEE state conference registration (a $175.00 value), Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificates, baskets of teaching supplies, manicures/ pedicures, restaurant gift cards, and so much more!
The Regional Advisory Council set up a Presenter’s Lounge which provided a space where presenters could socialize, prepare for their sessions, grab a beverage and snack, and of course, pick up their thank you gifts. It was rewarding to see that the idea to honor them in a special way was so well received.
If anyone came to the conference feeling as if they were holding on by a “thread”, not knowing how they would make it through the last quarter of the school year, I feel confident that they left “Revitalized!"
If you missed the Region 5 North Carolina Association of Educators spring conference this year…there’s always next year…and I can guarantee you it will be great! How do I know? My Regional Advisory Council members and I have already started planning!