Although the summer break is here, local educators are taking in a few more lessons before they go on vacation.
Mansfield ISD hosted its 18th annual Summer Curriculum and Instruction Conference from June 1 through June 3. The courses were free for all MISD employees and only $25 for out-of-district attendees.
It served as a way to earn professional development credit hours, gain additional knowledge and collaborate with fellow educators.
“This is the best time of the year for our department. We get to train teachers from all across the district in every different content area—both required trainings and things that they need to know to be better in their craft,” said Teresa Francis, director of advanced academics and head organizer of the conference.
This year, there were more than 200 sessions for the three-day conference. The classes touched on ways to improve in core subjects as well as other topics, such as social-emotional learning, gifted and talented programs and digital learning.
Those who attended and presented said that the atmosphere was fun and laid back. Stephanie Shackelford, a digital learning coach for MISD, said it was a great space to learn while bouncing ideas off of each other.
“One person doesn’t know it all,” said Shackelford, who also presented at the conference. “We learn from each other, and there are a lot of really great ideas and a lot of really great teachers out there that we can learn from, and that’s what I think is so great about it.”
Organizers mentioned that although the sessions are engaging and effective, they hope the real work happens after the classes dismiss.
“They’re learning the same thing, and they’re hearing the same message, and they get to take it back to their campuses,” said Francis. “It’s really the one time of year that people get to choose what they want to go to and intermingle and work with teachers from across the district.”
The summer conference is typically held the week after the last day of school for staff. In its first year, the conference had about 200 educators sign up. For 2022, the conference was filled with more than 1,000 attendees.