Education cohort hosts conference
Next week, teachers and students from across the state will come to campus for a professional development conference with the theme “Building Positive Relationships.”
The GC Collegiate Middle Level Association (CMLA) is hosting the eighth-annual Summit Conference on Oct. 5. GC students, CMLA members from other universities, in-service teachers and administrators are invited to learn about the seven critical relationships within school settings.
Attendees have the chance to participate in theme-related breakout sessions about student relationships, teacher relationships, student-teacher relationships, teaching team relationships and more.
The conference is student led, and the committee head, Alice Kohler, senior middle grades education major, makes sure the conference serves its purpose of giving education majors the ability to listen and interact with important names in the education world.
“We hope to provide pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, administration and advisors of college programs the opportunity to critically examine what positive relationships are in schools,” Kohler said. “It is an opportunity for all levels of educators to learn from each other.”
The conference is organized by the senior and junior middle educations cohorts who must decide the theme of the conference and find a keynote speaker.
“It was a lot at first, since I only started the cohort a month ago.I’m really excited, though,” Siobhan Fitzgerald, junior middle education major, said. “I’m not only a part of the planning, but I also have the opportunity to lead a session at this conference. I’m so thankful to be part of a program that so highly values their students and their experiences.”
Each year, Summit hosts keynote speakers to highlight the theme of the conference, and this year Mark Springer has taken on that role.
Springer wrote the book “Soundings: A Democratic Student-Centered Education,” and he is the founder of the alternative curriculum for eighth-graders.
“I am excited about meeting Mark Springer because we are on a journey to becoming effective middle level education teachers,” Krystal Evans, senior middle level education major, said, “and it has been inferred that his experience and professionalism can provide us with valuable information about building positive relationships through class democracy.”
Over 200 people have attended the conference in the past. Schools such as Georgia Southern University, Augusta State University, University of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, Georgia State University and more previously attended, and Summit hopes to have the same outcome this year.
“We don’t necessarily try to make it bigger, but we do try to make it better. We want it to be worth our visitors’ time,” Nancy Mizelle, CMLA advisor, said. “We want people to come back, and they do.”