Breakout sessions allow teachers to learn new skills and techniques, access actionable tools and information, and build their capacity to develop into teacher leaders. Teachers are the primary presenters and content experts, but non-teacher experts and facilitators may support them.
In effective sessions, participants learn by doing and creating, and facilitators move quickly from concept to application by focusing more on the “how” than the “why.” Teachers leave effective sessions with key takeaways and tools they can bring to their classrooms. Every convening should include at least two breakout session time blocks of at least one hour in length, with multiple options for teachers to choose from during each session.
Small support communities meet throughout the convening to share and address common challenges. These central hubs allow participants to quickly build intense professional, social, and emotional bonds.
Some teachers report forming relationships in Colleague Circles that last well after the convening. In fact, many teachers have said Colleague Circles are the most important and rewarding part of convenings. Every convening should include at least two meetings of Colleague Circles, with each meeting about one hour in length.
"Cultivating a Calling" Keynote Addresses
Speakers share emotional and candid stories about why they teach, in spite of the many challenges. Keynote speakers showcase diverse experiences in terms of demographics, grade level, and subjects taught, as well as response to the convening’s overall theme. Every convening should include between two and four Cultivating a Calling keynotes.
Opportunities to Network, Reflect and Celebrate
Teachers increase and improve connections within states and districts so they feel less isolated and more connected to peers and networks.
Teachers reflect, begin planning for action, and celebrate the teaching profession.