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Educating the Educators - A Recap of the 2011 Summer Conference

Martin Institute Conference, Featuring Governor Bill Haslam and Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Gives World-Class Training to Hundreds of Public and Private School Educators

In June, the Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence held its inaugural summer conference. Approximately 500 attendees representing more than 90 schools came from 11 states and England to enjoy world-class professional development provided by distinguished educators from around the country and the world.

Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation served as the presenting sponsor of the event, where attendees benefitted from the messages of the keynote speakers including the Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, who addressed teaching for tomorrow and the issues that lie ahead for Tennessee; Shirley Raines, University of Memphis President, who spoke of the challenges facing the education of students beyond high school; Bill Nye, the Science Guy, who entertained and educated us as he also encouraged us to get students to change the world; and Tom Barrett, who promoted the use of social media to establish professional learning networks, thereby keeping teachers connected to each other in order to promote learning.

Our featured speakers addressed wide ranging topics including Common Core Standards, deeper learning which includes thinking for understanding and making thinking visible, social networking to improve/support professional learning networks, using Google Tools to develop engaging math curriculum, the networks that connect us, children’s literacy, iPads in the classroom, and how teacher talk in the classroom can enhance learning. Attendees have expressed excitement about returning to the classroom — energized by a new sense of enthusiasm brought about by the new ideas garnered from their interactions with presenters and with each other during the conference.

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