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Symposium on Powerful Teaching
Symposium on Powerful Teaching

Welcome to the Symposium on Powerful Teaching!

This year's Symposium will be held on Saturday, February 27th at our Roane County Campus in Harriman, TN. Registration and check-in begins at 8:15am in the O'Brien Theatre lobby. The cost is $15 and covers breakfast, lunch, and materials. The Symposium is open to all K-12 educators. Keynote presentation starts at 8:50am in the O'Brien Theatre. After the keynote address, sessions will be held in the second floor O'Brien building classrooms.

For questions or updates, please contact Cody Villarreal at 865.354.3000 ext. 5312 or email

Keynote: Duren Thompson, Center for Literacy, Education and Employment at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

"Educators Taking the Lead: Professional Development that Empowers YOU to Reach Your Goals"

Presentation Summary:

How important is it that you make the time to ‘take charge’ of your own professional development? Recently, the state of Tennessee identified teacher collaboration and professional improvement as a critical factors in ensuring student success. During the recent TN LEAD conference, school and district leaders were strongly encouraged to develop “..more effective, personalized professional learning components through tools that allow for better tracking and evaluation of results.” TDOE plans to provide: “Opportunities to use state-developed, research-based models for rigorous and differentiated professional learning.” Do you feel prepared for this state-wide emphasis on research-based and data-driven professional learning?
As educators pressed for time, professional development (PD) can often be something we “fit in when we can” or simply “take whatever is easily available.” Sometimes we even resent PD when it seems irrelevant to our learners or is poorly delivered (especially when it is mandatory). This haphazard and ineffective approach needs to change! As professionals, educators can and should take a proactive leadership role in pursuing training that aligns with learners’ needs, school goals and their own career development. Empowered teachers are life-long learners who:
-       have a long-term career plan and specific, manageable short-term PD objectives that align with both personal and school/district goals;
-       are familiar with research on a variety of training approaches that support actual change in teacher practice and student outcomes;
-       are critical consumers of educational trends, effectively using data to tailor new techniques in support of learner outcomes;
-       leverage both low and high-tech tools to achieve PD objectives and goals; 
-       network and collaborate with peers both locally, state-wide and nationally as an integral part of their PD; and
-       work to make professional learning an integral part (even if just a small part) of their every working day.

In preparation for this session, Symposium attendees are encouraged to read:
-       A primer on effective professional development. Desimone, L. (2011). Phi Delta Kappan, March 2011 vol. 92 no. 6, pp. 68-71.
-       Priority Area: Educator Support, in the TDoE Strategic Plan (pages 16-17).

Session topics include: 
Flipped classroom
Protecting students and yourself from unwanted attention
Tips for motivating students
Outdoor learning
Keeping teacher and student identity protected online
Must have web tools and apps
Experiential learning
Linking science and history and literacy through scientist/engineer biographies
Spotlight student work with technology
Behavior management strategies
Increasing student success by transforming mindsets
Art, ELA, and history and cross-curricular texts
Local history in the classroom
Overcoming the writing nightmare: Tips to make writing fun to learn and teach
Grant writing across the curriculum


Contact: Cody Villarreal • (865) 354-3000 ext. 5312 •

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