Learning & Growing Conference Session Abstracts

WEAC Region 1 “Learning and Growing” Conference Session Abstracts:

“I Can Do It” Classroom Management. – Ronald “Duff” Martin, WEAC President

This session is designed to help para-educators and teachers in grades PreK-12 improve their instructional and behavioral classroom management skills.  The curriculum provides the necessary foundations for classroom management skills on which other instruction and academic projects must build:  (1) Communication styles, (2) Interventions for difficult behaviors, (3) creating an effective climate, rules and routines.  The training involves educators in activities directly relating to specific classroom management issues.  Program validated goals include improved student behavior and effective classroom climate.


Video Production with Kids – Eric and Jacob Peterson, Boyceville
Who: Anybody who wants to learn how to produce a video from start to finish: planning, shooting, editing, and publishing. When you leave this training, you will have an activity that you can do with your students (grades 3 and up) to introduce them to video production. This is also for any teacher who would like to learn how to create their own videos.

What you will do: Bring any cameras that your students would use along with the connecting cords. Phones, tablets, Ipads or any device that records video will do. You will learn techniques to take good video, upload the video to the editing software and then edit your video. You will create a video that is an appropriate introductory activity with students as young as 3rd grade.  Bring a laptop with the video editing software that you will use with your students. If you don’t have any video editing software, we will use WeVideo, a free online software editing program that works well with your Google account.


No More Powerpoint-Go Interactive – Alesia Behnke, Hudson

Do you want to jazz up your presentations? Would you like to have innovative and interactive content available to your students 24/7? We’ll explore how to make your lessons more engaging with a few simple web tools: ThingLink,Canva, Smore, Tackk and more.


Google for Educators – Alesia Behnke, Hudson

The ability to collaborate anytime, anywhere and on any device is just the beginning of the greatness that is Google Docs! The possibilities are endless! Come experiment with some of the tools and features you might not know about and see how they can change the way you work and learn! We will adjust the session to meet the needs and interests of attendees. Come join in and walk away with new information you can use immediately in your classroom!


Degrees Not Debt – Sandra Fults, Regional Director

Do you have federal student loan debt?

Wondering if there are any programs out there that might help with that financial burden??

This informational session is for you!

The session will cover:

  • Income Driven Repayment
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness & Cancellation


National Board Certification Support – Jeff Baas, WEAC IPD Specialist

National Board is the teaching profession’s vehicle for defining and recognizing accomplished teaching. about how WEAC offices across the state provide members a number of valuable candidate supports including summer and early fall Jump Start sessions, access to online support through mynea360.org, face-to-face sessions, renewal support, a deep discount on an online support course through WEA Academy, writing retreats and a mentor match program.


“Building A Strong Local” Relational Interdependent Organizing (RIO) – Kathy Rohde and Dan Beck, Regional Directors

This all day session provides you and your local team of 3 to 5 members the opportunity to learn how to energize your local and create an association ready to take action. WEAC Region 1 believes that the power to make change is developed through the creation of individual relationships based on common interests. The creation of these relationships is done through the use of public narrative stories, that explain what motivates you to do what you do, the common interests that are shared by our members throughout the Region and the urgent need to take action NOW (not tomorrow or next week) in order to protect our common interests and what we value. When we know each other’s stories and we understand our common interests we develop the resources and commitment to create positive change. Your team will leave with a plan to do just that!


“Don’t Be Jack” – Ana Bonjour, WEA Member Benefits

Sharpen your pencils and put your thinking caps on! It’s time to take a lesson from Jack and Jill. In this fun-filled seminar you will learn about members’ most common financial mistakes and how to avoid them. We start off by explaining the story of Jack and Jill. They started out on equal footing – same school, same job, same salary – but very quickly their financial situations parted ways. Jack made choices that negatively impacted his financial position and future, while Jill avoided common financial mistakes and got on the fast track to a secure future. You and your team will compete on our Don’t Be Jack board game, and you’ll leave with the information you need to follow in Jill’s financial footsteps.


Retirement Planning 101: Find out what you need to do to prepare. – Ana Bonjour, WEA Member Benefits

This seminar is appropriate for those within 10 years of retirement and will provide you with:

  • An overview of the sources of retirement income available to public school employees, including Wisconsin Retirement System, Social Security, and personal savings.
  • An understanding of common roadblocks to successful retirement planning.
  • A pre-retirement checklist of important things to consider.
  • Tools and solutions to help you achieve your retirement goals.


New Teacher Roundtable – Ronald “Duff” Martin

An opportunity for educators new to the field to meet and discuss the challenges and successes they are encountering as they begin their careers. The session will also provide them with tips and advice from experienced educators.


“Influencing Health Insurance Decisions: What You Should Know!” – Eugene Dunk, WEA Trust

In this session participants will learn together baseline concepts and vocabulary helpful in understanding health insurance.

Eugene will then provide an update on Health Care costs, Trends and any legislation that’s new.

Participants will then report on Health Insurance changes and proposals in their districts-be prepared to share.

Finally we will together move forward to discussing how members can influence these  decisions through insurance Committees and other routes.

Eugene Dunk will be the presenter/moderator. Eugene has worked 17 years at the WEA Trust following 14 years at Gateway Technical College. While at Gateway he was involved in WEAC and the NEA.


“Get Unstuck and Get Going!” – Judy Foust – CoolTeachers.com

People (and that includes teachers, because someone very wise once told me that teachers are people, too!) often feel “stuck” because they can only see one way of doing what they want/need to do and they don’t like that option. But possibilities get you unstuck! If you can create possibilities, you have more than one option.  And with more than one option, you have a CHOICE!

When you can see the choices in front of you, you will also see that you are the one with the responsibility to do something.  You will become the author of your own life story! Using the “Get Unstuck and Get Going” (Michael Bungay Stanier) program as a starting point, Judy Foust will start you on a path of authorship: “This is my life.  What do I want?  And what will I do about it?”  Are you ready to start Chapter One?


“Sometimes Ya Gotta Laugh” – Judy Foust – CoolTeachers.com

It’s been said that there is a fine line between tears of joy and tears of laughter.” Having been a seventh grade reading specialist for over thirty-seven years, Judy Foust has had her share of both!

She will share some of her teaching experiences to highlight the important role each of you chose when you became an educator. You’ll laugh; you’ll cry. In other words, you’ll be reflecting on all the “special” things that can happen to make you love your profession.

In addition, Judy will go over three important factors to help you deal with the stress of teaching—nutrition, exercise, and meaningful relationships.  But this helpful information will be presented with Judy’s typical humorous style, because…”Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Laugh!”


*A Professional Development Plan (PDP) Help Table will be available during the day for attendees to get any questions answered whether general or specific to their own PDP