2020 Learning & Growing Conference Session Descriptions

8:30 – 10:00 am sessions:

Teaching Hacks! – Danielle Carlson

In this workshop, learn tips, tricks and ideas to save you time, help you organize your classroom in creative ways, strengthen relationships with students, implement active learning strategies, improve your classroom management skills, and more. Whether you’re a new teacher, a veteran, or somewhere in the middle, join us and learn some new ideas.

Danielle Carlson has been teaching high school science at Fennimore High School since 2010. She currently teaches AP Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Environmental Science, and Applied STEM; in the past, she also taught 7th grade Earth Science. Danielle is the author of “Teaching Hacks!”, a book written to help make your life as a teacher much easier.

Staying Sane – Barb Van Doorn

Mental health issues don’t just impact our students, staff mental health is a concern as well. Learn what forces are working against educator sanity and what can be done about it.

Barb VanDoorn is the K-12 School Counselor at Lake Holcombe School. She uses the recognition of 2017 Wisconsin Special Services Teacher of the Year to speak out about mental health issues and is an instructor for Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid. Barb also promotes and works with Every Teacher a Leader Summits at the regional and State level.  

New Leader Bootcamp – Dan Beck, WEAC Region 1

Have you recently become a Local President, Executive Committee Member, or Building Representative? Are you still asking yourself, “Ok – so what do I do next?” This session is for you. This session will cover the nuts & bolts and the how’s & when’s of being a local leader, including topics such as membership, meetings, and advocacy.

10:15 – 11:45 am sessions:

Violent Student Behavior and Your Rights – Christina Ripley, WEAC Legal Department

This presentation is intended to provide union leaders, members, and WEAC staff with basic generalized information regarding working with violent special education students. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.

Building Winning Teams – Lynn Goss, St. Croix Central

It takes a village!  We all have to work together to have the best student success and working conditions.   Building the relationships with your cooperating teacher and other staff can make this happen!  This session will focus on your roles/responsibilities, strategies and tools that can enhance the relationships and communication needed to have the best workplace outcomes and student success.

Planning for Retirement: First Day to Last – WEA Member Benefits & Wisconsin Retirement System

Representatives from your union’s member benefits organization and from the State of Wisconsin’s Retirement System will provide information you should know and answer questions you may have about retirement and financial planning, and how the state retirement system works – no matter where you are in your career.

12:45 – 2:15 pm sessions:

Function-Based Thinking: Its Role in Changing Student Behavior – Robyn Spencer-Beck

When a student struggles academically we use data to inform our instruction.  We determine why a student is making an “academic learning error” and we create an intervention that will support the student in reaching mastery.  The same framework can be used to support students who make “social learning errors”.

This session explores a proactive, systematic solution-seeking framework to address behaviors of concern by looking at the function, the why, of the behavior and applying an intervention(s) that will provide supports, promote positive learning environments and enhance students’ learning.

Robyn Spencer-Beck is a recently retired Special Education (EBD) teacher and administrator who finished her career as the DPI Statewide Coordinator for the Regional Special Education Network (RSN) program.

Beating Back the Bully Principal – Kathy Rohde, WEAC Region 3

Based upon a workshop from the Labor Notes conference in Chicago in April 2018, this session will help members fight back against an environment of fear that affects teachers, school staff, and even students. School tyrants rely on well-known tactics: targeting, divide-and-conquer, harsh retaliation, favoritism, and secrecy. This workshop will offer concrete, tested, and accessible steps you can take to build up collective courage among colleagues and challenge the culture of fear in your school. Thanks and credit to Labor Notes’ Ellen David Friedman and Chicago Teachers’ Christina Jennings.

Planning for Retirement: First Day to Last – WEA Member Benefits & Wisconsin Retirement System

Representatives from your union’s member benefits organization and from the State of Wisconsin’s Retirement System will provide information you should know and answer questions you may have about retirement and financial planning, and how the state retirement system works – no matter where you are in your career.

2:30 – 4:00 pm sessions:

Early Career Educator Roundtable – Ronald “Duff” Martin, WEAC President

An open forum to discuss your experiences and compare notes with other educators who have recently begun their careers. Moderated by WEAC President Ron “Duff” Martin.

The LGBTQ Student in Your Classroom – Joshua Morey, Rice Lake

What you should know.