It is but 15 days away from our summer conference in Albuquerque – August 3-7, 2018 in historic Hotel Albuquerque. If you have not yet checked out all that this special conference has to offer I want to provide you a snapshot because it is not too late to register! For those of you who may be new to ATE and our organization’s traditions, our summer conferences started back in 1939 in Pineville Kentucky with a theme of “Major Issues in Teacher Education”. Since that time the summer meeting has become a special time for our conference participants to take a pause for their own professional development and community building: to travel together, to be in a new place, to learn, and to acquire new understandings about the culture and educational community of a particular region of the United States. In essence, we take time to bond on both personal and professional levels with our members and guests. There is no organization that I know of that has this special summer session feature that makes ATE a unique community of practice!
By taking time in the summer to experience a new context – geographic location –and culture we further enhance our understanding of the diversity of our nation and of our educational communities. I myself have learned so much about New Mexico and its values, traditions, and people. Did you know that New Mexico recognizes nineteen separate Pueblo nations each with their own governance structures, educational programs, culture, art, and administration? I am grateful to the Indian Cultural Pueblo Center for connecting us to the various Native American groups that represent New Mexico and its unique culture. I invite you to check out their website for the free materials available to teachers: Indigenous Wisdom: Centuries of Pueblo Impact in New Mexico.
Our conference them is focused on the new dimensions of clinical practice as it relates to teacher preparation and teacher development. There are many new things happening in the field of teacher education research and practices. However, each initiative that we undertake is built upon the seminal work of those exemplary teacher educators who have come before us. We cannot move forward in our understanding of the complexities related to teacher preparation and teacher development without reflecting on ATE’s historical legacy and scholarship. Dr. John McIntyre will be giving us this kind of historical insight and reflection in his opening dinner keynote session on Saturday – August 4th. Our keynote on Sunday by Muffett Trout will further extend connections to care theory in teacher learning – an important “relational pedagogy” that is often invisible in our practices as teacher educators; yet known to be the most essential in impactful development of the novice teacher. On Monday we will be provided with a balanced sampling of the new dimensions in teacher preparation enacted in major institutions of higher education in Albuquerque – The University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University.
Before the conference we have focused workshops for teachers and teacher educators that address: the accreditation processes for quality educator preparation supported by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP); a workshop on Addressing Ethical Practices in Teaching and Understanding the Professional Responsibilities of Teachers and Teacher Educators; and a workshop on integrating technology tools in teaching. And there are featured sessions on: addressing the needs of the school-based mentors/cooperating teachers; video technology as a mentoring tool; reflective practices in caring, communicating and working with different cultures to address challenges in education today; and new initiatives in study of teacher educator development. Steve Sroka will return to provide a special session that addresses the key issues in our society that teacher educators must address and prepare their teacher candidates to deal with on Sunday. There will be complementary thematic sessions in between our luncheon keynotes that will capture what our members and aspiring scholars are doing with regard to clinical practice and the new dimensions of their work that deserve greater visibility.
Tuesday’s closing sessions will be a double feature. First, we will have the opportunity to engage with the New Mexico Teacher of the Year – Ivonne Orozco – a Dreamer who has a unique story to tell regarding her journey into an exemplary teaching career. As part of our new initiative with the National Association of Professional Development Schools – Dr. Rebecca Burns – Chair of Policy and External Relations Committee for NAPDs with take us deep into new dimensions of actualizing clinically based educator preparation.
Don’t miss the special events that take place in the evenings after our governance meetings and scholarly presentations – Friday – Fractal Night at the Museum of Natural History; and Monday a trip out to Sandia Peak with dinner at a well-known restaurant – El Pinto. Come Enjoy and Have fun with us!
And please submit your proposal for our next conference in Atlanta – February 17-20, 2019. Our first back-to-back meeting with the National Association of Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) will be part of this event. If you did not get a chance to share your work with us in our Albuquerque conference – please consider presenting in Atlanta. Our theme remains focused on new dimensions of clinical practice in teacher preparation and development. We need your voice, your scholarship, your practice-based wisdom and knowledge to move the teacher education enterprise into the limelight as the essential component that needs funding, resources, and recognition for the important role teacher educators assume in teacher recruitment and retention. Our nation needs the best teachers who will prepare our future citizens to live and thrive in a democracy. Proposals are due July 20th!