The end of 2019-2020 school year and the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year have presented many challenges to educators. At the end of last school year, teachers across the state transitioned to online learning in just a moment's notice. Whether you are teaching this year in a hybrid, virtual, in-person setting or a combination of the three, some things remain the same -Educators across the nation have continued to transform, adapt, and innovate as they tackle the difficult task of keeping students connected and engaged all while continuing to focus on the whole child. Many of us may be feeling like a first year teacher again this year with all the changes. During challenging times, I think it is important for us to remember out "why". Why are you an educator, why did you choose to teach middle level students? Take some time to think about your "why" -Remembering out "why" will help remind us of what is important and why each of us chose this amazing profession.
This past year has presented all of us with many challenges. Educators across the country have had to reinvison teaching all while keeping students at the center. Once common teaching practices have been replaced with more electronic versions due to virtual/hybrid learning. While the shift in education has been met with many obstacles, educators have continued to persevere and problem solve to better reach their students.
As we move into the second half of the school year, we will continue to be called upon to navigate obstacles using our creativity and problem-solving skills to deliver the very best teaching practices to our middle level students. We know you will be ready for a reenergizing professional development opportunity in the spring. What better way to do this than to spend a couple of days with other dedicated middle level educators at the Ohio Middle Level Association (rescheduled) 2020 Conference.
The health and safety of all is a top priority of OMLA. As a result of the global pandemic, OMLA has decided to postpone the #OMLA2020 Annual Conference from March to May 6-7, 2021. Kalahari is a sprawling conference center with large meeting rooms and plenty of outdoor space to spread out during the beautiful May temperatures. We hope with the additional time and extra health and safety precautions Kalahari Resort and Conference Center has in place, it will be a more safe event for all.
Weston Kieschnick will be the keynote speaker both days! Weston is an award winning educator, best-selling author, and TEDx speaker. As a keynote, Weston will push the thinking of educators to move beyond the ordinary and reach their potential as true innovators for learning. Follow Weston on Twitter @Wes_Kieschnick. As a featured presenter, Jack Berckemeyer incorporates his passion for middle level education and his humor to offer educators a number of strategies that they can implement immediately in their classroom. On Twitter follow Jack @jberckemeyer. In addition, #OMLA2020 will feature breakout sessions presented by practicing middle level educators covering a variety of topics. The deadline to submit a presentation proposal is February 15, 2021.
Members enjoy a discounted registration fee for our annual state conference. To encourage schools to send multiple attendees, the sixth registration from a school or college/ university is free! Be sure to register by March 31, 2021 to take advantage of the early registration discount.
If you are not yet a member of the Ohio Middle Level Association, please consider joining 9,500 educators from across the state to take full advantage of quality professional development, networking and other opportunities.
Looking forward to seeing you at Kalahari Resort and Conference Center May 6-7, 2021!