Make a Difference – TEACH! Conference Spotlight

On Friday, April 29th, 2022, students from all over were invited to attend the Make a Difference – TEACH conference, an event tailored to assist future educators by offering them academic guidance and program resources.

Students were given an overview of successful college admission planning strategies, suggested undergraduate majors, jobs/internships, and extracurricular activities related to the teaching and counseling professions. Fresno State faculty also provided extensive information on the numerous Multiple Subject, Single Subject, and Counseling programs offered within the college. 

Austin Lemay

To kickstart the conference, keynote speaker, Austin Lemay, the Culture and Activities Director at Tenaya Middle School, presented an inspirational speech on why teaching is such an important and influential career option to pursue. Following his presentation were a series of three breakout sessions, each focusing on a different aspect of the education profession. 

Empowering the Emerging Bilingual Through Literature in the Classroom

The first breakout session, running from 9:50 am – 10:30 am, featured four different workshops on a series of crucial topics. “Empowering the Emerging Bilingual Through Literature in the Classroom” introduced students to different types of bilingual literature and “in my voices authors”. Students were given the opportunity to generate ideas on how to encourage emerging bilingualism within the classroom.

“Physical Education is Fun!” allowed students to participate in an elementary school level activity and that encouraged cooperation, socialization and problem-and solving, while increasing one’s heart rate, developing motor skills, and integrating English Language Arts.

Physical Education is Fun!

“Your Education Career Through Porterville College” was a detailed presentation on the required coursework and steps to enter the field of education which highlighted the resources available at Porterville College to help students succeed.

The final workshop “”Oh the Places You Will Go!” The Journeys of a Science Teacher!” encouraged students to think outside the box and explore different learning spaces outside the classroom. 

Between 10:35 am – 11:15 am a second breakout session commenced, featuring two new workshops. “Future Teacher Opportunities Beginning Now”, a seminar promoted by West Hills College and Teaching Fellows, shared cohesive pathways for students to receive a Zero Textbook Cost degree, as well as, offering employment and meal prep opportunities. “I Read Banned Books and So Should You!” was a session which dove into some amazing Children’s and Young Adult Literature that had been banned in certain communities across the country. The presenters discussed why books that get banned are some of the most important texts to read, share, and teach in classrooms. Attendees also got a list of books to take with them.

The third and final breakout session, spanning between the hours of 11:20 am – 12:00 pm touched on some more empathetic topics while also exploring mental health in schools. “Teacher Training on the Impact of Developmental Trauma” discussed the neurobiological changes in student’ brains when they endure trauma and how those brain disruptions are presented through challenging behaviors in the classroom. Attendees were able to acquire specific Behavior Analytic skills to address the manifestation of those behaviors.

“COS + FRESNO STATE = TEACHING CAREER IN 4 YEARS” explained how students could complete their two years of requirements at COS and then be admitted to the accelerated Fresno State Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP), thereby completing their bachelor’s degree and teaching credential in only two years. 

To close out the conference, a workshop was offered on how to get admitted to Fresno State, followed by a luncheon. Students reflected upon the valuable information they gleaned from the numerous workshop sessions and the connections they made throughout the day. This conference was made possible through the support from the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at Fresno State, the Tulare Kings College and Career Collaborative, and the Tulare County Office of Education.

(Written by Audra Burwell, a Creative Writing Student in The Kremen School of Education and Human Development)

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