The READ 180 National Summer Institute
By Alex on August 1st, 2012
What do you get when you bring together 800 educators in an energetic city such as New Orleans? The 2012 READ 180 National Summer Institute, that’s what!
Last week I was lucky enough to attend the READ 180 National Summer Institute in New Orleans. During the event not only did I have the opportunity to meet exciting, passionate teachers and administrators, I was able to hear from celebrity guest speakers such as Byron Pitts, Sharon Robinson, and LouAnne Johnson . Byron Pitts, better known as the Chief National Correspondent for CBS, kicked off this year’s institute with his own personal story of struggle. Even though Byron makes his job looks like a breeze, he once struggled to finish school—Byron credits his success to the people who never stopped believing in him, his mother, who “stepped out into nothing” for him, his teacher, and close friend and college roommate. With their support and motivation Byron was able to complete school and live his dream, his story showed attendees how much of a difference one teacher and a little family engagement can make in a student’s life. His story hit close to home for many of the audience members as Byron reminded the teachers that in their class they too may have a young Byron Pitts who just needs a little extra help and motivation.
In addition to the honored speakers the institute was filled with over 90 professional development workshops where attendees were able to dive deeper into topic areas such as independent reading, Common Core Standards, using technology in curriculum, motivating the reluctant reader and much more.
Buzzing through the institute were great ideas and networking opportunities. One of my favorite quotes (also tweeted by @Scholastic) was one educators’ innovative idea on keeping her students engaged; she said “I use humor to engage my students.” This among many other ideas echoed through the halls of the New Orleans Hyatt for a continuous four days.
Overall a stellar time was had by all attendees and Scholastic staff during the institute!
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