What happens when teachers get together for a Teacher Summit? Well, lots of learning, laughter, and collaboration takes place. Academic relationships are forged and insights gained.
On Wednesday July 10th, Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy and Kolob Canyon hosted the first annual Southern Utah Teacher Summit. The concept of uniting the Southern Utah Programs together for a Teacher Summit was originally discussed many months ago by the academic teams at Kolob Canyon and Mountain Springs. It seemed like a huge undertaking, but ultimately it was decided that it was invaluable and would provide much needed collaboration.
Planned and organized by Kolob Canyon Academic Director Susan Mackert and MSPA Academic Director Dave Gardiner (both CERTS Programs), this wonderful conference brought teachers and administrators together to discuss the needs of students in therapeutic settings and residential treatment. Keynote Speaker Eric Bonnett, LCSW started off the conference talking about how students with a background of trauma learn. Informative breakout sessions followed throughout the day. Sessions included details about accreditation, authentic assessment, teacher self-care, experiential learning, strategies for managing executive functioning issues, using improvisational comedy to improve retention, mindfulness and validation in the classroom, and student directed learning models. There was also a chance for round table discussions among disciplines. Teachers were able to brainstorm about more effective teaching methods for students who have emotional, mental health and behavioral struggles. Since many of the programs who participated in the Summit have smaller academic teams, this collaboration was invaluable. And of course there was some fantastic food! We cannot wait until next year’s summit.