TEAM’s “Changing Focus” 2017 conference has come to an end. Our goal this year was to encourage educators, administrators, and members of the broader community to shift their focus from their everyday context to see new perspectives on the roles of teacher and learners, planning and assessment, and community engagement.
With 281 participants and a 94% attendance rate, we considered this year to be a success. But of course, we couldn’t do anything without YOU! Your passion for our profession is what makes conferences like these great. Thank you to all volunteers, speakers, sponsors, and participants (AND Clay Oven!!!!) for making this year’s conference a success! Once again, a huge shout out goes to the the PD Committee, Marina Ostrovsky, Erna Sullivan, Laura Charr, and Erica Kolomic for all of their hard work in preparing this conference for you. Last but not least, we would like to acknowledge Dr. Ken Beatty for his amazing job. He truly lived up to his reputation as a knowledgeable and charismatic speaker who “makes it memorable”.
We have had a chance to review the conference surveys. Thank you to all of you who shared your thoughts about the conference. We take your wants and needs seriously and use your feedback for future conference planning.
I’d like to conclude by echoing Dr.Beatty’s Keynote closing; remember that you have a voice and it wants to be heard. Please consider attending our AGM on June 16th at RRC Basement Room D from 5:30pm-7:30pm. TEAM currently has several vacancies on the board that need to be filled – maybe by you! Become a part of the TEAM board to advocate on behalf of yourself, your co-workers, your students, and our profession as a whole!
82 participants responded to the post-conference survey. Below are the results.
Which best describes your role in the EAL field in Manitoba?
What was your main reason for attending the event?
Indicate your overall satisfaction with the event.
What was MOST valuable about the conference?
Out of 82 responses to this question, the top three were:
Connecting with peers
What was LEAST valuable about the conference?
Out of 82 responses, the most common were:
The conference date, i.e. May
Insufficient opportunities to network
Session relevancy to some EAL subfields, e.g. EAP
Rate the following items:
Are there any other comments you’d like to share with us?
The answers to this question were varied and it was rather difficult to select top three responses. Therefore, below are some suggestions for improvements for our future events:
Change the conference date, i.e. host it either earlier in the year or later in the fall. May appears to be a busy month for most programs and a closing month for some, so the respondents were concerned about wasted opportunities to implement what they had learned right away in their classrooms. Valid point! A new conference date will be considered and put to vote before our membership.
Re-consider paperless approach. A suggestion was made to implement a mobile app in the future. <- We love this idea!
Publish the conference program sooner. Yes, we absolutely agree! However, it almost entirely depends on when we collect a desired amount of presentations. Thus, we suggest that all EAL teachers in Manitoba start thinking about and planning their 2018 presentations now, so their ideas are ready to roll when the presentation call comes out next year. To all EAL teachers: Please, have a session at the back of your mind from now on. Present a session next year. Share your tips and tested ways of teaching EAL!
Have more food choices. The majority of the participants loved the Clay Oven lunch. Some respondents commented on insufficient snack and beverage options during coffee breaks. One individual asked for non-spicy food options.
Improve crowd flow. Signage (maps, rooms) needs to be available. Some rooms were too small for the most popular sessions.
Important mention: The leftover food was donated to Siloam Mission on Princess Street. The food was dropped off there immediately after the conference.
Huge thanks to all who responded to the feedback survey. Your voice is important to our future planning and will be carefully considered and discussed in 2018.
Two more presenters agreed to be featured on our website:
Carl Heaman-Warne is the Director of Therapy at the Aurora Family Therapy Centre and Faculty in the Masters of Marriage & Family Therapy Program at the University of Winnipeg. He has worked in the counselling field for 25 years, working in a variety of agencies and in private practice, and has spent five years travelling across Canada to large and small communities presenting workshops on issues of trauma, mental health and addictions.
Carl has worked with many communities and families to address issues of trauma. He helps people look at their own choices in how they engage which can either escalate or de-escalate traumatic reactions. He believes that understanding why people respond the way they do is key to us making more informed choices about how we engage and assist others.
As an educator and clinician, he is focused on the why we do what we do along with the how we do it, and looks at the impact on the helper as well as on the affected person.
Michelle Strain is the Refugee Response Coordinator at the Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations (MANSO). Michelle has worked with refugees for over a decade and as a result he has developed a strong understanding of the various needs and challenges that newcomers face in their daily lives. Prior to her position at MANSO Michelle managed a pre-employment training program for refugees, thus she has gained an understanding of the challenges and successes of refugees seeking employment as well as the vital role employers play in integration and acceptance of newcomers.
Thank you Carl and Michelle. We look forward to your presentations!
This year we have some special prizes for participating in the conference via social media. We encourage all registered participants to try and connect with us and the whole MB ESL community online before, on, and after May 19!
before the conference
how: share details about our conference on Twitter with our hashtag #teamconf17; if posting on Facebook, mention our Facebook group (@manitobateam) to be entered in the competition
where: Twitter, Facebook
why: to win a $50 gift card and support a local Winnipeg business staffed by Syrian refugees and co-owned by a Syrian refugee and first generation Egyptian immigrant – Arabesque Hookah Cafe and Restaurant
during the conference
how: share your learning (aha moments, links to resources, interesting bits of information) via Twitter or Facebook. Always add #teamconf17 to your tweets and posts to enter into the competition; if posting on Facebook, mention our Facebook group (@manitobateam) to be entered in the competition.
how: share your thoughts and notes on the sessions you attended via Twitter or Facebook. Always add #teamconf17 to your tweets and posts to enter into the competition; if posting on Facebook, mention our Facebook group (@manitobateam) to be entered in the competition.
You will need a Twitter account. It should be set as public, so others can see your tweets. If you want to remain anonymous, you can use a pseudonym for your username. Complete your profile by adding an image and some details about your interests.
If you are new to Twitter, take your time to observe how Twitter works:
Read some Twitter accounts
Notice how those people interact
Check who they follow and who follows them
View what they share
Find and follow Twitter accounts of other ESL professionals and organizations. Some suggestions are:
Start participating in the public conversation on Twitter by:
sharing some interesting articles/videos related to our presentations
retweeting posts you found useful and interesting
commenting on another participant’s tweets
Note: Add the hashtag #TEAMCONF17to all conference-related tweets. Click on the hashtag to see all resources and comments related to the conference.