BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) – Bonneville Joint School District 93 is making it easier for its teachers, and those from around the region, to hear from professional education authors because this year, they're bringing a nationwide teacher conference closer to home.
"Typically in the past, we've had to take just a handful of teachers from every school, and they would go to somewhere like Salt Lake or to Las Vegas to hear this conference," D93's Supt. Dr. Scott Woolstenhulme said. "So, what's awesome is, by bringing it here, then every single one of our teachers gets that same opportunity."
Solution Tree is an education resource company that holds teacher conferences all across the nation. They are in Bonneville County for a two and a half day conference, teaching educators about professional learning communities, which is a method to foster collaboration with each other.
Solution Tree's Senior Event Manager Emily Armes said, "PLC institutes are really where we can put educators first, in a world where they're constantly putting other people ahead of them, whether it's their students or parents or a district. And so, this is really where we can focus on teachers and focusing on giving them the sort of support and empowerment that they need. And especially at this time of year where school year is just getting started."
Cultivating inclusive environments with each other and the students seems to be very important to educators we spoke to. Jennifer Anderson, a Special Education Teacher at Hillcrest High School says, "In Special Education, it helps the general education teachers to know that 'all means all' and how they can incorporate and include students on an IEP (Individualized Education Program) and with special needs."
"As the librarian it gives me an opportunity to support everybody in the building, not just the English Department, but I can support everybody," Hillcrest Librarian Mikki Nuckols said.
More than 800 teachers came from District 93, about 50 others came from around the region, even as far as Oregon.
"Whether they're starting out or they've been in the field for 20 years, I think it's important that teachers never stop learning, they can never stop growing. And so we're here to help provide the support that they need," Armes said.
This PLC conference is a great way to get teachers in the 'back to school' spirit.
"It gets us going. It gets us all working together. It reminds us what we're, what our goal is for the year. And I think it just kind of lights a little fire underneath us," Nuckols said.