Professional Conference

A key goal of our course is preparing you to be a professionally active English teacher, a person who continaully engages in ongoing learning and development with other teachers and teacher professional organizations.

An expectation is attending a state and/or national English teacher conference.  That could be the annual meeting of the National Council of the Teachers of English (weekend before Thanksgiving) or the International Literacy Association Conference (in October) held in different cities every year.

Or, smaller, less expensive, and still valuable, a state conference affiliate conference of the Michigan Council of the Teachers of English or the Michigan Reading Association.

The expectation is that you attend at least one full day of the conference, normally that is 5 sessions and a lunch/meal which usually involves a speaker or presentation.

With professor approval it may be possible to substitute a conference from one of these professional organizations as well: Michigan College English Association (MCEA), Michigan World Language Association (MIWLA),  Michigan Association for Computers in Learning (MACUL), Michigan Art Education Conference (MAEA), Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC),  Midwest Modern Language Association (Literature) MMLA, or the Modern Language Association (MLA).

If you are absolutely unable to attend a professional conference, and have professor approval, you may be able to substitute the conference by listening to about 6-8 hours of professional teacher videos or podcasts or reading professional teacher blogs.  List of possibilties below. If you find others, check with the professor.

To get credit for completing the professional conference requirement whether you attended a conference or not send an email that to all class members, including the professor.  Your email should include one to two pages of thoughts and reactions about your experience and specifics about what you learned. Be sure to discuss or comment on every session of the conference you attended.

If you attend a conference list the titles of the sessions you attended, describe each one of them with at least a couple of sentences - more is better-, rating each on a 5 star scale as well as writing about the whole experience. Describing only a couple of sessions leaves the impression that you didn't attend the full conference and will lower your grade.

If you completed the assignment on line your email include: 1) A list of all the the items you watched/read; 2) Indicate length; 3) give each a rating of one star to five stars (put URL's for 4 & 5 stars so other students can view/listen/read them); and 4) Your thoughts and reactions as above.

Student often report that attending a professional conference is the outstanding event of the semester!

Of course, you are welcome, invited, and encouraged to attend more than one conference and to listen to / read lots of professional English teacher videos, blogs, and podcasts!

Suggested Videos, Podcasts, and Blogs - Conference Substitute

NCTE Playlists 

NCTE Videos 

NCTE Voices From the Middle Podcasts

NCTE Making Our Voices Heard Podcasts


NCTE Field Notes 

International Literacy Association You Tube Channel

International Literacy Association Blog

Rethinking Schools YouTube Channel 

Talks with Teachers Brian Sztabnik Podcasts

We Are Teachers: 8 Podcasts

Education World: Best English Teacher Podcasts

Teach Me, Teachers Podcasts 


Created by: allen.webb@wmich.edu Revised Date: 8/22