In the rush and stress of our daily teacher lives and routines, we can sometimes lose a part of our creative selves. This creativity is essential to our happiness, fulfillment, and success both in and out of the classroom. This year at the KATE Conference, we hope to find new ways to inspire and reignite your creativity through the breakout sessions and speakers we select. Breakout session proposals should focus on strategies and techniques that are creative themselves or promote the use of creativity to empower ourselves and our students, especially as we reenter the classroom following the pandemic.
We are looking for breakout sessions that touch on one or more of the following topics: 1. Proven techniques that encourage the expression of students’ unique experiences 2. Innovative ways to solve problems in the classroom 3. Approaches for addressing practical language skills 4. Literature interpretation 5. Critical thinking exercises 6. Navigating ambiguity 7. Teacher expression
At the Spring Executive Board Meeting for the Kansas Association of Teachers of English, it was decided to move forward with planning for an in-person conference during the days of November 4-6th of 2021. We are also going to explore hybrid and other online options and will make an announcement regarding those possibilities at a later date. For more information, visit the official Fall Annual Conference page of our website!
Over the past year, the Kansas Department of Education has been working tirelessly to uphold the requirements called for in the Dyslexia legislation and approved by our State Board of Education in November 2019. Since then, KSDE has published a dyslexia handbook, trained thousands of teachers in structured literacy, and created video training modules for teachers to engage in self-paced professional learning, among other things.
In their work to date, KSDE has made great progress in sharing information and training teachers. But there is still much to be done. In the agency, KSDE has established a small workgroup dedicated to supporting the dyslexia requirements and the many needs that have arisen. Key areas of need include consistent and targeted messaging around dyslexia and structured literacy; support in differentiating practice from programs; applicable research and evidence-based practices for secondary literacy; and more information regarding general education interventions.
In order to address the needs outlined above, KSDE is asking for the support of organizations like KATE through creating, publishing, and/or promoting work that helps expand quality research, articles, strategies, and commentaries regarding dyslexia and literacy.