Nearly 300 IEA members from all corners of the state attended the IEA’s annual Summer Institute, with the 2019 edition on the campus of Idaho State University in Pocatello. Under the theme Chart Your Course, attendees picked up important information on professional practice, career advancement, and Association initiatives.
As usual, the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues and explore innovative ideas was a crucial component of Idaho’s premiere professional development event. Presenters and facilitators were primarily IEA members and staff, which led to many lively discussions, along with helpful question and answer exchanges.
“It was my first Summer Institute and now I’m looking forward to next year,” said Pocatello Education Association member Patricia Covert via the IEA Facebook page. “Thank you to all the teachers who shared their great ideas. I’m really looking forward to trying some of them in my classroom.”
On the professional practice side, there were compelling sessions about topics such as:
• Transforming lessons to meet the new (as of last year)
science standards, with Amy Chase as the presenter.
• Guided math with Karen Lauritzen.
• Proficiency scales with Eric Thies.
• STEM units for elementary education with
Garnering significant interest in light of today’s political environment were several sessions relating to diversity, inclusiveness, and just and equitable schools. Several of those were presented or co-presented by Caitlin Pankau from the Soda Springs Education Association. “The goal of our equity training is to encourage educators to recognize that race matters, to engage & empower others, to advocate for racial & social justice, to create the space to talk about race, and to honor our differences,” Pankau says. “When educators include diverse content and practice equity within a school, students have the opportunity to see themselves and others reflected in what they’re learning, and to see that their experiences are valued.”
Pankau and Idaho Falls Education Association President Laura Milton were interviewed as part of a story about Summer Institute by KPVI, Channel 6 that led the station’s newscast that Friday evening. IEA President Kari Overall was also featured talking about the importance of the professional development provided through Summer Institute.
Keynote Address: Center for Teaching and Learning, Perspective on Education Policy
The keynote address was delivered by President Overall during the Friday luncheon, and she used the opportunity to introduce the IEA’s Center for Teaching and Learning, which will coordinate all IEA training and professional development offerings in the future. As a 501c3 organization, the Center for Teaching and Learning will be able to accept funding from outside entities, which in turn will help the IEA provide even more robust professional development opportunities for Idaho educators. During the 2018-2019 school year alone the IEA has provided 41 trainings for more than 1,300 members.
The K-12 Governor’s Task Force, Our Kids, Idaho’s Future, the 2020 legislative session, and the upcoming election cycle were also topics raised in the keynote address. Overall called the task force “an opportunity for Idaho to get it right” and encouraged members to provide input on veteran teacher compensation and other important issues through the task force email address, OKIF@gov.Idaho.gov. In speaking about the upcoming elections, Overall said “when we look at candidates we will ask if they support public education and if they will work with us to address the needs of teachers and students.”
Save the Date!
The 2020 IEA Summer Institute will be held July 22-25 at
Lewis Clark State College in Lewiston.