Written by Carlos De La Torre
Grades six through eight are a crucial developmental educational stage for children the ages of 10 to 15. There are various reports that solidify that this stage is where children find themselves in a transitional point between childhood and adulthood. This means that their learning style is also in transition and in need of guidance. Middle School educators are there to serve as their guides. Experts on childhood development agree that parents need to be in diligent communication with their pre-teen’s teachers. This means Middle School teachers work extremely hard to stay current in the constantly changing updates in childhood development for education.
“As a middle school educator, or for any educator, it is very crucial to continue to build on your craft in education. There is no end to our learning in education and the pandemic proved this to educators all over the world. Professional development in all areas such as academics, technology, social emotional learning, and so much more is a vital part of growing as an educator,” says Michelle Sandoval, Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year 2020 and a Middle School Teacher and Volleyball Coach for Ysleta Independent School District. “As times in education continue to evolve, we must continue to evolve with it to continue to serve and inspire our students daily, even in a virtual platform. We, just like the students, will forever be lifelong learners!”
To address the unique learning challenges for adolescents, ESC19 offers a one-of-a-kind conference dedicated to Middle School. The 3rd Annual Bridges to Success Middle School Conference will be offered virtually this year on February 27, 2020. Over 20 engaging sessions will offer teachers take-home tools & strategies plus much needed encouragement during this unprecedented time. One of this year's conference highlights is Keynote Speaker Michelle Sandoval, 2020 Texas Teacher of the Year. This unique conference’s goal is to focus on the latest topics and issues related to middle school education (grades 5-9) and adolescent learners. Michelle Sandoval is this year’s keynote speaker for the conference. “Bridges to Success conference provides not only teachers, but parents the opportunities to grow as an educator. The stories and experiences shared at the conference can be life changing and can re-energize you to tackle the difficulties in your classroom” says Sandoval. “Middle school is such a pivotal time for students. They are experiencing all sort of changes- physically, emotionally, and intellectually. The Bridges to Success seeks to create an opportunity to engage in shared learning and discussion that will help support efforts in providing an excellent learning environment for adolescent students in our region. “Middle school is such a pivotal time for students. They are experiencing all sorts of changes-physically, emotionally, and intellectually” says Roxanne Hackney, Professional Development Consultant for ESC Region 19. “We created the Bridges to Success Middle School Conference to honor the developmental uniqueness of the middle school student, support educators by providing engaging sessions based on best practices for face-to-face and virtual instruction, and to highlight the great work that is being done by Middle School educators across our region.”
The virtual conference is set to take place live online on February 25, 2021, from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM. ESC 19 encourages Counselors, Principals, and Teachers from grades 5-8 to attend the conference where they will have access to over 20 breakout sessions, access to free resources, engaging hands-on strategies, Student Stories, and door prizes. The conference will also offer 6 CPE and 6 Contact hours. To register for the conference and for more information, click here to visit the Bridge to Success Conference Website.