Guest Post by Mary Ellen Ellis

Attending conferences is a vital part of professional development for educators. At conferences, you have the opportunity to learn new ways to become a better teacher and to confer with colleagues whom you normally never see from the seclusion of your classroom. There are so many meetings for professional educators, that the choice of which to attend can be overwhelming. Here are five that will surely not disappoint. They run the gamut from technology to neuroscience and neuroscience to online learning.

The Creativity Workshop – New York, June 8 – 11 and August 17 – 20

The Creativity Workshop is a unique type of conference targeted at educators. It is designed to help teachers develop creativity in themselves and in their students. The organization was founded in 1993 and takes its conference around the world to inspire thousands of educators. Through exercises, they stimulate creative thinking to help teachers bring this spark to their math, science, writing, literature, social studies, and art lessons. Attendees also have the chance to earn credits from the University of Iowa.

Learning and the Brain – New York, April 19 and Arlington, VA, May 4 – 6

Teachers can benefit greatly from understanding how the brain works with respect to learning. The group called Learning and the Brain provides connections between educators and neuroscience researchers. They hold conferences for teachers to get up to date on the research that can increase the understanding of the role the brain plays in learning and teaching. The April conference focuses on emotions and how to utilize them to improve student engagement. The conference in May is about the research into technology and how it affects the brain.

32nd International Conference on Critical Thinking – Berkeley, CA, July 23 – 26

Teaching students to think critically is an essential part of education. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked as educators struggle to teach all the concepts required for a standardized test. The Center for Critical Thinking holds an annual conference designed to help teachers bring this important skill back into the classroom.

18th Annual Sloan Consortium international Conference on Online Learning – Lake Buena Vista, FL, October 10 – 12

The Sloan Consortium is an organization for professional leadership that is dedicated to improving the quality of online education. Learning online is a relatively new concept, but more and more schools are using online programs to help students with varying needs succeed and learn. Teachers who have taught in classrooms for years are now expected to run online programs for their districts. This conference is a great way to delve into the world of online learning.

International Society for Technology in Education – San Diego, June 24 – 27

The ISTE annual conference is a great place for educators to convene and discuss the role and use of technology in learning. Using technology in the classroom is on the rise and changes every day. Teachers must keep up to date with these changes to provide the best learning environment for their students. ISTE brings together the leaders in technology education to provide the most current information and research.

Mary Ellen Ellis is a science teacher who writes for Teacher Certification Degrees, a teaching career site providing information on how to become a teacher in your state, education degree programs by state, and interviews with teachers.