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Spring Education Conference

Professional support is a big part of the day

Attendees are eager to participate at the workshop on Mindfulness Meditation as Maria BastoneAttendees are eager to participate at the workshop on Mindfulness Meditation as a Tool in Classroom Management.

Educators focus on an exercise in the UFT Teacher Center workshop on understandiMaria BastoneEducators focus on an exercise in the UFT Teacher Center workshop on understanding the language proficiency levels of English language learners. Educators explored a wide range of learning tools and classroom practices at eight interactive workshops at the UFT’s Spring Education Conference. As an added bonus, participation in the workshops earned attendees one or two hours of CTLE credit.

In a workshop on applying mindfulness meditation techniques to the classroom, led by mental health counselor Steven Pinto, a packed room of educators explored meditation techniques. They learned how to become grounded in the moment so they can be more present for their students while easing the stress of a heavy workload.

The workshop on building restorative practices, led by Positive Learning Collaborative Director Dana Ashley, offered lessons on creating a supportive school environment. Belkis Morales, an educator from JHS 217 in Queens, said workshop participants learned “how to build a relationship with students to improve their behavior.” She said she appreciated learning alternatives to traditional discipline that she said can “cause too much damage to the student.”

The workshop on new education technology, led by the UFT Teacher Center, drew one of the biggest crowds again this year. There, educators learned how software and robotics can teach students as young as 4 years old how to code as they learn teamwork skills. After listening to a short presentation, attendees got hands on with the hardware and software.

Especially popular was the robot Dash, which one educator after another sent whizzing around the room via a remote-control app. “That’s really cool,” said one participant, summing up the sentiment in the room, as she handed her tablet back to a presenter.

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