On Sunday, September 25th 56 Student IEA local leaders came together in Bloomington for the annual Fall Advisory mini conference. During this gathering, campus leaders were able to get to know each other, talk about upcoming campus events and the retired mentor program, choose two of three breakout sessions (membership recruitment, political action, and grants and scholarships), and listened to a panel of early career teachers answer questions about the teaching career. After this event I held an interview with our Vice President, Gwen Medrano, and our Co-Social Media Officer, Nicole Cristelli, to talk about their experience.
Fall advisory 2016 was Gwen’s 5th IEA event and Nicole’s 1st. After attending they were asked about their experiences and this is what they said.
Q: What did you learn or take from this event?
A: Nicole- “The IEA Fall Advisory conference helped me because it was the first time I’ve gotten detailed information about grants. That was beneficial to me because I was always confused when SEA would be talking about them last year at our meetings.”
A: Gwen- “I learned that even though every chapter is different, the three pillars; Teacher Quality, Political Action, and Community Outreach, are valued and enforced in each one.”
Q: What did you deem most beneficial part in this conference?
A: Nicole- “I think the most beneficial thing about the conference was hearing from the panel of new educators. It was nice to see people who were once in our shoes talk about their experience.”
A: Gwen- “The most beneficial part of Fall Advisory was the panel of early career teachers. They were able to answer all of our questions and give us specific advice for our future careers. They discussed everything from going on interviews to getting along with other teachers in the school.”
Q: Which breakout sessions did you choose? Which one did you like best? Why?
A: Nicole- “I went to the school shooting and grants and scholarships sessions. I liked the Prevent School Shootings session the best because I think more teachers should be prepared for how to handle that type of situation. This topic isn’t talked about much, though it should so more teachers will know what to do if it ever happens at a school they work at.”
A: Gwen- “I went to the membership recruitment and grants and scholarships sessions. My favorite breakout session was the membership recruitment session. We gained great tips on how to gain more members as well as keep the current members coming back! Many great ideas were shared that I want to bring to GSU.”
Q: Will you attend other IEA events?
A: Nicole- “Yes, I will attend other IEA events. I want to continue to grow as a leader and get to know the resources IEA has for the student program.”
A: Gwen- “I plan on attending the next advisory board meeting as well as both conferences this school year. These events help me learn more about my future career in the education field.”
Q: What do you look forward to this school year as a Student IEA member?
A: Nicole- “This school year I look forward to growing as a leader, networking with others, and improving my professional development.”
A: Gwen- “I look forward to gaining meaningful experiences to prepare me for my future career as an educator.”
With this being Gwen’s 5th Student IEA event I asked her an additional question.
Q: **Gwen** What was different at this event compared to other IEA events you have attended?
A: Gwen- “This event was different because they had a panel of early career teachers that we were able to ask questions about our future careers.”
As future educators it is important to understand that all your students will come to your classroom with different backgrounds and skills. We have to use this information to provide the most engaging lessons for all of our students. Student IEA aims for the same thing. They provide information to all local leaders to better prepare them for campus meetings and events. It is Student IEA’s mission to help all leaders grow and develop in order to graduate with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead their own successful classroom. There is something for everyone at Student IEA events! Gwen and Nicole are perfect examples of Student IEA providing skills and information necessary for all to succeed in the field of education no matter the level of experience.
If you want to experience something similar to Nicole and Gwen register for Student IEA’s fall conference on November 18th and 19th at http://www.cvent.com/d/mvq1t9/1Q.
By Samantha Allen
President, SEA at GSU