When was the last time someone rolled out the RED CARPET for you as a teacher? If you attended the 2017 Spring French Lick Teacher Retreat, your answer is a week and a half ago!
We love to celebrate teachers and all school staff for the celebrities they are, and that is exactly the purpose of this event. This year was no different, and we want to share with you all of the fun and celebration that happened AND give you a chance to win some awesome teacher prizes!
So, the weekend began as it does every year for those of us on the planning team – with lots of prep!
Because we had a huge increase in attendance this year, that meant filling 560 of these awesome bags from Scholastic Reading Club with all kinds of goodies from our fabulous sponsors!
Thank you Scholastic Reading Club, Scentos WeVeel, ESGI, ETA Hand2Mind, Get Your Teach On Conference, The Pencil Grip/Kwik Stix, Seesaw, The Wright Stuff Chics, Tools 4 Teaching, Bouncy Bands, Creative Clips Clipart, and The Trashy Crafter for donating all of this awesome swag for all of our attendees at the French Lick Teacher Retreat!
We were able to take a quick break for dinner under the dome at the amazing West Baden Springs hotel before getting back to work setting everything up for the retreat!
First thing, on Saturday morning, we were back at it early for attendee check-in.
We also had some awesome sponsors greeting attendees and treating them to some of their products!
Before we knew it, it was time to start the day!
The planning team: Tiffany Copple, Katie Mense, Brittany Banister, Sarah Cooper, Holly Ehle, Heidi Neels, Amanda Pauley, and Marissa Zimmer.
Additionally, as soon as attendees entered the ballroom, they could put their raffle tickets in the items they hoped to win. We were lucky enough to have some AMAZING sponsors provide some fabulous prizes for our retreat!
Just a quick selfie before we got started!!
To start off, we began with a welcome message from Holly Ehle from Kindergarten Connections, our incredibly talented director of this event, who explained the history of this retreat and how her mission is to celebrate teachers for all of the work we do for kids all year. She is amazing!
Next up, was everyone’s favorite principal, Mr. Gerry (pronounced with a hard G) Brooks. He gave a fantastic keynote about setting goals for ourselves and our students and families that left everyone laughing and feeling inspired.
We also had to get a group picture with Principal Gerry! 🙂
After the keynote, we all went to our designated buffet lines for a yummy lunch.
Then we had fun playing the “Left, Right” game describing the history of the Spring Teacher Blogger Retreat with the Teacher Tool Swap.
Here we are with our fun tool swap prizes!! Marissa Zimmer was sooo excited to get my Scentos Marker Holder!! My husband makes them 🙂 And, because Scentos was such an AMAZING sponsor, she had plenty of new Markers to fill it with!!!
To kick off the professional development portion of the day, Hope and Wade King from the Ron Clark Academy and Elementary Shenanigans gave a phenomenal presentation on the power of student engagement.
They demonstrated ways we can “set the stage to engage” our kids every day to increase their achievement and help them WANT to come to school instead of just showing up because they HAVE to.
Every person in the room was completely engaged and inspired! Hope and Wade King are beyond amazing!
From there, we split up to attend three rounds of mini-sessions. We had some of the best teachers and presenters in the country hosting these sessions!
Sarah Cooper and Tiffany Copple were the mastermind planners of the professional development sessions! They did an amazing job!
DeeDee Wills from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten presented on writing in the classroom.
Tiffani Mugurussa from Time 4 Kindergarten shared tips on how to get started with selling on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Katie Mense from Little Kinder Warriors taught attendees how to use PowerPoint to create classroom resources.
Christina Decarbo from Miss DeCarbo lead a session on making comprehension more concrete for students.
Haley O’Connor from Teaching With Haley shared strategies for helping students improve their self-control.
Amanda Pauley from Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten gave attendees some strategies for classroom management.
Marissa Zimmer from First Grade Stars shared quick and easy ways to integrate STEM into teachers’ daily curriculum.
Heidi Neels from Flipping For First showed attendees everything SeeSaw has to offer them.
Maja Austin from Kooky Kinders taught attendees about the power of Donor’s Choose to fund their classroom needs.
Brittany Banister from Mrs. Banister’s Kindergarten Kids explained how ESGI Software can save teachers time when assessing.
Chris Pombonyo from Live in the Classroom lead a huge session on effective digital tools to use in the classroom.
Crystal Oswald from The Balanced Teacher showed attendees how she creates engaging songs for her classes.
After that, we wrapped up the PD portion of the day with a quick panel session with Principal Gerry, Hope and Wade King, Dee Dee Wills, and Chris Pombonyo. This allowed attendees to ask these experts anything!
Finally, we ended the daytime event with the PRIZES from our fabulous sponsors! Check out all of these happy teacher faces!!
A huge THANK YOU to all of these amazing sponsors: