Association of Teacher Educators in Virginia

VACTE/ATE-VA 2019 Spring Conference

March 5-6, 2020

The VACTE/ATE-VA 2020 Spring Conference will be held March 5-6, 2020 in the Jepson Alumni Center at the University of Richmond.

The conference theme , Reclaiming and Proclaiming Teacher Education and The Teaching Profession in Virginia, extends our work from the fall 2019 meeting; it reflects both the challenges and the promises of addressing the critical teacher shortage in the Commonwealth along two related themes:  1) educator preparation and 2) educator retention. In response to the first theme, 15 public and private Virginia institutions of higher education recently advanced new undergraduate majors in Education and were met with varying levels of resistance and challenge, including reactionary and impulsive resistance to engaging in professional discourse about contemporary educator preparation practices, under-/ill-informed perspectives on pedagogical content knowledge, state licensure competencies and regulations, and the programmatic and operational demands of attendant, consequential state and national accreditation requirements.  To enhance educator retention (the second theme), there is a critical need to engage in conversations and plans of action for improving school culture and climate; increasing teacher recognition, pay, and benefits; and appreciably elevating the public profile of the teaching profession across the Commonwealth.  

In keeping with the theme, VACTE and ATE-VA welcome and invite proposals addressing all areas related to the preparation and retention of professional educators.  The common goal of the conference will be to explore and share ideas about how to leverage resources; identify untapped partnership support; discover innovative ways to enhance teacher education; develop greater understanding and awareness about educator preparation and retention; and unpack and strategize coherent, pragmatic, and actionable solutions for Virginia’s most vexing education challenges.  Acknowledging both the magnitude and interdependence of such complexities, this meeting is the second of what VACTE and ATE-VA believe will be several conferences dedicated to these themes.

VACTE and ATE-VA invite you to submit a proposal for the spring 2020 conference that engage colleagues across the state. Specifically, we invite proposals in the following formats:

1.      Future Casting: Future Casting sessions are all about the creation of “next practices” as opposed to and/or in addition to exploring current best practices. Facilitators should dedicate a significant portion of these 60-minute sessions to interactive, peer-to-peer dialogue focused on visioning the future of their professional practice. Particularly appropriate for content that is more tactical in nature, these 60-minute sessions are all about practice and what it looks like in the near- to mid-term future. With creative problem-solving as central to the process, participants will work hard to understand and/or define future practices as related to educator preparation.

2.      Scenario Planning: Scenario Planning sessions are designed to help participants consider and discuss a variety of actions that might take place as a result of changing conditions. Importantly, participants need not land on “final answers” as a result, though that would certainly be a bonus. Rather, it is the deep, peer-to-peer exploration of possibilities given a potential or actual state of affairs that provides the greatest value to participants. These 90-minute sessions are appropriate for situations when there is likely more than one “right” answer/solution. For instance, local and regional dynamics can often impact how an educator preparation professional might respond to changes that impact the industry using an “if-then” approach. Facilitators should allow enough time for participants to plan their strategies and tactics as a result of the information they’re receiving, i.e. it is not enough to tell them the new information – you must also allow them to explore potential or certain changes so they can begin to plot their course.

3.      Working Group: These sessions are designed for teacher educators and administrators to share recent data in ways that encourage session participants to consider and discuss their relevance and practical application in everyday settings. The focus is on the opportunity to process them interactively. These 90-minute sessions are marked by brief (no more than 10 minute) presentation segments interspersed with robust small group discussions focused on contextualization and practical application, ideally with planned follow-up group web-based meetings between state meetings. Facilitators should focus on presenting less information in favor of the small group interactions that allow participants to go deeper with the data. In this sense, facilitators should point to original studies and other resources participants can draw upon pre- and post-session.

4.      Roundtable: Tool sharing: Roundtable discussions are conducted for the purpose of presenting work in progress to colleagues and then engaging in discussion and exploration about the work specifically and its larger context. Generally, the work presented is at a stage at which the author(s) would benefit from feedback and critical input before taking on the next level of development. Each accepted proposal in this session type will be assigned a round table in a large room at which to conduct discussion with an assembled group of participants. While you may use your laptop during the session, a data projector is not allowed. These sessions are each allotted 30 minutes, a significant majority of which should be interactive.

Interested presenter/ facilitators should submit a proposal by 11:59pm, Friday, November 1,2019. Graduate students are encouraged to submit proposals.  The planning committee will review the proposals and electronic acceptance communications will be sent to the lead presenters by the conference chair, Dr. Adria Hoffman (hoffmanar2@vcu.edu),  no later than Wednesday, November 20th.  Please note that technology equipment is the responsibility of the presenter(s) and all lead presenters/ facilitators are required to register and pay for the conference.

To view a sampling of presentations from the Spring 2019 Conference, click here.

To view a sampling of presentations from the Fall 2019 Conference, click here.