We here at Write to Learn are happy to announce the theme for our February 15-17, 2018 conference: “E3: Engagement, Empathy, Empowerment.” This theme weaves a cord consisting of three powerful strands. Without engagement, students don’t learn well. Without empathy, they don’t treat others well. Without empowerment, they don’t have the voice to perform well in their role as citizens of this country and the world.
Teachers find themselves in a position of influence second only to parents for helping the students in their charge to achieve these three crucial goals. Language arts teachers, especially, have a powerful ally in the form of the literature they teach. Texts that are relevant to students’ lives capture their attention and keep them engaged. The right text can teach through story the lessons of empathy more powerfully than any speech or sermon. And the models provided to students by the characters in many texts show them pathways for achieving empowerment.
At this year’s conference, you will have the opportunity to hear a number of great speakers address these issues. Best-selling author Kwame Alexander will share his message of how literature can engage kids who are at risk of failure and empower them to reach their full potential. Middle school teacher Pernille Ripp will share the ways she teaches her students to use technology to engage with other students from around the world and build empathy. Carmen Agra Deedy will tell you the story of how, as an immigrant, she learned to love her second language and ultimately learned to use that language to become a best-selling children’s author and storyteller. And Harvey “Smokey” Daniels will share some of the strategies he uses to keep students engaged and learning. And that’s just the keynoters!
So, please join us for a powerful learning experience at this year’s Write to Learn Conference. We’ll see you there!
Write to Learn Conference Coordinator