The GATE 2016 annual conference was held on October 27-28 at Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa in Young Harris, GA. The president of GATE, Dr. Alicja Rieger, welcomed all of the conference presenters and attendees by reminding us all that “only by coming and working together can we get the educational system to move forward”.
Throughout day 1, the presentations were anchored on the theme “The Heart of a Teacher” and we were surrounded by artwork from students throughout the state which embodied the mission of the annual GATE conference.
With so many great sessions, it was impossible to attend them all; however, here are some highlights.
Numerology for Teachers: Differentiating instruction through the science of numbers.
Presented by Mr. Derrick Ward, Conyers Middle School.
DJ Ward shared his work with Numerology and teaching. His engaging session took us all on a journey following the work of Pythagoras and how ruling numbers can be applied to the field of education. We were able to calculate our own ruling numbers, learn about the different characteristics of different ruling numbers. We were even given a set of simulated “students” to place into differentiated groups. The session participants ranged from a Dean to classroom teachers and an engaging conversation kept us all enthralled. If you are interested more in Numerology, check out Mr. Ward’s book Numerology for Teachers . $2.99 on Amazon for the kindle edition and $5.99 for the hardcopy. You will not be disappointed. I bought it immediately after the session and admit I have been calculating the ruling numbers of friends and family all day and enjoying the academic stimulation of learning all about Numerology.
Georgia Teacher of the Year: It is all about Building Relationships
Dr. Ernest W. Lee, II
Dr. Lee gave an inspiring and delightful keynote address over a scrumptious lunch (which included pecan pie). He reminded all of us that building relationships is a key part to making a difference in the lives of children across our state. His talk also addressed the importance of understanding that education is Big Business. Almost 1/2 of the annual operating budget of the state of Georgia, an excess of 10 billion dollars, is allocated to education. Lots of companies are lobbying and salivating to take over the profession that we love and the schools that are our passion. He discussed the Opportunity School District that is on the ballot in a couple of weeks. During the discussion, several GATE members also mentioned that this same ALEC legislation was introduced in Tennessee and something similar was tried in Florida and neither experienced success. He concluded his talk with a story about his 90 year old dad and how one of his early teachers is still making her way into stories his dad fondly shares with the family today. “A Teacher effects eternity. He can never tell where his influence stops” Henry Brooks Adam. To learn more about Dr. Lee, you can visit his website or follow him on twitter @gatoty2016