Given that I am involved in two national educational conferences every summer, it might seem odd to hear this from me, but I am writing to warn you to be careful about spending money on summer conferences. The economy is not doing well, though one could hope that by next summer this recession of already more than a year might be past. I don’t think it is reasonable to expect it.
Therefore, it is imperative that you manage your school’s money with great care. Every school must prioritize its spending and not allow any money to be spent that doesn’t help them fulfill their calling. Don’t do it unless you place a premium on the quality of your teaching and have confidence that the conference will both energize teachers and help them teach better. This needs to be the “value-added” now more than ever.
Don’t do it unless it will help your teachers build goodwill in the parents and energize themselves.
How to build good will: good teaching and wise teachers.
How to energize teachers: Help them perceive the meaning of what they do; support it practically and emotionally; treat them with respect (they are given a lot of the opposite); give them needed instruction and any other needed resources; reward good work.
We’re cutting our conference down to only 100 people because of the economy. We would urge you not to come unless you are sure it will help with the cash flow by building goodwill and energizing your teachers.
Here’s how we try to energize them: treat them with respect; help them understand the meaning and significance of their work; and provide tools and resources and ideas to apply in their classrooms. If we are able to support your work by edifying your teachers, they will be able to build goodwill in your students’ families. Only then is it responsible to send teachers to either the CiRCE conference or any other.