Last night I participated in another great #titletalk on Twitter. The subject was personal and professional development this summer. Personally, I plan to read a lot this summer, putting a dent in my huge TBR pile/shelf. I also plan to write a lot this summer. But about halfway through the chat I remembered my favorite and most consistent form of professional development each summer- the Monarch Teacher Network!
I first took the cross-curricular workshop about 6 years ago and it changed my life. On the surface, it sounds like a workshop for science teachers but that is far from the truth. The teacher-leaders focus on ways to use monarchs and the environment across the curriculum and across grade levels. Since taking the workshop I have been acting as a teacher leader at one of the NJ workshops every summer. I don’t feel ready for the new school year unless I have spent time with my fellow monarchaholics.
From a 2008 blog post:
Tuesday was my last day at my summer job. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are devoted to my passion- the Monarch Teacher Network. As a former participant, I am now a volunteer staff member and the workshops are my favorite part of every summer. It never fails to completely inspire me and motivate me for the new school year.
This year is no exception. There are about 60 participants, including 3 from New Zealand and 2 from Peru. At what other professional development workshop do you work with international teachers? AMAZING. The other participants are from NJ, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. It’s a whirlwind three days, and today was a flurry of activity. But it’s unbelievable just being able to share this amazing eperience with so many other extraordinary teachers!
I left today feeling completely revitalized and energized, despite the 8 hour day and 2 hours of driving. Unbelievable. And I can not wait to continue the workshop tomorrow and Friday.
After I took the workshop I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico on a fellowship from MTN and it was a life-changing experience. You can read my entries from the trip here
Words can not describe what you see in the sanctuaries, and I wish that all my students could have the opportunity to see the magic takes place there. When you are here and you see, hear and feel the billions upon billions of monarchs, you are overwhelmed with the fact that we really are just a tiny part of this giant universe. It is a truly life-changing experience. Looking back at my pictures, video and words I realize that nothing can accurately describe the sanctuaries. The emotions that run through you as billions of Monarchs cling to the towering trees overhead and dance and play in a river of orange with a stunning blue sky behind them are indescribable.
The Monarch Teacher Network has really changed my life. They are giving workshops all over the country this year and I will be helping out at the Mullica Hill, NJ workshop. You should really think about signing up!
June 9– 10: Mary Institute of St. Louis Country Day School; St. Louis, Missouri
June 13– 14: Central on Main; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (Tulsa area)
June 13-14: Lyonia Environmental Center; Deltona; Florida (Volusia County)
June 20– 21: George C Round Elem School; Manassas, Virginia (Manassas City, DC area)
June 22– 23: Heritage High School; Leesburg, Virginia (Loudoun County, DC area)
June 27-28: LaPerche School; Smithfield, Rhode Island (Providence area)
June 27-28: Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History; Pacific Grove, California
June 29-30: Cal Poly University; San Luis Obispo, California
July 28-29: Fairfax County, Virginia (DC area)
Aug 1-2: Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center; Sioux City, Iowa
Aug 4-5: Neil Smith NWR; Prairie City, Iowa (Des Moines area)
Aug 8-9: Chilton Elementary School; Wisconsin (Milwaukee area)
Aug 11-12: Prince William County, VA (DC area)
Aug 15-16: William Paterson University; New Jersey (Passaic County, NYC area)
Aug 18-19: EIRC facility; Mullica Hill, New Jersey (Gloucester County, Philadelphia area)
Aug 20-21: Scherman-Hoffman Sanctuary; Bernardsville, New Jersey
No workshop space will be held until a registration form is received. Click on the MTN registration form page to print and complete the registration form.
To register for a Canadian workshop, visit: www.monarchteacher.ca