8:30am Opening Session:
Welcome | Linda Nelson and Kerin Hughes

Morning Keynote Speaker | Phyllis Fagell

Phyllis uses stories, her professional experience and research to provide an overview of the phase and bring middle schoolers' distinct needs to life, particularly during this complex time in history. She shares best practices and evidence-based strategies, debunks myths, and arms educators with a number of ways to connect with kids, build a positive culture, impart key skills, and elicit students' best work and behavior. She hones in on ten critical skills that educators can help middle schoolers acquire, and why they're so important to teach to this age group.

  • Integrate Play to Increase Engagement
  • Navigating Cancel Culture and the Impact on Student Well-being
  • Reflecting Through the Lens of Co-Cognitive Habits
  • Resilience
  • Say YES to Consent
  • Teaching Anti-Racism Through Identity Exploration
  • Positive Relationships
  • Raising the Bar

12:15pm Lunch

1:15pm Breakout Session III | Select from options
  • The Time is Now! Inclusive Classroom Environments
  • Leveling Up: Redefining Middle School Academic Rigor
  • An Unconventional Path to Self Compassion
  • Service Learning with Dignity

2:15 pm Break

2:30pm Afternoon Keynote Speaker | Michelle Icard
Join Michelle Icard, author of Middle School Makeover and Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen, to understand why conversations with tweens and teens often derail and learn concrete ways teachers and parents can get them back on track. Michelle's work has been called the Rosetta Stone for middle schoolers, encouraging adults to embrace a new language when talking with young adolescents. The audience will learn: 

  • why middle schoolers need to take more risks and how adults can best keep them safe, 
  • which specific phrases will most quickly cause middle schoolers to tune out and which invite deeper discussion, 
  • how to encourage parents to transition from micromanaging to assistant managing,
  • how to effectively encourage kids to solve their own problems,
  • a universal model for even the toughest conversations you might have with your students...or any sensitive listener!

3:30pm Adjourn