Trine students, faculty participate in national education conference

Educators RisingSix students from Trine University’s first Living Learning Community and two faculty from the Franks School of Education took part in presentations and discussions on the issues and challenges facing education at the Educators Rising conference.

They joined more than 1,300 aspiring teachers and faculty members at the event from June 21-24 in Orlando, Florida.  

Ashley Overton, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Franks School of Education, and Anthony Kline, Ph.D., dean of the school, led a session on “5 Ways Educators Overlook the Needs of Introverted Students (And What We Can Do Instead).”

Overton said she and Kline shared common misconceptions about learning differences between introverted and extroverted students with those who attended. Participants were able to interact with technology designed to maximize the educational experiences for both types of learners.

“Attendees left with a new outlook on how to meet the needs of all learners, even those who may unintentionally get overlooked, the introverted learners,” Overton said.

“Presenting at a national conference has been a highlight of my career,” she said. “I look forward to the opportunities ahead where I can showcase my passion of teaching and learning with others through professional development presentations.”

Mariah Lawrence, an elementary education major from Dunkirk, Indiana, said the conference provided her with many tools and tips she will be able to use as a teacher.

“The breakout sessions were all different, so we were able to go to the sessions that interested us the most,” she said.

Lawrence said her favorite session, presented by the student president of Educators Rising, demonstrated how teachers could take lessons from the recent remake of “Jumanji” and use them in the classroom.

“The session showed me there are lessons you can use from everyday things you do. Sometimes you have to keep your eyes open to find them,” she said.

Anna Willis, an elementary education/special education major from Homer, Michigan, said she was especially impacted by a presentation by Dr. Bettina Love from the University of Georgia about social injustice in the school systems and what educators can do to combat it.

“Dr. Love kept the presentation fresh and current. She included current events and music that related to us to keep our attention,” Willis said. “Dr. Love encouraged having those uncomfortable conversations and fighting for justice within our schools. The presentation was really inspiring and made me realize what kind of issues were going on in the classroom that I might not notice because of the color of my skin.

“As a future educator I now know that I want to encourage the uncomfortable conversations in my classroom and give my students the opportunity to talk about the topics they want to talk about. I also know that I will go above and beyond to make a difference in my students’ lives.”

Photo: From left, Mariah Lawrence, an elementary education major from Dunkirk, Indiana; Ellie Nichols, an elementary education major from Carrollton, Ohio; Anna Willis, an elementary education/special education major from Homer, Michigan; Brookeanne Hensley, an elementary education major from Fort Wayne, Indiana; Morgan Zelmer, an elementary education/special education major from Niles, Michigan; and Anthony Kline, Ph.D., dean of the Franks School of Education, at the Educators Rising conference. Not pictured: Ashley Overton, Ph.D., and Shae Pettibone, an English education major from Fort Wayne, Indiana.