By ROBERT OROZCO
—The Inland Empire Chapter successfully piloted its new and innovative fall conference, “The Iron Educator,” on Saturday, October 8, in Riverside. Iron Educator attracted a number of talented teachers throughout the Inland Empire and beyond to participate in this pressure-filled workshop opportunity. The goal was to come together and make a team lesson plan based on shared common themes/words given at the conference, which were chosen at random from a preselected list. Loosely adapted from TV’s popular cooking show Iron Chef, the format called for teachers to be given ingredients to mix into their lesson and bring life to an innovative “dish” that transformed into their group lesson plan.
The tone was set after introductions and random group selection. A large cooking box was dramatically brought into the middle of the room and presented to the “head chef” for directions. After the instructions and preselected words were drawn from the cool smoke that escaped from the cooking box, participants were set to begin designing.
After the midpoint of the contest, participants began to appear visibly distressed as they tried to finish in time. Plenty of refreshments and snacks were distributed to the hard-working teachers and even more so toward the crunch time at the end. Once the timer went off, all teachers submitted their group lesson designs electronically and a participant voting process ensued while simultaneous presentations were performed. After the voting process by peers was completed, tallies were counted and the first Iron Educator Champions were presented to all participants as they were triumphantly praised.
Many of the teachers gained new insights into teaching from peers and many of their skills were challenged and pushed as they worked with others. It was a great opportunity that garnered acclaim from all of its participants. This was a strong start to the Inland Empire Chapter. For future updates on events visit its website at http://catesolie.weebly.com/ or reach the chapter by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Orozco is the Inland Empire Chapter’s publicity co-coordinator.
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