If you are a new science teacher, you have probably discovered that your job entails a whole lot more than just teaching. There are parent conferences to plan for, lab supplies to purchase, and disciplinary measures to consider too. In addition, you will need to find a way to squeeze in time for continuing education credits to keep your license current. Conferences designed specifically for science teachers can be a great way to build a better classroom and brush up on the latest teaching trends.
If you are attending a conference for the first time, you might find the following conference tips helpful:
7 Tips for Science Teacher Conferences
- Don’t leave home without some kind of notebook and a couple of extra writing utensils. During the conference, there are likely to be little tidbits of information you’ll want to remember. Keep something small handy in your pocket or purse.
- Bring a couple of extra ribbon lanyards with you. They can be used to show off your name tag, of course. However, they are also the perfect size for holding the business cards you collect during the conference.
- Definitely stay at the recommended hotel on the information or registration packet. This is where all of the action will take place. You will be able to connect with new friends and colleagues even after the conference events are done for the evening.
- Be involved. It’s like you tell your students. If you don’t actively participate, you aren’t going to get much out of the presentations and workshops. Make the most of the event.
- If you have one, bring a laptop. In the evening they are great for doing a little extra research online and for organizing your notes and adding new contacts into your address book.
- Bring a little snack and a bottle of water with you to the conference presentations, especially if you’re attending a conference in a different time zone. Your eating schedule might not match up perfectly with the day’s itinerary.
- Look over the planned presentations before you get to the conference and make a note of the meetings and events you are genuinely interested in. Look for something new and challenging, otherwise you risk being bored for the duration.
The NSTA hosts one of the most well-known conferences for science teachers. At these conferences you can expect to participate in a number of different workshops and presentations. Conferences of this size generate a lot of interest and attract some very distinguished guest speakers. You can also visit one of the nation’s largest science curricula exhibits. It is a great resource for teachers who are preparing for textbook adoption.
The NSTA conference is not the only conference available to science teachers. A number of smaller conferences are hosted by local chapters at the state or regional level. While these smaller conventions provide many of the same resources, they often contain sessions with information very specific to the teaching requirements in your state.
No matter what kind of conference you attend, you will come back with a wealth of information and a number of ideas to help you find new and exciting ways to teach science to your students.