GVSU Council for Exceptional Children to hold 23rd annual Symposium

Courtesy / Council for Exceptional Children

Courtesy / Council for Exceptional Children

Elyse Greenwood

According to the Grand Valley State University Majors of Enrolled Students fall 2018 spreadsheet, there are currently over 1,300 degree-seeking education undergraduates at GVSU. With education being such a popular and competitive profession, networking can be an incredibly useful tool. Luckily, GVSU will soon be hosting an event focused on networking and experience for future educators. 

On Saturday, Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the GVSU Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is hosting the 23rd annual Symposium in the Kirkhof Center room 2204. This day of professional development will begin with breakfast followed by an address from the keynote speaker and inspirational educator Christina Costa. The event will then continue with breakout sessions which will feature more special guest educators and where students will network and take in a variety of useful information. 

Keynote speaker Christina Costa will be addressing the future educators about self-care. When caring for students daily, it is important that teachers also remember to care for themselves. 

“I want the future teachers to take away the message of how important self-care is to the teaching profession,” Costa said. “I hope they can walk away with tangible action steps that will help them think of self-care and plan for self-care in different ways. I love teachers. Teachers are incredible people. I am so looking forward to meeting with and interacting with future teachers at the Symposium.”

There will also be three guest educators who will be sharing invaluable information at the breakout sessions. Topics for discussion include scaffolding in the classroom, how to welcome refugees to promote academic success and strategies to encourage student engagement and positive behavior. These informational sessions, as well as the keynote address, are aimed to prepare students for aspects of their future careers that are often overlooked. 

“Beyond professional development, I am looking forward to getting as much information as I can that I can utilize in the future as a teacher, in my classroom and for myself,” said Courtney Johnson, the e-board secretary of CEC. “Our keynote speaker will be talking about self-care, and I think that’s a big thing that teachers often forget because they are so focused on their students and are always so caring toward them. I think that will be a really good informational presentation that a lot of us are looking forward to. With the other breakout sessions as well, we will be getting a lot of information that we will be able to apply to our future jobs.”

As teachers well know, a good portion of learning comes from outside of the classroom. This Symposium offers that opportunity to the aspiring teachers at GVSU. 

“It’s a really good learning opportunity,” Johnson said. “And there’s a lot of information that we will be able to apply to our future jobs that we might not necessarily learn about in our classes or in our placement.”