WEAC Professional Issues Conference
The 2018 Professional Issues Conference is March 2-4 at the Concourse Hotel in Madison.
What is the Role of Educators in Countering Islamophobia and Creating a Positive Classroom Culture?
Islamophobia is a distorted image of Islam and Muslims caused by faith misrepresentation and fear/exploitation of religious practices and beliefs. How can teachers connect this phenomenon to our nation’s history of intolerance toward minorities? Can the misuse of definitions and concepts fuel fear of the other? Is it possible to promote honest discussion while maintaining a positive classroom culture? Read more about Janan Najeeb.
Hear from two of Wisconsin’s 2017 Teachers of the Year
Speaking at Saturday’s luncheon:
Mary Ellen Kanthack, a fifth-grade teacher at Brookwood Middle School in Genoa City, is Wisconsin’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year. She embraces personalized learning in her classroom and is leading a personalized learning pilot in the district. “I believe in helping students to master standards by using multiple ways of teaching a concept and allowing students to engage in productive struggle throughout the learning process,” she said. Kanthack initiated an elementary forensic speaking program and in 2009 began writing and directing musicals, collaborating with school staff and community members. Her 9/11 Memorial Daffodil community beautification effort is integrated with themes of peace, tolerance, and remembrance, as well as lessons in social studies and science. On the 10th anniversary, the entire Genoa City community got involved, planting 2,996 bulbs for every life lost.
Brent Zinkel, a history teacher at Wausau East High School, is Wisconsin’s High School Teacher of the Year. He demonstrates and inspires a love of learning for his students through his lessons and sharing what excites him, from a book he’s reading, to a class he’s taking, to places he’s traveled. To “do the work of historians” his students must consider complex questions and understand history, not as a march of dates and facts, but as a set of decisions made by historical characters that shape the world in which we live. A tiered reading activity he developed allowed high-need students to be active in an all-class discussion of landmark Supreme Court cases. His work with the Wausau East Narrowing the Gap Committee resulted in the first Hmong Parent Night. Zinkel coaches multiple sports teams, including cross country and swimming. He is active in his community, volunteering for numerous special events in Wausau and serving as a liaison to provide International Baccalaureate students civic engagement and leadership opportunities to fulfill their community activity and service requirement.
More details about the 2018 WEAC Professional Issues Conference
will be posted here as they become available.
More images from the 2017 Professional Issues Conference: