I have participated in countless institute days, as a student teacher, teacher, presenter, administrator, organizer, etc.. These experiences vary, regardless of my role on these days, there were the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly…oh the stories I could tell!

But, I am sure you all have your own stories! If I had to say one thing about institute days it would be this…it shouldn’t feel like it is being done to you!

Institute days are your days, as educators, to continue to grow in your professional practice. I truly believe institute days should be tailored to meet YOUR needs, with choices and options on what you want more information on! Here at the Kane County Regional Office of Education, we aim to do just that! SO….mark your calendars…Kane County Institute Day is going to be held on March 2, 2018!

Last year, Kane County Institute Day shifted to a conference style experience with different “host” districts and countless breakout sessions at each site. The feedback, (Yes, we do actually read the evaluation forms that you complete) from this shift was extremely positive. Due to the positive comments, we are moving forward with a similar format this year with our host site districts located in Kaneland, D300, Batavia, and West Aurora. We will also have other locations with breakout sessions, (such as sessions at Pheasant Run as we have continued to expand our partnerships and are working to support The Northern Kane County Regional Vocational System Regional Conference as well)!

Noun Project // Greg Cresnar

We had over 3,500 educators participate in Kane County Institute Day in 2017 and over 175 unique breakout sessions available for educators to choose to attend and are hoping to expand these stats this year!

However, the only way to meet the needs of all of the unique roles within a district and offer breakout sessions to meet everyone’s needs is by having amazing presenters willing to share their talents and knowledge with others.

I NEVER would have volunteered to present at a conference had I not been encouraged to do so by my mentor. I didn’t think I was doing anything special, I was sure that everyone was already implementing what I was doing in some fashion. But I stuck my neck out there and volunteered. To my surprise… I was chosen! I now had to present at a state conference!

It was the best experience! I was on such a high after my presentation, my audience was amazing, they were engaged, asked great questions and even contacted me weeks after for more support and clarification. I was hooked! I then spent the next 5 years presenting at local, state, and national conferences.

I would encourage everyone to find something they are doing in their classroom that they are proud of and share that knowledge with others by presenting at a conference. The more we share resources and ideas the more students benefit!

Please consider presenting at our Kane County Institute Day by filling out this presenter proposal form. If you have any questions or concerns just send me a quick email or give me a call, I am here to help calm nerves, answer questions, or help presenters prepare in any way I can. I’ve been in your shoes and wish I had someone walk me through my presentations and/or support me along the way.

As I mentioned earlier, we have read through the feedback from both the presenters and participants from last year and have made modifications accordingly. Your opinions matter, after all, this is YOUR institute day! Some of the modifications we will be making due to your feedback will be:

  • Having participants register for individual breakout sessions
  • Hosting a hospitality room for presenters to refresh and prepare in
  • Prepare printed copies of breakout schedule for the day
  • Offering 2 hour sessions and eliminating 1 hour sessions
  • Provide menus of local restaurants & participating food trucks for lunch options

These are just a few of the changes to look forward to during our upcoming Kane County Institute Day! Again, your feedback and suggestions matter, if you have additional ways we can better meet your needs and support you through our County Institute Day, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Katie Algrim – Director of Innovative Professional Learning

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