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FGCU to host conference for substitute teachers

By Staff | Jul 21, 2009

Florida Gulf Coast University will host a national substitute teacher’s conference this weekend where substitutes from Lee County will attend workshops side by side with educators from across the United States.
The first-ever National Substitute Teacher’s Alliance 2009 Summer Conference begins Friday at FGCU’s main campus. Throughout the rest of the weekend substitutes will share information and best practices on the art of education.
The conference is hosted by the Lee County Association of Substitute Teachers, the Substitute Alliance of Florida, the National Association of Substitute Teachers and the College of Education at Florida Gulf Coast University.
“This is the first time we have had anything like this in Florida,” said Marvin Goetz, president of the Lee County Association of Substitute Teachers. “For the local folks, it’s a good deal because they get to see people from out of state, plus learn a few things, share ideas and everybody gets a welcome bag.”
Goetz, who is expecting more substitutes to attend the conference, reported that 60 substitutes have registered. He speculated that some substitutes from other parts of the United States may have forgone the conference because of the costs of traveling.
“We would’ve had a lot more people if not for the economic times,” Goetz said.
The Lee County Association of Substitute Teachers could organize future national conferences if this weekend’s inaugural event is popular.
Twelve education specialists are serving as presenters at the conference. Goetz said they are coming from as far away as schools in Los Angeles and Portland, Ore. They hail from the University of Nevada, University of Maryland, University of Western Ontario, University of Central Florida and others.
The conference opens Friday evening with a welcome dinner, and workshops begin Saturday. Out-of-town substitutes will stay in FGCU’s dormitories where meals will be provided by the university’s catering services.
Goetz said participants will have choices among different workshops in four sessions, and if they miss a workshop there are opportunities for them to take it later.