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Scenes from the 2016 Wilson Conference

Over 350 teachers, trainers, and leaders gathered in Boston’s Seaport District to connect with their peers, learn from education experts, and explore the historic city during this summer’s 2016 Wilson Certified Teacher Conference, Trainer Meeting, and Leadership Conference. The conference offered an opportunity for  attendees to reenergize, reflect on the past school year, and cultivate new ideas for the upcoming one.

Pete Hall, an accomplished educator, speaker, and author, opened the conference with his keynote, “Lead On!” Drawing on his personal experiences as a principal and educator, Hall explained the importance of a self-reflection process to adjust actions, regulate awareness, assess circumstances, and evaluate goals. He spoke in depth about how one’s professionalism and positive attitude aids the process for constructive change and creates a supportive atmosphere for students, teachers, and staff alike.

In Dr. Nicole Patton Terry’s presentation “Dyslexia and Literacy in High-Risk and Diverse Populations: Considerations for Low-Income African American Learners” attendees learned about the barriers in the special education system created by the intersection of class, race, and socioeconomic status. Referencing research, Terry explained possible ways to shape intervention, instruction, and professional learning to overcome these barriers and increase student achievement in literacy.

Participant Diane Englehardt, stated “The keynote speakers were fabulous! I love hearing and learning about the latest research.”

Teachers and trainers also explored the English language, focusing on the relationship between complex text and vocabulary, during Dr. Elfrieda Hiebert’s session, “Learning Words and Learning How Words Work: The Foundation for Reading Complex Text.” Through examples, she illustrated how educators can support students in generating the meanings of new words based on their knowledge about how words work in English.

Another highlight of the 2016 conference was Barbara Wilson’s presentation “Guiding Students from Foundational Skills to Independent Reading Comprehension.” During this session, Wilson Certified Teachers, Trainers, and Literacy Specialists were taken through the process of developing sound comprehension skills and strategies within Wilson Reading System® lessons. Barbara reviewed the use of diagnostic teaching to determine the emphasis of the comprehension instruction and demonstrated how a student’s coherent mental model is developed within the Wilson Comprehension S.O.S.™ process.

Throughout the conference, teachers, trainers, and leaders were thrilled to have time to connect with Barbara and Ed Wilson, as well as other members of the Wilson community. Jennifer Hedberg remarked, “Seeing the sincerity and dedication with which Barbara and Ed pour their hearts into their work made me so proud to be a Wilson teacher, not just to be able to help students learn to read, but to be a part of such a fantastic family of educators.”

The conference provided a unique experience for educators and administrators to come together to exchange ideas and renew their professional dedication. We look forward to the next opportunity to host teachers, trainers, and leaders.