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17 Must-Attend Education Conferences & Professional Learning Opportunities For NJ Teachers – Spring 2020 Edition

One of the best ways to boost your teaching career is to invest time in conferences and professional learning opportunities. These events will not only help your development as a teacher, but also connect you to people with helpful resources.

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Rutgers Center for Effective School Practices has made it easy for New Jersey's teachers to find events hosted by state professional associations, as well as local universities and grassroots education groups. Most of these events are free or low-cost, too!

Read on for 17 great opportunities to pursue professional development this Spring!

edcampAccessNJ2020

What can we do to improve education for special education students? EdCampAccess NJ focuses on special education issues for grades K-12 and is focused on creating active dialogue. Attendees get to submit session ideas to the conference’s Session Idea Board, making it truly custom. The event is open to anyone interested in this topic, not just special educators. It is not limited to special educators.

Location: Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mahwah, NJ

Date: March 7, 2020

Price: Free

 

Urban SEL Leadership Forum & Luncheon

Committee for Children and the Social Emotional Learning Alliance for New Jersey (SEL4NJ) are hosting a special gathering of social-emotional learning (SEL) leaders in New Jersey. The event will allow attendees to connect and discuss how schools and districts can integrate SEL into providing safe, supportive, and equitable learning environments while preventing adverse outcomes. Space is limited and RSVP is required to Kate Tovias at ktovias@cfchildren.org.

Location: New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, Monroe Township, NJ

Date: March 10, 2020

Price: Free

 

Rutgers Online Learning Conference 

Technology has become intertwined with education, which is why Rutgers puts on its annual Online Learning Conference. The event focuses on improving learning with technology and brings in attendees across disciplines to exchange information on research, development and applications related to online, hybrid and technology-assisted face-to-face learning. Expect to see more than 300 educators and 30 speakers at this event.

Location: Hyatt Hotel, New Brunswick, NJ

Date: March 16, 2020

Price: $199

 

Metuchen Technology Symposium: Technology For ALL!

This symposium welcomes Jeff Bradbury, co-founder of Edcamp New Jersey, as a keynote. Bradbury, who is a Google for EDU Certified Innovator & Trainer, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert & Trainer, and a TEDx Speaker, will touch on his experience with technology and education in his speech. After the keynote, attendees have their choice of workshops that focus on how to use technology to support students and learning. 

Location: Metuchen High School, Metuchen, NJ

Date: March 21, 2020

Price: Free

 

Life in High School and Beyond Conference & Resource Expo

Parents, educators, adults, professionals and students are invited to an all-day conference that explores learning disabilities, attention issues and related disorders. At this event, attendees will choose from 36 workshops, plus two lunch and learn options. Speakers range from education professionals to speech pathologists, psychologists, licensed social workers, neuroscientists and more. Breakfast and lunch are both provided during the conference. 

Location: The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Ewing, NJ

Date: March 22, 2020

Price: $25 for students and LDA members, $50 for non-members 

 

NJ Makers Day

New Jersey Makers Day encourages libraries to showcase and highlight STEM and maker culture. The day’s goal is to enhance community engagement by collaborating with multi-type libraries, museums, small businesses and others to promote and explore entrepreneurship, innovation and hands-on learning. Events will be happening all over New Jersey, and you can find event locations on the event website

Location: Public Libraries across New Jersey

Dates: March 22 & 23, 2020

Price: Call event locations for details

 

The 16th Annual School Counselor Conference

The annual School Counselor Conference highlights best practices for helping students and their families prepare future academic or career goals. At this event, attendees will have an opportunity to network with colleagues and reinforce skills through professional development workshops, sessions and program showcases.  

Location: Kean University, Union, NJ

Date: April 3, 2020

Price: $35 until March 15, $40 after March 15

 

EdCamp Happy Camper

EdCamp pulls together teachers and administrators to create meaningful dialogue around education. The event offers four professional-development opportunities, as well as time to network with fellow educators and administrators. Plus, you can’t beat a free breakfast and opportunities to win prizes. 

Location: Washington Township, Sewell, NJ

Date: April 4, 2020

Price: Free

 

Connecting the Dots: Advocating for EFFECTIVE Services

Connecting the Dots is designed to empower parents, educators and support staff to secure the best outcomes for their children and students. This half-day conference will feature Dr. Bobbie Gallagher—the parent force behind the Autism Cares Act—as a keynote speaker. Attendees will also have an opportunity to browse the job fair and gain wisdom, advice and strategies from parent advocates. 

Location: College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, NJ

Date: April 4, 2020

Price: Suggested $15 donation 

 

NJEA Preservice Conference

This conference is for college or university students preparing to become a teacher. At NJEA Preservice, students will learn how to incorporate activism related to racial and social justice, student loan debt, LGBTQ, immigration rights into their curriculums. Workshop sessions include: edTPA Q&A, Landing Your First Job, LGBTQ Curriculum Inclusion and Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences: ACEs Pt. 1 & Pt. 2.

Location: Heldrich Hotel, New Brunswick, NJ

Date: April 18, 2020

Price: Free to NJEA members

 

EdCampNewark POPPING UP

Back by popular demand! Following the success of Edcamp Newark(NJ), Juli-Anne Benjamin and her amazing organizing team are bringing this unique Brick City gathering back for an encore this spring. Expect stimulating teacher-led conversations rooted in social justice, equity for all and joyful teacher collaboration. Mark your calendar for this one-of-a-kind event designed to connect you with strategies, best practices, and scholarship in a setting of like-minded educators you can call upon for ongoing encouragement.

Location: Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ

Date: April 25, 2020

Price: Free

 

Edcamp Accelerated 2020

The schedule for Edcamp Accelerated won’t be decided until the event starts, as participants decide the topics they want to talk about rather than an event committee. Sessions are hands-on and discussions are highly encouraged. Previously known as Chromecamp, Edcamp Accelerated is a relaxed professional learning environment for educators. 

Location: TBD

Date: April 25, 2020

Price: Free

 

LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum 

As of the 2020-2021 school year, all New Jersey middle and high schools must incorporate LGBTQ-related topics and discussions within their curriculums. At the LGBTA-Inclusive Curriculum Conference, educators and administrators convene to build LGBTQ awareness and cultural competency in schools, as well as learn emerging practices and gather resources from leading experts in the field. The conference is presented by Garden State Equality in partnership with Make It Better for Youth.

Location: Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ

Date: May 2, 2020

Price: $199

 

Edcamp for Equity & Inclusivity 2020

As educators, we believe all of our stakeholders need safe places to have conversations that will push the work forward: to ask questions, to share, to learn, and to find allies. Doing this work will allow us to truly create a culture that includes, honors, and empowers every voice. Edcamps are designed for educators and presented by educators. Edcamp for Equity & Inclusivity is no exception! All educators are welcome to this event.

Location: WWPRSD High School South, Princeton Junction, NJ

Date: May 9, 2020

Price: Free

 

Edcamp: Supporting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Classroom

Explore how your school can affirm identity, empower students, celebrate diversity and inspire action among peer educators and students. Education professionals are encouraged to share their ideas on how to engage, inspire and support students through technology in the classroom, giving students choice, practicing culturally sensitive pedagogy and using multicultural content, trauma-informed approaches and restorative practices. The event is collaborative, with participants determining topics the day of the event. 

Location: Piscataway HS, Piscataway, NJ

Date: May 16, 2020

Price: Free

 

nErDCampNJ 

nErDCampNJ is an EdCamp-inspired conference with an exclusive focus on literacy instruction. Like other collaborative ed conferences, the workshops are decided the day of the event. Watch as session titles go up and think about which ones you want to attend, or put your own topics on the board. Teachers, librarians, administrators, teacher educators, and local authors are all invited to attend the event. 

Location: Great Oaks Legacy Charter High School, Newark, NJ

Date: May 16, 2020

Price: Free

 

Edcamp Engage and Enlighten to Exceed in World Languages 2020

At this event, world language educators come together to engage in collaboration and discussion. Participants share world language topics they are currently using or would like to use, spreading new resources to follow educators. The goal is for the attendees to come back to their classroom with new educational tools. 

Location: Health and Welfare Fund, PFT Office, Philadelphia, PA

Date: May 16, 2020

Price: Free


Do you plan on attending any of these conferences? Let us know by commenting below!

If we missed a conference that you think should be included in our list, tweet us @RutgersAltRoute or email altroute@gse.rutgers.edu to let us know!

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Heather Ngoma

Heather Ngoma has over 20 years experience collaborating with educators across New Jersey to drive education innovation. She currently serves as the Director of Rutgers University's Alternate Route Teacher Training Program at the Center for Effective School Practices, a program which helps career changers, recent college graduates and other aspiring education professionals become licensed teachers in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter @heatherngoma.