DOTHAN – K-12 teachers and administrators learned some new strategies for “Teaching the Whole Child” during the Wiregrass Conference on Education at Troy University. During the two-day workshop at the Dothan Campus, participants discussed timely issues facing teachers including trends in special and inclusive education, technology integration and teacher burnout.
During opening remarks, Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Troy University chancellor, stressed the importance of internationalization. He urged teachers to prepare their students to compete globally. He also talked about the importance of good role models in the classroom.
“I believe teaching the whole child begins with you,” Dr. Hawkins said. “I ask you to think about the teachers who made a difference in your life.”
Dr. Rodney Davis, conference steering committee member and TROY assistant professor of educational administration and leadership, said governmental and societal pressures have forced many educators to shift their attention to test preparation. Dr. Davis said the focus needs to return to the whole child.
“Education needs to be broader in its focus,” Dr. Davis said. “The physical, social, spiritual and intellectual aspects form a package. They need to be addressed equally in the classroom.”
Mark Sullivan came to the conference to learn more about crisis counseling. An education coordinator at Pathway in Enterprise, Sullivan and his co-workers were called to Enterprise High last March to help with disaster efforts after the deadly tornado.
“The crisis in Enterprise has made me realize just how important it is to be prepared,” Sullivan said.
During the session, Dr. Ginger Mayer, TROY assistant professor of counseling and psychology, shared her own experiences counseling victims in Enterprise and at Ground Zero after 9/11. She warned educators to be ready for anything and to be aware of their own limits.
The TROY College of Education, the Dothan Campus, the Southeast Region and Kappa Delta Pi honors society organized the Wiregrass Conference on Education. Plans for next year’s conference are already underway. For more information, contact Dr. Rodney Davis at 334-983-6556, ext. 1-365.