MID-State Reading Council
An affiliate of The Illinois Reading Council
Fall 2017- Volume 6, Issue 2
Change in 50 years: 50th Illinois Reading Council Conference
---by Claire Michaels
From October 6th – 8th, the Illinois Reading Council celebrated its 50th conference. There were many insightful presentations by both keynote speakers and teachers from around the state. If you have ever been fortunate enough to attend this event, you know the internal battle between feeling overwhelmed with all the new ideas or feeling inspired and empowered as you leave. This year was no different. One thing was clear though, change has happened and change is here to stay. Luckily, the 2 Sisters, presenters Gail Boushey and Alison Behne, presented on how to embrace change. These are their three steps for educators encountering change.
1. If you are afraid – recognize the fear, and then replace it with knowledge. Knowledge is power, but if the knowledge you collect confirms your fear – resist the change.
2. Dive in! - Take ownership of the change.
3. Mindset of Opportunity - You cannot let change paralyze you, so decide if your problem with change is a problem of skill or a problem of will. Once you know this, you can tackle the problem correctly.
In looking back at education through the lens of 50 years of the Illinois Reading Conference, there have been many changes. As we look forward to the next 50 years, change is inevitable and important. However, with the Illinois Reading Council continuing to put together an annual conference with top presenters, Illinois teachers will be empowered. As a result, students will have better learning experiences, and schools all over the state will benefit.