#PAIS2017

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Tony Jones, a fellow teacher at CCA, and I at the PAIS 2017 Conference

Should a first year teacher teach a workshop for teachers at a teacher’s conference? I think the answer is YES! This past Wednesday I was one of the presenters at the 4th Annual PAIS Teachers Training Teachers Conference. The title of the workshop that I presented was “Best Practices for Creating and Maintaining a Class Website”. I used this prezi presentation to share thoughts about why a teacher should create their own class blog/website and also some suggestions about tools to use and how to get started.

I actually presented the same workshop twice. During the first session, I had about 8 people attend, two of which were from my school (Crossroads Christian Academy). I followed my dad’s advice and at the beginning of each session I asked each person to introduce themselves, say what school they were from and what subject/grade levels they teach. Lastly, I had each person share what they hoped to get out of my presentation. This was an ENORMOUS help to me as a presenter.

I felt that the first session went very well. I think I was able to provide some good resources that the teachers were not familiar with and each person who attended was very engaged and responsive during my presentation. For my second presentation, I had about double the amount of people attend (about 16). Most of the attendees were Spanish teachers. They were all speaking Spanish when they walked in the room. I asked if they would prefer for me to do the presentation in Spanish and they said YES! So, although I had not planned to do so, I presented the second workshop in SPANISH and it went well.

After presenting twice, I got to attend a workshop titled “The Paperless Classroom and How it Changes the Teaching/Learning Dynamics”. This was presented by Alex Frohlich, a physics teacher at The International School of Panama. Frohlich presented about how he is using a new tool from Microsoft called “Class Notebook” to make his classes completely paperless. One cool new app that he shared with us is called “Office Lens“. Office Lens is a handy capture app that turns your smartphone into a pocket scanner. You can take a picture with your phone of a whiteboard from a side angle and it will automatically edit the image to make it look like you took the image from a frontal view.

The PAIS Conference took place at the Metropolitan School of Panama this year. It was my first time inside this school and I was VERY impressed with the way the classrooms are set up. The school is currently located in Ciudad del Saber which is very close to where I live and where my school is. The school literally overlooks the Panama Canal (see below)! In the background of the photo on the top right you can see the visitor’s center at the Miraflores Locks of the canal.

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My mentor, Jim Almack, and I at the PAIS Conference. Panamanian flag and Red Cross flag behind us. Fun fact: The Red Cross is currently celebrating their 100th anniversary in Panama
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