Nearly 600 educators gather for BOCES conference | SteamboatToday.com

Nearly 600 educators gather for BOCES conference

Teresa Ristow

Educators from around the region gathered last Friday at Steamboat Springs High School for the fifth annual COLLAB conference, organized by Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

— Educators from around the region gathered last Friday at Steamboat Springs High School for the fifth annual COLLAB conference, organized by Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

COLLAB is short for collaboration but also stands for communities of learning lead to achievement by all students. It is a professional development day that allows professionals to connect with job-alike peers and learn new skills.

The event is particularly helpful to rural teachers, who for example may be the only music teacher at a school. The conference allows those teachers to connect with other professionals with similar jobs, according to Julie Dalke, NW BOCES professional development and technology integration coordinator.

"This session is always a favorite for COLLAB participants as they treasure the chance to connect with others who are doing the same work as themselves," Dalke said.

Nearly 600 educators attended the conference, including those from NW BOCES member districts — East Grand, West Grand, North Park, South Routt, Hayden and Steamboat Springs.

The event kicked off with a motivational keynote address from Todd Musselman about slowing down and living in the moment. After educators collaborated with job-alike peers, they were able to participate in breakout sessions, with topics like incorporating yoga in the classroom, managing agitated students and incorporating fly fishing into core content areas.

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Soda Creek Elementary teacher Cindy Gantick told school board members Monday the conference was received well by staff.

"There was energy galore," Gantick said. "It was a very positive experience and very well run."

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow