More than 100 area educators and School of Education alumni recently attended the 13th annual conference of the Hofstra Network of Elementary Teachers (HNET). HNET is a professional organization of elementary teachers and teachers-to-be who are associated with Hofstra in some capacity – for example, they may be Hofstra alumni, colleagues of alumni, or supervisors of Hofstra student-teachers. The organization and the annual conference provide a forum for networking and sharing of professional experiences.
The conference was co-directed by Hofstra Professors Andrea Libresco, Eileen Simons and Linda Davey. Nicole Hunn, Elementary Curriculum Supervisor of the Oceanside School District and a Hofstra alumna, gave the keynote address, “Making it Meaningful … for Your Students and You!” The engaged audience discussed what learning looks like, sounds like, and feels like in their classrooms. Attendees took part in two break-out sessions. Topics included:
- Differentiating Instruction to Support Students’ Needs
- Passion + Planning + Collaboration = Thoughtful Engaging Lessons
- Authentic Assessment in a Play-Based Pre-K Setting
- Teaching Elementary Science through Engineering and Design
- What Students Need: Joyful Learning and Teaching
- Using Wordless Picture Books to Support Literacy Development
- The Case for Goop: Sensory Play and Brain Development in Early Childhood Settings
- Strategies for Teaching Math to ELL Students
The final session on interview preparation was led by Eric Freidman, former principal of Babylon Memorial Grade School in the Babylon School District.
Dr. Libresco, the founder of HNET, said of this year’s conference turnout, “Almost all of our presenters are Hofstra alums who were attending this conference as students just a few short years ago. They give their time and expertise, because they all want to make schools better places for children, even when lots of forces work against that end.
“As our website says, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘We go farther faster when we go together.’”