Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU hosts 15th annual Sycamore Educators Day

October 18, 2011

Indiana State University's Bayh College of Education plans to help educators renew their commitment with Sycamore Educators Day on Nov. 5.

"You became a teacher because you felt called to be a teacher. We hope they remember the real purpose and the real impact they have," said Denise Collins, Bayh College of Education associate dean for academic and student affairs and overseer of this year's conference.

The 15th annual event is free and designed to provide ongoing professional development for teachers around the state. The theme of the one-day conference is "Meeting the Needs of All Learners: Making Learning Personal" and will focus on inclusive teaching, particularly of learners with exceptionalities.

Participants will have the opportunity to hear from general session speaker Todd Whitaker and keynote speakers Matthew and Nancy Hobson.

Whitaker, a professor in the ISU department of educational leadership, speaks to educators worldwide and has written 23 books. During his presentation, "Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted," he will discuss how to prepare well-rounded students for the future.

Matthew and Nancy Hobson, authors of "I'm So Glad You Found Me in Here," will offer their story of overcoming obstacles. Despite a diagnosis of non-verbal autism, Matthew has succeeded in his educational pursuits. He is a college graduate and able to communicate using a technique known as facilitated communication.

"Matt and Nancy Hobson's story is a powerful lesson about the potential that is within each of our students. As teachers, we need to figure out how to reach that," said Collins.

In addition to the keynote and general speakers, participants will have the opportunity to attend two break-out sessions. They can choose from a variety of presentations with topics including student motivation, curriculum development and ideas for using new technology. A combination of current ISU faculty, associates and practicing educators will teach the sessions.

Collins said the goal of Sycamore Educators Day is to have strong programs which will be informative and encouraging for those who attend.

"We hope that they have a renewed sense of spirit and commitment for their work in the schools and that they get some ideas which they can implement immediately to refresh their teaching," said Collins.

Educators are encouraged to register online at by Oct. 27.

Contact: Denise Collins, associate dean, Bayh College of Education, Indiana State University, 812-237-2918

Writer: Bethany Donat, media relations assistant, Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773