The University Educators Association (UEA) hosted a workshop in the Alumni Building on Feb. 24 called Empowering Teachers: Meeting the Needs of All Students.
This workshop was the first event of its kind to be hosted by the UEA and focused on dyslexia.
UEA faculty sponsor Marlene Reed referred to the workshop as a “mini-conference.” The event featured four different speakers presenting lectures in rotations: each speaker presented three separate times so those attending the conference could chose three of the four sessions to attend.
Topics addressed included dyslexia in particular, working with students with learning disabilities in general and classroom leadership.
Reed explained that the selection of dyslexia as the primary topic for the conference was the choice of students on the UEA. “This is the area that the students felt they knew the least about,” Reed said. “They wanted more information about how to help these students in their classrooms.”
Reed also added that dyslexia is a topic that appears in state-mandated reading courses for education students, but the students wanted information that went a bit deeper than what they are already reading.
“This will help [education students] be better equipped to work with students with this language-based learning disability and help them to better experience the difficulties these students have in the classroom,” Reed said.
“These students that are training to be teachers are going to want their students to get the content, and if they can’t get access to it, what good is your content?”
Although the conference was primarily directed by and intended for the students in the School of Education, teachers from Bob Jones Academy, Hidden Treasures Christian School, Hampton Park Christian School, and faculty and students of Presbyterian College were invited to attend as well.
Anderson, Converse, North Greenville and faculty of the Greenville County Schools also received information about the conference.
Reed explained that in addition to informing students, the conference also served as a way for them to collaborate and consult with education professionals from Greenville County.
Travis Belyus, UEA president, said, “I really want this to be an outreach to Greenville, and not to be just a university-held thing, but another way that [BJU] is reaching out to the community.”
Although this was the first event of its kind that the UEA has held, Belyus said he would like to see conferences like this become annual events for the UEA. He said this conference laid the groundwork for future UEA members to hold similar events.
“The UEA is definitely in a rebranding year, so that’s why it feels like we’re doing a lot of big projects like this,” Belyus said.
He also said that the UEA would like to continue this trend of bringing in more guest speakers from outside of the University.