ECET2 draws nearly 100 educators

Fox Chapel High School teacher Ryan Devlin told educators at the weekend Western Pennsylvania ECET2 (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers) event that his career course was set from the day he stepped foot in his first-grade classroom. The way she radiated warmth, the patience she showed giving lessons and the hugs she dispensed hugs as needed both motivated him to teach and exemplified teaching at its best, he said.

Devlin was the morning keynote speaker at the inaugural region-wide ECET2. Michelle King, a teacher at Pittsburgh’s Environmental Charter School, gave the evening keynote.

Devlin’s message was just one teacher’s answer to a question that resounded throughout the Conference—Why do I teach? Others ranged from the polar opposite of his—some chose the profession to improve on subpar teaching they’d experienced themselves-—to inspiring and opening minds, giving students a brighter future and sharing a lifelong love of learning.

In collaboration with the Consortium, educators from several Pittsburgh Public Schools organized ECET2 in the spirit of the ECET2 events that take place nationwide with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The “un-conferences” give teachers from differing districts an opportunity to network and share best practices, hear speakers and attend workshops, most of of which are hosted by teachers.

Workshops at the two-day regional event held April 29-30 at the Pittsburgh Airport Doubletree Hotel included sessions on cultural awareness and inclusivity; technology and teaching methods and classroom practices that can help students prepare for real-world experiences, among others.

Workshop hosts included educators from Blackhawk School District, Laurel Highlands School District, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Steel Valley School District and Woodland Hills School District. Additionally, there were sessions hosted by a Pittsburgh Alderdice High School Student and a representative of Price Waterhouse Coopers.