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Saturday, January 30, 2010

NABE 2010 Highpoints in Denver, Colorado

This post will serve as a place where attendees can share what they loved about the convention. This will also be a source of information for those who couldn't attend. I am close to finishing my materials for my presentation and am a little nervous being on a national stage:)

I will do my best to see as much as I can so that I can share here on the blog as well as back at my school site. I am really excited about it!

Denise

7 comments:

  1. Preparing is exciting. Downside? No free internet and yet my entire presentation is on using the internet to boost language skills of ELLs. Fortunately for me, I have Virgin Broadband, but if the participants don't have their own wireless access, they will be left to look on with someone who has it. Mental note...next time place in CAPS that participants need laptops with wireless connections of their own.

    Denise

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  2. Broke the news to my students that I will be in Denver for 3 days. No shout-outs:) I also shared with them that I will being their work products (tied to Milestones) at the conference. They beamed with pride. I also told them that I expect their best behavior and will have a special treat for them when I get back if the sub reports are glowing. Except for emergencies, I try to be honest as to when I have to be out. Their academic progress is important to me because I have high hopes for them.

    Denise

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  3. Preparing for conferences is both draining and exciting. I wish there were some happy middle ground but I am one of those A type personalities and therefore will not be able to sleep until the presentation has been delivered. I believe no one will be disappointed, but next year I move on to NCTE since NABE doesn't provide presenters with any discounts or equipmet. Oh well, c'est la vie!

    Denise

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  4. What a trek to Denver! Scouted around the territory a bit last night and found the convention center. The Hyatt still had vacancies and that doesn't bode well for conference attendance. Oh well. We will give it our best shot and hope for the best. Name recognition is everything for us as we try to get our word out there that we are a resource that every ELD / ESL teacher needs to know about.

    Denise

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  5. Attendance was poor to say the least. I had high hopes on a conference scenario similar to the one NABE held in San Jose in 2007. Crowds of eager to share participants were everywhere! My workshop there had standing room only and Dr. Cummins was next door! This time many workshops were officially canceled. There were also many offerings where no one showed up at all. This happened right before mine and right after it. Presenters were striking up conversations with other presenters since no one showed up to attend their workshops. I was really disappointed. After all, I had some really exciting material to share (it will be on my website www.ellteacherpros.com shortly) and had paid full costs out of my own pocket. Was the economy the reason for the disappointing attendance, political rivalries, lack of support from NABE affiliates, etc.? I don't know. I will definitely rethink presenting at NABE again for the time being. Next time, I will aim for NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) since they are doing some great things for ELLs including their outstanding website www.readwritethink.org. For the time being, I am planning on an exciting experience at CABE in San Jose, CA in March. Unlike NABE, I will have a computer lab of 25 computers and free internet. Further, as the lead presenter, I will not have to pay any registration fees. THIS is what presenters deserve:)

    Did anyone out there in cyberworld attend NABE in Denver? If so, what did you think of it?

    Denise

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  6. I also attended NABE and was very dissaponted. I spoke with NABE board members and staff. They listened attentively and were interested in putting my comments about charging presenters, lack of free internet, lack of communication – had asked for an internet ready computer lab and wasn’t told that it would be unavailable. I would have redone my workshop if I had known, but had to cancel it, along with a whole bunch of other presenters.
    There were so few participants that we had the smallest number of attendees at our presentations, www.ellteacherpros, we’ve ever had, even fewer than at last year’s CATESOL conference in Pasadena.

    Internet would have cost $125 a day and a pad of chart paper (we didn’t want to lug it from CA) and 4 markers were $50!?! This is totally unacceptable for a teacher to have to pay. On top of that you have the normal conference expenses: membership in the organization, registration, photocopies, transportation, lodging (we slept 3 in one room), food, requisite gifts for family & friends :-).

    NABE is the only organization I present at that charges full registration for presenters.
    Everyone suffers from poor attendance, the attendees – I met a man from Guam - , the presenters, the vendors, the organization and the conference center. Everyone is frustrated, more impatient, angrier, etc. I must say, however, that the staff and officers we spoke with – President and Vice President, were affable and attentive. I have no complaint with them personally. They were ill treated by the convention center, which charged them to set up the electricity they needed for their registration needs. Yuck! I’m sure NABE and others will think twice about holding another conference there.

    On a positive note, I got to see my sister who lives in Denver and teaches at the University of Denver (DU.) In addition we stayed at the Crown Plaza which was terrific. They created a severe contrast to the convention. In addition to having extremely friendly, generous, kind and helpful staff, they made copies for free and in the lobby they had free wifi (also in the rooms), free computers with free printers available to all. The food was good and pretty fairly priced. They also had the lowest prices of the “conference hotels.” I will definitely stay at another Crown Plaza if and when I have the need/opportunity to do so.

    Overall it was a pretty sucky experience. We also panted a lot while doing normal activities because of the thinner atmosphere and were dehydrated, I think for the same reason.

    I truly hope that NABE can get it together soon. They have a lot to lose if they don’t.

    Kol Toov (all good things),

    Marnie

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  7. I believe that further attendance at other conferences will show that the problem may be NABE and the location that they chose. Perhaps they should look at the attendance for their past conferences to see where they were more readily attended. Many conferences stay in a location where they build up a great following. Hopefully they will make changes next year although I think it is too late.

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