NCATA'S 29TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE is history. . .
April 28 - May 1, 2011
The Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons
Visit our very own Shutterfly web site to view and purchase pictures from the 2011 Conference!
NCATA's 28th Annual Conference
April 29-May 2, 2010
The Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons
The 2010 Conference was a great success!
Visit our Shutterfly Photo Gallery to view and purchase pictures of this wonderful event!
The 2009 Annual Conference, Lights! Camera! Action! NCATA Goes Hollywood! went off without a hitch from April 30 to May 3, 2009 at The Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons. The conference brought together over 1,500 teacher assistants and their advocates!
You can view and even purchase photos from the 2009 Conference by visiting NCATA's own Shutterfly website.
View pictures from NCATA's 2008 (26th Annual) Conference here!
Report from the 2008 Conference Evaluator David Burleson:
From the enthusiasm of the opening ceremony to the somberness of the memorial service, the best way to describe the 2008 NCATA Conference is, "Wonderful." As a superintendent, I've been to many conferences and I can truly say that this year's teacher assistant conference was one of the best I've ever attended.
It's been hard for me to believe that the association was able to pack so much into the time you had in Greensboro. I commend each of those in attendance for your commitment to children and for your willingness to give of your own time to learn as much as possible to help the children in the classrooms of North Carolina.
Every workshop that I attended was focused on how we can best meet the needs of our children. The offerings that you had in the conference were outstanding and I believe that many other professional organizations can learn a lot from you in how to organize a conference. Not only did your offerings provide excellent resources for your teacher assistants, it also provided opportunities to be certified in areas such as CPR and first aid.
Participants were very involved in the workshops offered and added a lot of personal information to help others in their daily classroom roles. The majority of the workshops centered on strategies that impact and encourage at risk students. There were many opportunities to learn to work with students with disabilities and how to encourage teamwork with parents.
Behaviors of professionals that negatively impact children were addressed and many positive alternatives were suggested. Many positive discipline approaches were shared. Presenters discouraged the use of punishment and how to discipline students so that they will learn lessons.
Some of the best in-service training that I've had on brain development was offered at this year's NCATA Conference. From brain development to brain gym, this conference had a tremendous number of offerings on how the brain functions and develops. The presenters shared how this development impacts a child's ability in the classroom.
All the workshops I observed had meaningful and relevant content that was presented in a very dynamic and passionate manner. I even went to one workshop that had began with the Ten Commandments of Student Behavior and really turned in to a revival meeting. This conference featured national speakers as well as practitioners in the classroom, from principals to preachers.
Not only did the workshops emphasize the need to make students feel special but also emphasized the importance of making everyone in the school community feel valued. The conference itself was a great example of how to make the participants understand what they mean to children.
As the evaluator, I was treated as well as any place I've ever been. The entire leadership is to be commended in how they went above and beyond the call of duty to make everyone in attendance feel that they were special and important. From the goodie bag on arrival to the meals that were provided, every detail was taken care of to show the participants how much they were appreciated.
In listening to the presentations of teacher assistants, hearing the choir sing, and just hearing conversation as networking was going on, it became very evident that the teacher assistants of North Carolina are a very talented group. They are also a very dedicated group who care deeply for children.
It was difficult for me to believe that the association could discuss a rate increase for dues and do it in such a professional and caring way. When the discussion was over and the vote was taken everyone went forward. One quote that I heard in one of the workshops sums up the conference.
"Treat people as if they are what they ought to be and you've helped them to become who they are capable of being." Goethe
This quote summarizes the role of an educator as well as any I've heard. It is our job to treat young people the way we want them to be and they will rise to our expectations. As educators, we have the awesome task of preparing young people for jobs that we don't even know about today and to impact a future that we will never see. If the dedication of those professionals who attended the NCATA Conference is any indication of the majority of educators of North Carolina, our children are in good hands.
As I sat down to write my observations, I observed a group of people who love their children and care deeply about their success. I observed a group of professionals who are very passionate about the work they do and understand if it weren't for them, many young people across North Carolina would not have a positive adult relationship in their life.
It was evident that the teacher assistants of North Carolina not only care about the young people they work with, they also care about each other and the adults with whom they interact. It's also evident that this group is extremely dedicated to their profession and to their children. They were willing to give up Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning to learn strategies to help improve education across our state.
As the evaluator, I not only observed the conference and had the opportunity to interact with the participants; I also had the opportunity to learn myself. That learning not only took place in the lecture rooms and halls but during times when I was able to interact with teacher assistants across North Carolina. I learned how really important each individual in education is; that without the teacher assistants of our state, much of what is being accomplished in education would not be accomplished. I also learned that whatever our teacher assistants are asked to do, they do it to the very best of their ability.
The conference itself was a prime example of teacher assistants being a group that knows how to get the job done and is willing to work to accomplish any task that they are given. This is a group that any of us can go to when we need a job done. It's a group where children can go when they need a shoulder to cry on, a word of encouragement, or help with any situation they might be dealing with. It's a group that supports and encourages our teachers and provides answers to those questions that new teachers cannot find anywhere else.
The weekend in Greensboro helped me as a superintendent, learn to appreciate and respect teacher assistants more than I ever have before. I've always appreciated their hard work and dedication but after this weekend I appreciate everything they do in their schools and the lives of the children they touch everyday.
I would encourage you as an organization to continue to grow and work together to be strong and support each other. Take the task you have as one that is extremely important and continue to learn and develop skills so you can meet the ever changing needs of students. I would encourage you to continue to emphasize your lobbying efforts in Raleigh and to share the same success stories that we heard time and time again in Greensboro. I would also recommend that you have a reception for administrators on Saturday so they can see and hear first hand what is being done at the conference. The administrators could then stay for the banquet that night.
I was very honored to be your evaluator and appreciate the time I spent with you. I support you, will pray, and wish you continued success.
Superintendent, Burke County Public Schools