Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy~Such an Amazing Experience!

Phil Mickelson and his wife during our last group session!
 I just got back from one of the most amazing and inspiring teacher academies (let me add that it was all expenses paid)! Last fall, I applied to the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy. I honestly didn't think I would be chosen to attend the academy. I was so excited when my colleague and friend, Kristin, told me we were both chosen amongst the 1,500 teachers who applied! It was great to have her along to experience the adventure with me!
Me and my friend Kristin!

Before I get into the nitty gritty of MEMTA (Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy), let me start off by saying I wasn't sure how the week would go. We've all been to many different kinds of PD's/workshops/trainings and I haven't been to one that really knocked my socks off. Well, MEMTA was different! My socks were knocked off into another country!! It was truly an amazing and inspiring week. I walked away with so much more knowledge regarding pedagogy, instructional strategies, inquiry based learning,  etc. The week focused on Force and Motion. Which happened to be great, because up until this past week, it was my least favorite topic in science to learn about and teach. The instructors were the best! Truly amazing teachers themselves! We were treated with upmost respect and kings and queens the whole week.

Yes, you get homework. Thankfully only one night of it and I didn't mind with a view like that from my room!

So MEMTA is around due to the generous support of pro golfer Phil Mickelson (He just won the British Open!!) and ExxonMobil. We were involved in a week long all expense paid learning experience that helped us deepen our understanding of math and science content, as well as, helped us build expertise in facilitating student learning through problem solving and inquiry. The main goal of the academy is to provide 3rd through 5th grade teachers with ways to motivate students to pursue careers in math and science.
Some of my Yellow Group peeps!

Number Group 3! The Closing Dinner

The academy took place in Jersey City (a hop, skip, and a jump away from NYC). During the week we were randomly assigned to two different groups (number groups and color groups). Most of our experiences (as MEMTA calls it) were within our color groups. I met so many wonderful educators! The week is jam packed with activities, but the learning is nonstop, engaging, and fun! Everything I learned can be taken back and applied to my classroom. We also listened to some amazing speakers (Cathy Seeley, Barbara Morgan, Calvin Mackie, Bill Robertson, and Page Keeley) throughout the week. One of the most memorable for me was Dr. Calvin Mackie. His charisma was unstoppable! He was so passionate and brought tears to my eyes a few times. Barbara Morgan is a NASA astronaut and teacher who spoke to us about her adventures in space. I even spoke with her during our reception. A pretty neat experience.

Kristin, NASA astronaut Barbara Morgan and me!

Of course throughout the week there were whispers about whether Phil Mickelson would be making his way to the academy. Although some of us thought he may be too busy since he just won the British Open. We figured he would probably have a lot of public appearances to make. Well, low and behold at our last group session, Phil and his wife were the special guests!

Before we had to load on to our buses and head to the airport, all the MEMTA teachers got together on the steps of the Liberty Science Center for a group shot with Phil, his wife, and of course the trophy! My friend Kristin and I were a few of the lucky ones in the first row of the photo. We got to shake hands with and exchange a few words with Phil and his wife.

2013's MEMTA Educators! Phil and his wife are in the middle amongst all us red shirts! We will be sent a copy of this photo! This one was taken by a Liberty Science Center person. I'm hoping our copy will be more head on! Kristin and I are there in the front row. 

I'm so humbled and honored to have been a participant in MEMTA. I'm feeling so renewed and empowered! I can't wait for the school year to start so I can incorporate everything I learned this past week. I have learned so many invaluable things that will definitely affect my teaching practices in so many ways.

Eventhough the academy is jammed packed with activities, you have time during the evenings to explore Jersey City, Hoboken, or NYC. All really close to the hotel. The hotel we stayed at was along the Hudson Bay and had amazing views!

One thing that was reiterated throughout the week: As educators we have such important jobs! We must inspire and instill never-ending hope within our students. We have such an impact on our students, therefore we must teach with passion and ignite that fire of curiosity within our students!
View from our hotel! The Hudson Bay and NYC skyline!

They also gave us tons and tons of books and resources. From books to online resources the list goes on and on. If you do get the opportunity to go make sure you leave room in your suitcase! I think all the materials they gave us weighed 15-20 pounds.

All the free materials I took home with me!

The Liberty Science Center has a great selection of resources. Some of my purchases! 

If you are interested in applying apply HERE. The deadline for next summers seminar is October 31st. Good luck! I wish that all teachers could attend such an incredible professional development!

Some photos I took while on our adventure (Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera. I didn't want to lug it around since we were going to be in our sessions most of the day. Had to use my cell phone for photos.)
AKA: Cake Boss!

Hoboken, New Jersey

 Empire State Building from Hobeken, NJ

 The old train station in Hoboken. The inside was under a renovation, but it was gorgeous! I'm glad they are renovating it!

post signature


I love reading your comments and I like to reply to them via email! Please make sure and check to see that you aren't a "no-reply blogger" so I can comment back to you via email. Thanks for reading my blog!