Q&A with Teach Indy – Educator’s Conference, New Teacher Events, and More
Teach Indy is an Indianapolis nonprofit that recruits, develops, rewards, and retains outstanding educators for Indianapolis. They seek to elevate the work and lives of Indianapolis educators by holding networking events, connecting teachers with their best-fit schools, and fostering teacher appreciation in partnership with local organizations.
We recently spoke to Teach Indy’s Executive Director Sara Marshall and their Manager of Programs and Events Mark Carter about their upcoming, third annual Educators Conference on February 25 from 9am-3pm at Butler University. The Mind Trust is a proud sponsor of this year’s conference.
More information about pricing, sessions, and speakers can be found on the Teach Indy website. The Teach Indy team also discussed what else they have going on in the coming months that educators can get involved in.
Q: What is different about this year’s Educators Conference on February 25?
Sara: This year’s conference is fully in-person! That will allow for conversations and connections that virtual events don’t allow for. The theme is “For Teachers. By Teachers” and we took that seriously when selecting presenters. We had an open call for schools and educators to become presenters but we really leveraged data to select schools that are doing well. We have prioritized hearing from those who are displaying excellence on behalf of students.
Mark: We have really tried to design the conference with opportunities for interaction among educators. It’s less about “sit and get” development. We have planned key moments of intentional interactivity to take advantage of this year being in person.
Q: What are some of the special offerings at this year’s conference?
Sara: This year’s conference will feature three different educator panels that touch on special education, supporting English Language Learners, and innovations in supporting student success. Each of these panels will offer expert perspectives and high-leverage takeaways.
Up to 30 educators will also be able to recertify in CPR at-cost during the conference. Typically, it costs nearly $100 for educators to recertify, but we are able to provide it for only $30.
I’m also excited for this year’s two keynote speakers. The first will be a conversation with aspiring educators and teachers that have made an impact on their path to pursuing teaching. The second is an address from Dr. Erica Buchanan-Rivera, who is a local DEI educator and author of the book Identity Affirming Classrooms: Spaces That Center Humanity. Her keynote is titled “Advancing Equity Through the Creation of Identity Affirming Spaces.”
Overall, we have designed the entirety of the conference to match high-quality content with clear, tangible next steps that teachers can take away from each session and implement in their classrooms the very next week. This high-energy day will also include educator recognition, giveaways, prizes, and more.
Q: Teach Indy does a lot to support new teachers throughout the school year. What’s coming up this spring for new teachers in particular after the conference?
Mark: Teach Indy hosts four events for new teachers each school year, one per quarter. Our quarter three new teacher event will be hosted in partnership with Marian University. Educators will experience development from Marian University and afterward we’ll have some fun at Fowling Warehouse together. Later on this spring, we’ll close out the year by going to an Indianapolis Indians game with educators. These events are a great combination of professional development and connection among teachers, which can be really helpful for those new to Indy.
Earlier this year, new teacher programming partnered with Butler University and the University of Indianapolis. The structure of these new teacher events really allows each university to lean into their expertise in delivering development for educators. Educator feedback from those events has been really positive.
“I personally and professionally highly recommend Teach Indy. Without them I would not have had my first job.”Gladys Murage, First Year Teacher
“There is much more ground to be covered as I continue my journey as a first-year teacher but through the support that Teach Indy has given me, I know that the good days will far outnumber the bad days.”Donald Val, First Year Teacher
We invite all new and aspiring educators to come out to these events, receive awesome development, have fun, and connect with other educators in the city.
Q: What is Teach Indy doing right now to support teacher recruitment?
Sara: We have two upcoming recruitment-focused events with Teach For America, TNTP, and Educate ME. We’ll also be hosting a mix-and-mingle for folks who might be interested in teaching but don’t know how to get started.
Perhaps most importantly, our annual hiring fair is slated for Saturday, April 8. It is entirely free for educators and attendees, who will have a chance to connect with dozens of local schools in order to find somewhere they are excited to serve and achieve their professional goals.
You can find more details about those events and register on our events page.
Q: What do you hope Teach Indy is known for?
Sara: We want Teach Indy to be a one-stop shop for educators to find community, development opportunities, and career path support. We are here to be nimble and open to events that are aligned to what teachers seek. Our hope is to build a community in Indianapolis where teachers feel included and valued in ways that go beyond their individual school buildings. It’s important for all of us to work together towards retaining our teachers.
Q: How can educators stay up-to-date with what is happening at Teach Indy?
Mark: First, be sure to follow us on social media @TeachIndyNow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You’ll see opportunities to engage, be notified of events you can attend, and have access to cool swag.
We’re also really excited about our #MentionMonday social media campaign, which highlights teachers and is a way for us to elevate what our city’s best educators are doing and who they are beyond the classroom.
You can also stay connected with all things Teach Indy by signing up for our newsletter.