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Davis Journal

Conference gives teacher a little ‘R&R’

Jun 14, 2024 08:50AM ● By Becky Ginos
More than 1,200 teachers came to Farmington High School to hear keynote speakers and go to break out sessions. Courtesy photos

More than 1,200 teachers came to Farmington High School to hear keynote speakers and go to break out sessions. Courtesy photos

FARMINGTON—More than 1,200 teachers converged on Farmington High School last week for the two-day 2024 Davis School District R&R Conference aimed at focusing on self-care and celebrating what they do. The theme was Rejuvenated and Recognizance and featured two keynote speakers and several different classes for teachers to select from.

Jessica Cabeen, the 2021 ED Dive National Principal of the Year gave her keynote address “Dream Big. Live Colorfully. Lead Boldly: Developing Your Best Self at School and Home.”

“She talked about work life balance and finding your passion,” said Kate Williams, Davis School District TA development specialist. “You’re a person first before your profession. She really related to the teachers.”

Keynote speaker Juliana Urtubey, 2021 National Teacher of the Year, gave a presentation on “Cultivating a Joyous and Just Education for All.” 

“She shared some inspiring stories about connecting with kids as whole students,” said Williams. “She was so kind and said ‘I see you,’ conveying the message of connecting with students.”

“I think teachers are teachers’ best teachers,” said Urtubey. “When we have the opportunity to learn from each other it doesn’t matter if you're on summer break. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting paid or not, you want to go and connect and make that community of teachers to help you go through it. But also to improve your craft and make it better for your students.”

Superintendent (Dan) Linford and Assistant Superintendent (Logan) Toone led two sessions, Williams said. “Also some of the teachers that are currently in the classroom shared some of the magic that they do.”

The teachers were so positive, she said. “We had a dream team on site with QR code badges. They were running around making dreams come true like a parking spot or clapping for them and giving a shout out to their colleagues. There was also a big lounge area where they could make and take things for their classroom.”

Teachers were given the chance to talk about what they enjoyed about the conference.

“Allowing teachers the opportunity to be recognized,” said fifth grade teacher Kallyn Gren. “That they are experts at what they do, to present like this, it’s awesome.”

“Honestly talking about how amazing your students are,” said eighth grade teacher Adam Hellewell. “To really take ownership of the relationship. These are your students, they are awesome, you build this connection. I’ve seen this modeled by them and other teachers.”

It was overwhelmingly, hugely positive, said Williams. “We wanted to make the event positive for teachers while developing them professionally but also making them feel celebrated.”

Everybody loves teachers and wants to help, she said. “People could go on Facebook and make donations, even the community donated.”

It’s an easy sell, Williams said. “Everybody is ready to help make teachers feel celebrated.”