Early Career Teaching Institute

Educators from Wisconsin and beyond are invited to the UW-Madison School of Education (SoE) Early Career Teaching Institute, a one-week, in-person, intensive learning experience for pre-K-12 educators who are SoE alumni. Participants will have at least one year of teaching experience and plan to teach the subsequent school year.

The four-day institute invites educators to gather as a collaborative community committed to advancing justice in the classroom, deepening content knowledge, improving instruction, and sharing habits and practices for thriving in the teaching profession.

Participants receive:

  • A $500 stipend for participation
  • Room expenses paid for up to three nights 
  • Small-group engagement with educators in similar roles and subject areas. These interactive workshop strands are led by UW faculty/staff experts and provide opportunities for in-depth exploration and application to participants’ contexts.
  • Whole-group learning experiences, such as writing and reflection exercises, keynote speakers, and engagement around approaches to sustainable teaching.
  • Whole-group meals and social events. These gatherings provide participants and instructors with opportunities to connect within and across content areas and geographic regions. 
  • Opportunities for optional academic-year virtual programming
  • The opportunity to receive a UW-Madison School of Education Certificate of Participation upon successful completion of all required components of the institute.

This event is hosted by the UW–Madison School of Education Teacher Education Center and the office of Professional Learning and Community Education (PLACE). This partnership is made possible by the generosity of Mary T. and Ted D. Kellner, the Kellner Badger for Life Fund, and Propel.

July 17-20 (conference begins Monday at noon, ends Thursday at 4:00 PM), with optional evening social events

Discovery Building, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Program Fee (non-refundable): $50*

Register Now

*This special rate is made possible by the generosity of Mary T. and Ted D. Kellner, the Kellner Badger for Life Fund, and Propel.

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Keynote Speaker: Kurt Russell

A 25-year veteran of the classroom, Kurt Russell was first inspired to become a teacher in middle school, when he encountered his first Black male teacher. Now as 2022 National Teacher of the Year, he plans to advocate for classrooms to better reflect the students within them — from a curriculum that reflects their backgrounds and identities to a more diverse teaching profession.  

Kurt teaches history at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, Ohio, where he was born and raised; his classes include African American history, which he has taught since the late 1990s, and Race, Gender and Oppression, a class he developed. He also serves as faculty advisor for the student-led Black Student Union, whose work has led to positive impacts for students across racial groups. 

In addition to his classroom and extracurricular duties, Kurt is the head coach for the school’s varsity basketball team. He sees basketball as an extension of the classroom, and a place where young people can learn about working together and how to handle both adversity and success.   

Kurt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in history and a minor in Black studies from the College of Wooster and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Ashland University. He continues to take courses in child development at Oakland City University.   

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Ohio Education Association. Photo by Rae Holloway.

Schedule subject to change.


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Monday, July 17

12:00-1:00PM | Registration & Lunch
1:00-4:00PM | Welcome & Reflection Session

Tuesday, July 18

8:00-8:30AM | Breakfast & Intention Setting
8:45-10:15AM | Breakout Workshop 1
10:30AM-12:00PM | Breakout Workshop 2
12:00-1:00PM | Lunch
1:15-2:45PM | Breakout Workshop 3
2:45-4:00PM | Break & Networking
4:00-5:30PM | Keynote and Reception

Wednesday, July 19

8:00-8:30AM | Breakfast & Intention Setting
8:45-10:15AM | Breakout Workshop 4
10:30AM-12:00PM | Breakout Workshop 5
12:00-1:00PM | Lunch
1:15-2:45PM | Breakout Workshop 6
3:00-4:00PM | Reflection & Connection Session

Thursday, July 20

8:30-9:00AM | Breakfast & Intention Setting
9:00AM-12:00PM | Plenary Workshop
12:00PM-1:00PM | Lunch
1:00PM-2:30PM | Closing Reflection & Connection Session

Session Descriptions

ECTI 2023 will feature 30 faculty and community partner facilitated workshops. Here are a few of the many workshops participants will can choose from. Find additional sessions on the full conference schedule: https://ecti2023.sched.com/
Titles, descriptions, and presenters subject to change.

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Working with Who's in the Room

In this session, participants will consider their role and positionality as classroom teachers in relation to the other adults (support staff) they work with to serve their students. We’ll specifically focus on building collaborative relationships with support professionals, leveraging experience and expertise, and effective communication. We will explore different models of co-working, weighing their affordances, limitations, and fit with one’s personal teaching style and philosophy.

Gestures for Teaching: Handy Ways to Promote Student Comprehension & Learning

Gestures are small, situated actions that teachers naturally make to help comprehension and learning by complementing and reinforcing information presented in speech. When used effectively, instructional gestures help learners make connections, direct learners’ attention, and address students’ trouble spots. Students naturally integrate information presented with gestures and speech. This presentation describes evidence-based approaches to improve instruction by understanding how gestures help learners learn and teachers to become more effective.

Building a Stronger Community through Family & Community Learning

The Family & Community Learning is a model for multi-generational hands-on family engagement designed to support science and literacy development among children and families. Designed for use in community based settings, these resources include multi-session sequenced experiences that are built to be modular and flexible enough to be adaptable to the wide variety of communities and contexts that they might be used in. Participants will walk away with access to comprehensive tool-kits that include full activity plans, supporting materials for facilitators, links to related video and digital media, and additional take-home materials to support ongoing family engagement.

Parts, Purposes and Complexities: Exploring Thinking Routines

A thinking routine is a set of questions or a brief sequence of steps used to scaffold and support student thinking. Project Zero researchers have developed a variety of thinking routines that are applicable across disciplines, topics, and age groups, and can be used at multiple points throughout a learning experience or unit of study. This workshop will introduce the concept of thinking routines and engage participants in the use of one particular routine by taking apart and exploring flowers.

Comics & Turbo Zines

This fast-paced workshop gives you the opportunity to use art and writing as a way to reflect on, process and share your experiences as new educators, plus consider the countless possibilities for integrating comics and zines into your K -12 grade art or literacy curriculum. You’ll explore the following questions:

  • Comics + zines include both text and images. What is the relationship of text to image, and visual literacy to literacy?
  • How might you use comics + zines in your classroom to engage all learners and meet literacy and art standards?
  • What were the defining moments from your first year/s of teaching and how might you process and communicate these experiences through making comics + zines?

Program Coordinators

Tom Owenby

Position title: Associate Dean, Teacher Education Center; Director, Teacher Education Center

Kelly Hayek

Position title: Assistant Director, Teacher Education Center

Peter Kirschmann

Position title: Outreach Learning Design Specialist

Kelly Nee

Position title: Event Manager