Virginia State Reading Association Conference 2015













This weekend I attended the Virginia State Reading Conference in Richmond, Virginia.  This conference was packed with a speakers and sessions we could attend to help grow our professional knowledge of teaching literacy in the classroom.  It was a great learning and networking experience for me.  I was not only able to attend informative sessions that have given me  tools to use in my future classroom, but I was able to network and meet teacher, students, administrators, and reading specialists from all over the state.  I gained so much new knowledge from this conference.  Each session gave me new tools, resources and ideas to use in my classroom.  The vendors their also supplied me with books and resources to use in my future classroom.  The most rewarding experience was being able to present at the conference.  My partner and I presented on literacy centers in the classroom.  We had a packed house of 60+ people.  This experience allowed me to strengthen my public speaking skills as well give me practice into what I will be doing as a reading specialist or teacher.  After our session was over we were even asked to present to a group of teachers in a surrounding county.  We both were very proud of our work and were glad that people got a lot out of our session.  Attending this conference was a great experience and has really supplied me with tools that will grow my knowledge as a student and teacher.   I cannot wait to began using what I learned this weekend in my own classroom.

Virginia State Reading Association

VSRA pictureKayla Brock and I were one of the first sessions to present on the first day, Thursday, March 12, 2015.  Our presentation was entitled “I Like to Move-It, Move-It: Literacy in Motion”.  We were incredibly grateful to have over 50 people show up to our presentation and listen to what we had to say about the importance of incorporating movement into to classroom.  Our audience was more than willing to participate in our activities and they came with some great questions and suggestions as well!  After our presentation was over, I decided to stay for the rest of the conference to support my fellow classmates and take away as much as I could from a wonderful weekend.  Within the convention center, they had vendors that provided wonderful resources so one of the biggest benefits gained from this conference was all of the resources and materials I received to incorporate into my future classroom.  I am very grateful for having the opportunity to present and attend such an amazing conference and I look forward to next years!

Virginia State Reading Association Conference 2015


From March 12 through 14, I was able to attend the Virginia State Reading Association annual conference held in Richmond, VA.  The conference was a wonderful opportunity to attend numerous sessions each day and included featured speakers as well, and well known authors such as  Jeff Kinney (author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid).  I was able to attend several different sessions that covered many different topics.  I enjoyed being able to pick from so many presentations to attend and feel like I was really able to gain valuable information from the sessions that I can one day apply to my own classroom as a teacher.

During this conference, I was also able to present a presentation of my own with a classmate.  Our topic was titled Literacy Centers: That was Easy.  Our room reached full occupancy about 8 minutes before it was scheduled to start, and our presider had to close the doors and post a sign saying the room was full.  It was very exciting to not only have the opportunity to present at the VSRA conference, but it was a great experience to have so many people attend our presentation.  Following the presentation, my co-presenter Leah and I were invited to give our presentation at a school district.  The reading specialist for the county asked us if we would bring our presentation to her county to give a professional development session to the teachers in her schools.  We were both very excited.  The excitement was followed up by a different school system then encouraging us to apply to their school district for open positions they had.  The networking and opportunities gained from giving this presentation was a great experience for me.

I truly had a wonderful time at the VSRA conference.  It was nice to hear presentations from teachers all across Virginia.  I gained many valuable ideas from those presentations on topics such as journals, literature circles, blogging in the classroom, text investigation, and so many more.

The Magic of Reading

FullSizeRender (3)What an incredible experience! The Virginia State Reading conference was held in Richmond this year. With the conference so close to St. Patrick’s day, it was only fitting to have a “magical” theme. Presenters came from across the country to share some knowledge in regards to literacy and learning. Sessions ranged from pre-school friendly topics and ideas to high school leveled content. This was my first large conference experience and I was lucky enough to be selected as a presenter with Eli Sole. We presented on PALS, an assessment used and given primarily to K-2 students. We were excited to have a room filled with passionate teachers who want to provide better instruction for students. Being a presenter is an experience that I will never forget and will continue to use the knowledge gained for future presentations.

After presenting, I was able to enjoy some sessions as a participant. One of the best sessions I attended was by Dr. Jean. I was able to take away so many ideas to use with my kindergarten students. Children need to have fun and use dance and rhyme to learn!! What a motivational person Dr. Jean is.

I am so thankful for the experience that I was able to have at the VSRA and am looking forward to returning in the future.

Virginia Counselor Association Conference 2014


This past November I was able to attend the Virginia Counselor Association Conference held in Colonial Williamsburg from the 20-22.  This conference held some amazing sessions that I appreciated because we had the chance to learn from people in the field with different views and experiences.  The keynote speaker James Lloyd, did a phenomenal job getting people motivated and uplifted; I would love to see him speak again if I had the chance.

The sessions that I went to were very diverse in their topics.  Some of them talked about mindfulness and the importance of maintaining an awareness of one’s mind and learning to remain in the present instead of always thinking about past and future events.  One of the sessions that I went to also had a discussion about Disney characters and how their experiences are related to what happens in the real world.  Some of the stories have to do with grief, some have to do with conflict, and others have to do with differences in personality and how to best relate to one another.  For example, Winnie the Pooh reflects a variety of personalities and how they all learn to get a long is a good lesson.

Finally, the conference in general felt like a vacation.  The first night we were able to participate in a fun event to get to know other counselor’s and to have some great refreshments.  We had a reception for the Longwood Graduate students as well at one point so I felt like we were a part of the Counseling field, even if we are Graduate Students.  I was so grateful to have the opportunity to go and I can’t wait until next year!

Virginia Counselors Association Convention

IMG_2093This November, I had the opportunity to attend my first Virginia Counselors Association Annual Convention, which was held in Williamsburg, VA.  Throughout the convention, I attended several sessions on topics that will help me to become a successful school counselor, such as bucket filling, creatively expressing emotions, positive behavior interventions, social media, and even how to use dance and yoga in the classroom or during counseling sessions.  The motivational speaker, James Lloyd, was incredibly entertaining and motivated me to not only be a better counselor, but to be a better person as well.  His words on genuinely making others feel important and taking care of yourself will stick with me for many years to come.  In addition to learning a variety of new counseling strategies and resources, I really enjoyed networking and getting to spend time with other grad students, friends, and professors outside of the classroom.

The conference was a very inspiring and refreshing experience that has left me with new tools, greater friendships, and even more excitement as I move closer to starting my career as a counselor.  I am already looking forward to attending next year’s convention!

Virginia Counselors Association Convention 2014

imageThe VCA convention was absolutely a remarkable experience. I believe every one should take the opportunity to attend one while a student or counselor. As a student preparing to indulge in the counseling field it was inspiring to be apart of such a big event. One gets the opportunity to notice numerous counselor come together and celebrate their accomplishments. They all seem to want to make an impact in children’s lives, as well as help those who need assistance. The atmosphere as I attended the three day convention remained positive through  out the entire conference. Everyone was so welcoming, wanting to learn about one another and what position they play in schools or institutions. It was great to meet new people and find out their “stories” and where are they come from.

During the convention, I learned plenty while attending each of the session. Each presenter had a great topics to introduce and discuss; all worth listening and learning from.  One of my favorite lectures dealt with adolescents and social media. It gave a great insight of today current trends and how adolescent use social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and etc.If possible, I would want to attend again next year.

Virginia Counselors Association Conference 2014

VCA conference picI was honored to be selected to present at this year’s VCA conference in Williamsburg, VA. This was my second experience presenting at this conference. Last year, I had the privilege to present with Dr. Kevin Doyle on Collegiate Recovery Communities (CRCs). I felt very proud that he trusted me to go it alone this year. I believe the information I had to share about CRCs is important and am proud that Longwood is home to one. “Longwood Recovers” was established in 2013 and provides a great network of support for those in or considering recovery from substance use disorders or other problematic/addictive behaviors. I enjoyed attending the conference this year and getting together with fellow Longwood members and alumni. I am grateful to Longwood and Dr. Doyle for supporting me and efforts to get this message out there. I am so proud to be a Longwood girl! Thanks for the continued opportunities!

Virginia Counselors Association

conferenceThis November, I had the opportunity to attend my first professional conference. This year, the VCA conference was held at the beautiful Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, Va. During the weekend, I attended sessions on grief, ambiguous loss, ethical concerns regarding social media, infertility issues, play therapy and even how to use Disney stories and characters in counseling sessions. I had the opportunity to network with a variety of school and mental health counselors and gain their advice about entering the field as a new professional. The keynote speaker, James Lloyd, a well-respected motivational speaker, opened up the weekend with an encouraging message. He emphasized that we as counselors should strive to provide grade A “customer service” and care. He stated that when people receive exceptional service, it is an experience that remains with them for life. He added that it is essential to have the attitude of “There you are” rather than “Here I am” when we interact with others. Those words have and will continue to stay with me as I enter the counseling field.

This conference has taught and reminded me not only how vital our profession is, but also how people find hope and healing everyday from our interventions and care. This conference has provided me with new tools to go into my counselor toolbox and has most definitely reminded me why I am studying to become a counselor.

Virginia Counselors Association Conference

IMG_20141120_191330065I attended the VCA Conference from Thursday through Saturday, November 20 – 22, 2014. I attended 9 fantastic sessions on a variety of topics: Narrative Therapy, Emotional Literacy, Restorative Justice, Substance Abuse, Counseling Multiracial Students, Grief and Loss, Trauma in Schools, Counseling ADHD Students, and Preventing Truancy. I found the sessions overall to be extremely interesting and informative. I have a huge binder full of all of the notes that I took over those three days!

I also enjoyed spending time with other graduate students in the counseling program, as well as with some of my professors. The picture is of Dr. Doyle and I at one of the many Thursday-night receptions.

I thought that the Williamsburg Lodge was a great location for the conference, and I look forward with great anticipation to next year’s conference, which will be held at The Homestead!


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