More than 400 people attended Abbotsford’s biggest ever middle school conference on Nov. 22.
The event, titled “Meet in the Middle,” was held at Eugene Reimer Middle School
The conference highlighted students from every middle school in Abbotsford as they presented their different educational experiences to teachers.
Educators from across Abbotsford came together to hear keynote addresses from Dr. Kimberley Schonert-Reichl about the importance of building social and emotional intelligence in classrooms.
Abbotsford youth Taylor Barr shared her personal story and moved the audience.
Educator Jeff Fraser from William A. Fraser Middle School said Barr’s speech was “powerful and moving.”
“Her words resonated the importance of mental health and to encourage open discussions helping everyone understand the challenges some students face,” he said.
Several breakout sessions were held on topics such as Indigenous education, cooking, technology and lesson design.
In addition, participants connected with each other to increase collaborative teaching practices.
Shawn Mani, a teacher from Abbotsford Middle School, said the conference helped empower him to meet the diverse needs of his students.
“I was able to explore sessions that reinforced what I am doing in the classroom and also gave me a new perspective on how to better support and make a positive impact on my students in middle school,” he said.
Brian Townrow from Abbotsford Middle School said it was a great idea to have middle school students talk about “the things they would like to see teachers do.”