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Teachers, Staff Recharge at Annual Professional Development Conference

Almost 2,000 teachers and staff in Belton ISD took time to recharge on Feb. 20 during a day dedicated across the district to professional development.

The district hosted its annual Recharge Conference as part of efforts to foster a culture where every student and staff member is valued, supported and engaged.

“We believe that each and every employee is a learner,” said Vickie Dean, director of professional learning. “It’s important for our staff to engage with each other, and the professional learning provided through a conference provides this opportunity.”

Staff were able to customize their learning experiences — often called having “voice and choice” by educators — by selecting from almost 350 sessions.

Jessica Razo, menu coordinator, attended a session on building hope in the future.

“It was nice to take time and dig into the science behind hope,” Razo said. “I learned that students can borrow hope from adults, as long as we have it to spare. That’s why it’s so important that we prioritize our own hope first and make sure our mindset is right.”

The day-long conference focused on learning was exactly what Makayla Coggin, a life skills paraprofessional at Miller Heights Elementary, needed.

“It’s my first year at Recharge and it’s very exciting,” Coggin said. “It’s encouraging and makes me feel very supported to have a day to focus on learning. I’m looking forward to learning new ideas and refreshing my energy.”

The Recharge Conference makes advances toward a district goal to “attract, retain and support a world-class team of employees” who demonstrate the competencies of a World-Class employee: collaboration, communication, adaptability, empathy, learner and student centered.

Ultimately, Dean said she hopes the experience helps employees engage, thrive and inspire.

“The main thing we want teachers and staff to take away from the Recharge experience is that they’re able to engage with others in learning that allows them to thrive in their roles and inspire the dreams and passions of students,” she said.

Feb. 20, 2023