Wednesday, April 8, 2009

5th CESTL Evaluations by EDI 17 students

5th CESTL Evaluations
By EDI 17 Psychology & Development of Adolescent Students
Long Island University, C.W.Post
Spring, 2009

I can’t really describe what I felt after presenting and watching others present at the CESTL. Words fall short. I am immensely proud of each and every one of us: the poster-makers and the PowerPointers. We have all come a long way from the group that initially sat in class on the very first day, all spread out and silent. We have grown in two ways: first, we have grown closer together, as I see lifelong friendships being made as a result of the course; second, I believe we’ve grown up, and we’ve all grown closer to becoming teachers. I can only speak for myself, but this course has changed me significantly more than any other education class I have taken. It is all because of CESTL, all because of Dr. Boyanton.

The CESTL was great in that it made us stop being education majors and really step up to the plate and become future educators. We weren’t college students while we were up there; we were educators. There it was -- our future! -- right in front of us. And not one of us shied away from it. It’s amazing what we were able to accomplish in just a few short months. Every poster and every presentation were full of new, interesting information. What’s more, there was evident passion behind each one: a passion for educating, and a passion for learning.

By constantly challenging us and pushing us to our limits, this course has strengthened my self-confidence. I mean, I spoke at a conference. I SPOKE! At a CONFERENCE! And the world didn’t end. No one was physically harmed; I didn’t get nervous and pass out; I wasn’t booed off stage. Like I said before, words fall short. The CESTL marked a turning point for me. My whole outlook on life has shifted. EDI 17 has made an optimist out of me. I leave this class a changed person with a reinvigorated passion for education, both in front of and behind the desk. I am eternally grateful to the CESTL, our class, and Dr. Boyanton.
Thank you for everything. (Chris Barone, 5/3/09)

I'm still on a high from yesterday's CESTL conference! What an experience! If I wasn't sure before, I'm confident now that teaching is my calling, my passion! I had an awesome time yesterday and attendees, people who had no idea who I was, were engaged in my presentation and valued the work that I did. I was so nervous, though! My heel even broke while I was walking around taking questions. I tried to remain cool and go with the flow. I think it worked.

Aside from my own performance, I'm so pleased with that of my classmates, as well! Everyone did a great job. What I really appreciated was the support that we showed one another. We really became a family over this semester. Some of us have even become friends on Facebook and keep in touch outside of the classroom.

All of us who had Dr. Boyanton share a bond and I felt supported not just by EDI 17 class members but members of the other classed you teach, as well. The entire experience was great. I was even offered an opportunity to work in the Wyandanch School District by someone in attendance at yesterday's CESTL who has the power to make that a reality. That is major. I learned so much. I especially enjoyed the discussion with the 6th-12th graders. Their input was on the pulse of what we as (new) educators need to know. I want to be that "great" educator that Jennifer Greenville presented on. I believe I will be for the passion needed is there, burning inside of me.

I was in awe of the level of research and the deep scope with which my peers pursued their research assignments. All of the topics were very interesting and definitely research-worthy. Each person that presented, although nervous, got up to speak with authority about their subject matter. They were engaging, well-spoken, knowledgable, and most of all fun! The posters that I viewed were so neat, eye-catching and well put-together. Whether it was a powerpoint or a poster presentation, I left today's class with a sense of pride. The members of community of respect that we formed just a few short months ago really did a fabulous job. WAY TO GO!



I thought the CESTL Conference went great! Unfortunately I was not able to be there for the entire length of the conference but I was able to be there for a lot of the day’s events. I thought Professor Boyanton did a great job organizing the event and it was a complete success. Everyone looked really professional and was very knowledgeable about their topics.

I though all the posters looked great and it was obvious that everyone put a lot of hard work into them. One of my classmates was telling me how his project was ruined the night before by the rain, had he not told me that I would have never known. It was obvious that he put a lot of work into redoing it.

I also thought the power points all looked really well too. Of course some of us did have a slight disadvantage because of the blue wall but I felt it was better having a bigger projection field.
My favorite part of the entire event was the panel discussion with the high school and middle school students. Most of us were in high school only four or five years ago but that is still enough time for things to change. I thought the audience asked great questions and was happy that the students gave honest and real answers.

I want to thank Professor Boyanton for the opportunity to present at the conference. It was a great experience and allowed me the chance to research a topic which I truly wanted to learn more about.

My only advice for improving the CESTL conference in the future would be to find out what kind of background the power points will be projected on ahead of time. This way, students can design their projects accordingly.


I found the Conference of Elementary-Secondary Teaching and Learning to be extremely enlightening, engaging, and inspiring. I am very glad that I went early to the conference so that I would not miss anything because I truly enjoyed every moment of it. I have gained and learned so much from this conference from hearing what everyone had to say, including the research that people have performed. In fact, I found this conference to be so inspiring that I would like to come back next year and attend the 6th conference.

As for the beginning of the conference, I really enjoyed Dr. Birchette’s speech on passion to teach especially considering I am a math major because he mentioned a few great points about math. I was very interested when he told us how a student once asked him why a negative number when multiplied by another negative number gives you a positive number as a result and how he was so stunned by the student’s question because he could not answer it. This goes to show that quite too often; we learn passively or just for the sake of cramming knowledge into our heads without taking the time to really try to understand deeper meaning and concepts.

This means we need to be good learners ourselves and most importantly, passionate about teaching in order to get our students to want to learn. I completely agree with his speech that we must always be passionate about our teaching no matter what because passion is the key to success. Having passion allows us to motivate our students and also to pass on that passion and instill it in our students.

Another thing that I really liked from the conference was the panel discussion. I thought that the entire panel was very knowledgeable and had a lot of great things to say but I particularly liked and agreed with what Dr. Boyanton had to say. Dr. Boyanton told us that no matter what the circumstances are, we must always find a way to like each and every one of our students and that student-teacher relationships are extremely important in order for success to be achieved. I couldn’t agree more because I can see why this is extremely important. Like she said, there is always a specific reason as to why students act in the ways that they do.

However, if we as teachers try to discover and work around the problem, then students can build trust for us just as we have built trust for them. Teaching and learning is reciprocal, meaning that learning is a two way street and it goes both ways. Therefore, it is up to us as teachers to build strong and positive relationships with our students. (Daniel Barone, 05-02-09)


I really enjoyed the CESTL. I learned a lot and thought the topics covered were very interesting. I was a little less than satisfied with my performance at the CESTL. I didn’t think it went bad, but it did not go as well as I had hoped. I never realized how much I say “umm” and “like” when I am nervous (that is going to be my next self management project).

After watching the first two presenters, I was afraid that I was not going to finish my presentation in the allotted time and as a result, I rushed through. I didn’t realize that Dan never gave me a two minute warning and I could have showed my movie clip. I was also upset that I forgot to talk about certain things, such as where the literature came from. The literature on bullying, depression and suicide ideation came from three different countries which stresses the fact that bullying is a worldwide problem.

I was a little disappointed with my presentation but overall, the CESTL was a very positive experience. I would definitely present again, if I had the opportunity (and I would definitely be more prepared). I enjoyed being a part of the CESTL Committee as well. At first, I was a little disappointed that I did not contribute much to the CESTL; I felt that I was not a part of the committee and didn’t deserve to be acknowledged.

However, after being asked to give the keynote speaker a ride from the train station, donating food, and introducing the K-12 panel (which went horrible), I felt like a big part of the committee and was honored that I had the chance to be part of such a wonderful and exciting experience. If you ever need a helping hand in preparing for the 6th CESTL, I would be more than happy to lend a helping hand.

One suggestion I would like to give is that instead of doing the presentation rehearsal for the class in our normal classroom, I think it would be more beneficial to do the practice run in the room that the CESTL will actually be held in (if that’s possible). I think it would make the students feel more confident knowing the set up of the room and any other variables. Thank you for the amazing experience and I hope to see you on campus next semester! (Andrea Garcia, May 4, 2009)

Once again, I was very impressed with all my classmates and the amount of effort they put into their CESTL presentations. I thought everyone did such a good job, especially the people presenting. They were very poised and engaging. I thought it was a good experience because I learned a lot of information through everyone’s research. I realized it was not as intimidating that I thought it would be especially with support from my mother and boyfriend as well as my classmates.

Although I have learned much through everyone’s projects, I feel I have learned more from my classmates than they know. Everyone is so supportive of each other and willing to help each other and I am very grateful that I was lucky to be in a class with all these people. I have had classes in the past where students were manipulative and mean just so they would get a higher grade then someone else in the class. I would never expect this from any of my classmates in this class, in fact, I know my classmates would be willing to help one another to better someone else’s grade, not their own. I think this quality is what will help our class to become better teachers.

Overall, I enjoyed the CESTL and enjoyed being there for my classmates. Everyone looked so professional and passionate and it made me happy to see everyone this way. No one was shy and everyone was in a good mood. I think this experience was well worth it. I wish Dr. Boyanton luck with her future CESTL presentations and hopefully spreading the CESTL to more colleges and universities to further students learning and strengthen their ability to work together. (Dana LaRose May 3, 2009)

The CESTL was a great learning experience, more than anything I was anticipating. For starters, the keynote speaker’s welcome address “The Passion to Teach” was incredibly powerful and very inspirational. I found it so interesting, yet so true, that true passion entails grief, frustration, and suffering, along with the joy and happiness. I strongly agree that having a true passion to teach is overcoming challenges with your students as Dr. Birchette described, such as becoming angry for a class for continually having side-conversations. I have to admit that part of me was excited for the conference, while another part of me was just looking forward to the points. However, once I started listening to Dr. Birchette’s speech I completely forgot about the points and was so engaged by the educational aspects of the conference.

All of the presentations were so informative and interesting, and it never felt like I was listening to the same thing over and over again.

The panel of professors who answered questions was great as well, because it gave perspective to certain questions that I would normally only have looked at from a students point of view, and showed how a teacher would view it. Even the atmosphere of the conference, things like being in professional dress, and everyone sharing knowledge and ideas about education, made me feel more comfortable, and even more excited and passionate about teaching. (Shannon Lehosky, May 3, 2009)

I really had a lot of fun at the CESTL conference. I learned a lot of things and enjoyed it a lot. This conference will definitely help further my knowledge in education and my professionalism as a teacher. There was a lot of information by the students and variety of topics that touched upon a lot of issues that educators will run into.

I really enjoyed the conference and did not feel overwhelmed at all. Everything just flowed really well and I think my poster and my research was done very well and that I had a lot of information to talk about with my poster. I kept my poster neat and not a lot of charts and writing because I felt that I could talk more to the person than rather show them my poster and let them read them so it was a person interaction not a person/poster interaction.

Overall this course has taught me a lot of things about adolescents that I will need to know. Everyone in our class was really great in sharing their opinions and not putting down anyone. We learned a lot of different things that as future teachers we will run into like gender and stereotypes among students. I will really miss my classmates and our teacher because this was by far the best education class I have ever taken in college. (Lindsay Springer 5/3/09)
I felt really excited for the conference. I spent a long time doing my research and felt really confident that my presentation would go well. I think I spoke to 3 people in total about it.

I learned without a shadow of a doubt that to be a teacher you have to love what you do. Not only do you have to love it you have to love it everyday. You must wake up every day and say I want to be here. That happens to be one of my rules with relationships now everyday you have to wake up wanting to be there.

The difficulty I had was finding time to do observations. Along with that I then had to come to a conclusion about my research from the little observations I did. I would actually like to research my topic a little more. (Sean O'Brien 5/3/09)

Overall I think the CESTL conference went very well. Not just for myself personally but I think everyone did a good job. There were very few bumps in the road and that fact made it a smooth day. It was a day jam packed with a lot of interesting and insightful knowledge for all current and future educators. I particularly liked the round table discussion with various administrators such as Dr. Cohen and Dr. Dodge. All of them provided the audience with a lot of good advice for their future career in teaching.

The majority of presenters did a thorough and superb job in presenting their topic to the conference members. The only real common criticism for some of the speakers was that there were some that could not break the habit of fumbling and saying “uh or um”. Of course it is very hard to speak in front of people and with the good job they did, I would not fault them for that. I thought Vivett’s presentation stood out the most to me. She had everyone engaged and interested. Her presentation went on longer than it was suppose to, but that was a good thing because it was the audience that was stretching it out longer. It seemed everyone spoke up about her topic and it got people talking.

For myself personally I thought I did a good job with my poster and the topic that I researched. I had a very nice conversation with Dr. Cohen when she came and visited my poster. I was nervous about the poster presentation, but I was able to battle those nerves and I felt I was able to successfully speak confidently in what I was presenting. Confidence is key when public speaking. I thought the conference was a success, even though there were a few things that could be changed. Next time I think there should be less presenters, I only say that because some of the presenters were not the only ones talking about their topic. Maybe in the future people can do joint presentations if they have a similar topic in order to help with time. But overall I thought it was well done.

Overall I liked the class very much. I would like to possible have a role in the conference next semester if there is another one. As I stated in my last class journal, the class was very fun and interesting, and I think our class really worked well together. Everyone got along with one another, which is hard sometimes with different personalities. Once again thank you professor for a good semester and good luck in the future with the CESTL conference. (Thomas Brouillard, 5/3/09)

I enjoyed the CESTL conference yesterday. I found the keynote speaker to be very inspirational and make be feel good about becoming a teacher. I enjoyed the powerpoint presentations and thought that each presentation had something that I can take with me when I start teaching. I found the saw player to be very interesting as well since I have never heard saw-playing before. It looks really difficult to play and I could tell that she must have practiced a lot to be able to play so well.

One thing from the conference that really stuck with me was from a lecture from a grad student on teachers attitude. I found it interesting to see the correlation between teachers that were energetic about their teaching and the success of those students and the correlation between teachers that weren't passionate about their class and how the class as a whole didn't try as hard to do well.

One advice that I would give to students who will take this course is to stay on top of your work and assignments so that they don't fall behind. (Eric Morris 5/3/09)

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at the CESTL. There were many things at the CESTL that I greatly enjoyed. I was really touched by the keynote speakers’ speech about motivation. I really learned a lot from him and I feel more confident about being the student in the classroom and also being the teacher in the classroom.

The panel discussion answered many questions that I really wanted to know and really cleared up confusion I had about certain myths and stories about teaching. I also think all of the power point presenters did very well and completely blew themselves away in comparison to what they presented during class. All of the posters were really awesome and very creative. There were so many different topics to look at and all of the poster presentations were very insightful and very informative. Although I did not stay the entire time, I am sure that the rest of the presenters from our class did a great job.

I really liked the set up of the CESTL and I really liked how smoothly it ran. The only thing I would change would be the evaluation set up. I would have an envelope by each person’s poster in order to avoid confusion with everyone’s folder in a box with a crowd of people around it. I would also make the audience sit up close, although this may be hard, but it will create a more personal atmosphere and people would feel more comfortable. All in all, it was a very rewarding experience at the CESTL and I would definitely love to see more students’ presentations in the future. (Elyse Capozza, 5/2/09)

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