Wednesday, April 8, 2009

5th CESTL Evaluations by EDI 600 students

5th CESTL Evaluations
By EDI 600 Psychological Foundation of Education
Long Island University, C.W.Post
Spring, 2009

There were many aspects of the CESTL conference that were inspiring. The Associate Dean , Dr. Lustag, made me feel proud of my choice of professions when discussing how as teachers we can leave a legacy. Our Keynote speaker, Dr. Mark Birchette, was excellent. He told many interesting life stories and related them to how they influenced his ideas of teaching.

One of the stories that stayed in my mind is the one Dr. Birchette told about being a boy and not understanding the word “aunt” when it was pronounced as “ant”. In that story he told how a teacher can have the great ability and role of making sense of the world to a child. I also came away remembering the story you told of the unpopular kindergartener who wanted to play a pig in the play Cinderella. From that story I learned the value of children experiencing success to further motivate them. I also learned the importance of a good teacher being flexible.

The panel discussion addressed a lot of practical questions we may have about teaching. I agreed with Dr. Boyanton’s answer about what to do if your teacher is not passionate or motivated. It is true that when the student shows enthusiasm for the subject matter, it may positively affect the teacher as well. Certainly at this level of education I am seeking to get the most out of my classes that will enhance my abilities as a teacher. If I am not lucky enough to have an inspiring teacher like you, Dr. Boyanton, I will get as much as I can from the required readings or projects and be an active participant in the class discussion.

Lastly, I just want to thank you, Dr. Boyanton for all your obvious dedication to making this class such a wonderful learning environment. I will not forget the fun, interactive lessons you taught or the great model of a teacher you provided. (Donna Brody, 5/3/2009)

Prof. Boyanton,

Thank you very much for the entire semester it has been a true joy and experience. I believe that it was an eye opener, insightful and educational.

Thank you very much for this wonderful educational experience and exposure to great people. It was truly and insight and great success. The CESTL yesterday was a success and you should be very proud.

Brooke, 5/3/09


Thank you so much for your motivation and dedication this semester. This was my first semester back in school after 5 years and you really gave me the confidence and push that I needed. I learned a great deal not only from your classroom exercises but from your interactions with us as well. You are an excellent instructor.

I will never forget you and this class.

I had such a great time at CESTL. It was definitely worth the day and by attending the conference I walked away with so much more information than I would have ever gained through my personal experiences. I definitely would like to be kept informed regarding the conference.

Thank you so much.

And if it isn't too much of a burden, I hope that you will allow me to contact you if I have any questions regarding my studies.


Yun Lee

The CESTL was well-organized and there were great quality of presentations and speakers. You should market this event to local elementary/secondary schools—parents can learn a lot! Excellent! Thank you for allowing me to participate!—Evdoxia (Evi) Gounelas, 5/2/09

Yesterday, I was filled with anticipation to present my research, conducted from this past semester. I was very nervous, but when I got up there it was not bad at all. I got in front of the audience and was actually more comfortable than during my practice presentation in class. I left the conference, not relieved due to it being done and over with, but content that I was so strong to get over my fear of public speaking.

I really enjoyed the entire CESTL. I thought my peers did an excellent job. I was not able to view the morning presentations, but the power points by Scott Failkoff and Gillian Blizter were amazing. I commend them on a phenomenal job well done. I learned so much from their presentations and admire how easy they made it look, to speak in front of all those people.

I also loved Gillian’s slides. It also made me aware of how computer savvy younger students are.
As an undergrad at the University at Albany, classes were filled with 300-500 students in a lecture hall. Especially as a psychology major, there were never small enough classes to give such intellectual presentations. I may have had to give 1 or 2 power point presentations my whole undergraduate career. This conference brought to my attention, the importance of being proficient with modern computer programs. I give future presenters the advice of putting together a well-rounded power point slide show, and if you know your research; the day will be a breeze. You will be able to concentrate more on other presentations and be less fearful of messing up on your own.

During my attendance there, I was also able to listen to the panel of high school/junior high school students. I thought it was very beneficial to us, as novice teachers. These students just made it clearer to be passionate and creative about what we are teaching. They enforced the importance of positive/healthy student-teacher relationships and how teachers who are inconsistent, boring, and do not create a respectful classroom environment, will never get through to their students.

When looking back on yesterday, I am so pleased with the entire experience. I am also shocked. I never thought I would be able to do something like this. I now know that if I put my mind and heart in accomplishing something, it will be worth it. It is true when people say; a teacher’s job is one of, acquiring more and more knowledge as the years go by. This was my first experience, learning more about me, my career and my future students.

I will now enter the rest of my graduate classes with a head held high. In one semester, I did it all. I wrote tons of papers, analyzed so many theories and presented my own research. During the past 4 months, I did not just go to class and fill a seat. Each day I did something productive. I never thought, “I am never going to need this in the future.” I want to be that teacher, who has her students believe, “What Ms. Evangelista is teaching, is something that I will always use.”
One again, CESTL was an amazing experience. I will definitely attend next semester. I regret not being able to get there in the morning, to hear the panel of professors. Thank you, for allowing me to be apart of this event, change my perspective about myself and for teaching me how to become a great teacher! (Michelle Evanngelista, 5/3/09)

I really enjoyed the CESTL conference. I think that everyone did a wonderful job in their presentations and it was interesting to hear the research in which they presented. I give many of the students who presented a lot of credit. It is nerve wrecking to stand up in front of peers and professionals in a field. They did a lot of hard work and it paid off. They spoke wonderfully and really engaged the audience. Some of the topics can be applied in the classroom. It was great to hear the research they found and some of the things they said I will think about when I have a classroom of my own.

The part of the conference I enjoyed most was the panel of professors. It is always wonderful to hear advice and input from people in the field that you are in. All of the panel guests have years of experience in education. This was great because they had a lot of knowledge and input to give. I enjoyed the advice and offerings they gave and I will always think back to the inspirational things they said.

I also enjoyed presenting my research to people at the conference. I have worked hard on this and researched a lot. I hope other people enjoyed what I found out and will be able to use the advice in their own classroom.

The only thing that I think should be changed about the conference is the poster presentation time. I think that since it was during the lunch break most people did not walk around because they were eating and the people who had posters were unable to eat because they had to stand next to their booths. However, on the whole this was a wonderful experience and I am glad I could be a part of it! (Alyssa Katz, 5/3/09)


Although I was a bit nervous about presenting my research and findings, I have to say that I was surprised by the acceptance that I felt during the conference. Everyone was very friendly and interested in what I had to say. That warm environment made all of my anxiety disappear and I just focused on enjoying myself. I met plenty of wonderful people who were genuinely interested in what I had to say. I also met the Director of our program and she was very interested in my work. We spoke for quite some time and I got to know her a bit and she congratulated me on my work. She also encouraged me to continue my research because my topic was deemed to be very interesting.

Overall I had technical issues and anxiety leading up to the conference, but after it was all said and done, I have nothing but fond memories full of learning. I had a wonderful experience and would like to experience it again in the future. (Louiza Mark 5/4/09)


I was very excited for the CESTL Conference. I was not too nervous about the conference, because I was very proud of my poster and felt that my hard work paid off and that now I was going to be able to share my findings with other people, who are just as interested in education and my research topic, as I am. I loved the conference so much! I had such a great time, and I cannot wait for the conference next year!

The only issue that I had with the conference, was that only really REALLY spoke to about 8-9 people on my poster. I would have wished that everyone who attended the Conference was able and willing to see my poster board. I put a lot of work into the board. I did get to speak one-on-one with one of the panel experts Dr. Tolentino, who is a professor at Post (her son was also a guest on the panel). I had such a great conversation with her, in fact she suggested that I keep on researching my topic and try to get some work published! I was so happy to hear that a professor believed in me, and wanted me to excel and do more work on the topic. It meant a lot that she came over to my poster board and spoke with me. I was very satisfied with my poster board and my conversations with others.

Overall, the CESTL was a HUGE success in my book!!! I learned so much about other interesting topics, which are going to come in handy when I have my own classroom! I also really enjoyed listening to the guest panels, I thought it was such a SMART idea to have the high/junior high school students and professors there. I loved it so much!

Maybe, in the future I would suggest more time for people to view the posters, maybe make Lunch time longer or have some more breaks. ALSO, I would suggest that power point presenters not go over the time limit, I would strictly enforce that. Some presenters went way over the 10 minute time limit (ALL Presenters did a MARVELOUS job, but some were longer than others). I would also have all the power point presenters make sure that there slides are perfect. I couldn’t read some slides, because of the colors on the background slides.

All in all, I had a great time and look forward to coming and helping out at next year’s conference, and the years to come! I wanted to say thank you for starting such a great conference at Post, I can tell that you are a teacher who cares about her students and only wants the best for them. You have touched me and I will always remember you! You are a great role model for teachers!!! Thank you again and again for everything!! (Priscilla Alvarez 5/3/09)


The CESTL conference was definitely a learning experience. I think what overwhelmed me the most was that I didn’t know what to expect or how to go about creating a well thought out display of my research. It scared me to actually participate in a conference. That sounded so official and here I was my first class for my master’s degree and now I had to come up with some intelligent display of my research. I was very scared.

I thought it was very helpful that you dedicated an entire class to helping us get prepared for the conference. Bringing in examples of other posters really helped show us what was expected and how to go about preparing such a display. I thought the posters that were prepared at a Staples or Kinkos definitely looked more professional and wished I could have done something like that.

I thought the overall conference was great. I think it is a wonderful idea and hope you continue to have them. It was a great learning experience for everyone and know if I’m ever asked to participate in another conference in the future, will be more prepared and know what to expect a little better. (Cindy Sexton, 5/3/09)

The day of the dreaded CESTL conference finally came and I must say, I survived, and I am now more educated and more confident than before attending the conference. Although I first approached the conference without much love, I left it with a new sense of self-esteem and knowledge.

I lacked so much confidence that I did not want to present at the conference. I felt I should not perform and really was not looking forward to going up to speak. However, my turn came and while I did have the initial feelings of discomfort, I believe I soon found myself and quickly became comfortable, unfortunately, that was five minutes before my time was up.

Another issue I had before the conference was the duration of the conference. I really did not understand how I could possibly withstand the whole time. I must say, however, that I never felt that the time was dragging and in reality, time went by too quickly. Each presentation was more informative and interesting then the prior, and all the poster presentations made by my follow classmates were so interesting and informative. I definitely would have regretted not attending the conference, since I would have missed out on so much.

I had an excellent time at the conference. Although I did not get to ask any questions during the two panel discussions, just listening in on the discussions opened up my mind. I was very proud to be a presenter and am extremely proud at all my colleagues for doing such an excellent job. I definitely believe they have the same sense of pride and accomplishment that I have right now. Thank you so much for instilling us with great knowledge and confidence! You are an exact model of an ideal TEACHER! (Yun Lee 5/4/09)


The CESTL conference was really impressive. All the students involved did a great job, and the conference was done very professionally. I’m glad I was part of it. I know Dr. Boyanton took great pride in putting it together, and her hard work showed. It was well put together. I enjoyed listening to the panel of professors, and would have like to speak to them further. I had many questions I would have liked to ask about curriculum, funding and other nuances of state and mandatory testing. I would have liked to have a one on one with Professor Dodge, but he left abruptly.

My question on the economic and political ramifications on state testing left me somewhat dangling. One suggestion in the future would be to have the panel discussion go into greater length. I would have liked to get Professor Dodge’s e-mail to discuss things further. (Scott Mines, 5/2/09)


Since the semester began I have been hearing about the 5th CESTL conference and was happy that I was able to witness half or partial of it on Saturday. I was a bit disappointed that I was unable to present due to prior responsibilities. For the few hours that I was there, I was exposed to some very interesting topics that were very moving, educational, insightful that made you more aware. I especially liked the presentation about the cultural differences in the school “Anywhere USA”. The question that was asked at the end “Where do you want to teach”. That made me think of the students that I can possibly reach in an all white school or the school that is known to be “bad”.

All the presenters were so knowledgeable about their topics and passionate. They spoke with such fervor that allowed you to see what they saw during those observations and how they felt about their topics. I did not see fear, though I knew some were, but because of how they presented, they looked like ‘pros’ as one would with any topic and be well informed at the same time.

I was really happy that I was able to attend and see what the CESTL was all about and to support my classmates as they did for me during class. Though I had to return to work, it was well worth the time spent at the conference, as that would be the last gathering with my classmates, until fall or summer classes. (Keisha Adamson-Kogle 5/4/09)


It is often said that “extraordinary people do extraordinary things”. Professor Dengting Boyanton I think, I have echo these sentiments the entire semester about your teaching skills and abilities, and our conference today continue to define who you are as a person. The C.E.S.T.L presentation did exceed my expectations. It was very easy to tell the students, you prepared for this event, from the ones you did not. I knew this whole event would be successful, so much to, I brought my niece who is currently attending a city college, and her major is education she thoroughly enjoyed the entire even, and as you noticed, she even participated, by asking several questions.

What I particularly liked about the conference today is the fact that the agenda, addressed the needs of every student and professor as well as family and friends. I did admired Dr. Mark Brichette, frank and openness about students in the classroom, and his honesty about confronting behavioral problems in his classroom. What I found in the past is that some professors would, just tell you about how you should conduct you self. Today we heard pure and honest facts, as we would say live stuff; just as it happen in the classroom. These are the type of professors we need to hear from more often.

The Panel discussions, about Teaching and learning was very informative, I think Dr. Aronld Dodge, was very candid with his responses, as we all know the issue of standardized testing will remain one of the more sticky subjects in education. I was also very impressed with the responses given by Dr. Efleda Tolentino about her experiences and what she did to increase her motivation level. Which intern helped her to become a better motivator to her students in the classroom? I left there thinking. If she can do it so can I. Dr. Lynn Cohen also made some very key points about student taking an active role in their education and looking for positive influences. Finally Professor Boyanton, as part of that panel you continue to be great source of inspiration , by sharing so many of your experiences, as you mention about the young man , who was so frustrated and angry about his grades until you were able to get to the root cause of his anger and address the issue. I learn a valuable lesson here. A has to know her students strengths and weaknesses and how to address them.

I thought the Panel, of high school students and a sixth grader was very informative. It was also interesting to hear their points of view about teachers, as well as share these feelings with the audience ,and not holding back anything, I also learned a very valuable lesson , and that is, you always has to keep your students engage in the classroom , the bottom line is if you don’t you will definitely loose their interest .

Our Power Point Presentations were very informative, and for my part all of my peers did well because it is no picnic, standing before an audience, let alone a mass of well educated professionals. As always when you have a race related topic, it almost certainly will attract a lot of attention, and today was no exception. When the topic of Black student achievement & racial identity in a predominantly white learning environment was address, we say the same reaction. Nevertheless, I thought most of the research finding was well proven, well presented and for the most part very engaging.

The Poster Presentations were, very creative and my peers were able to show off many of their great talents. I thoroughly enjoyed their work. What strike me about so many of my peers were the ability to come up with art work related to the research they did. Again it shows how much we have learned in our classroom; today was really a showcase.
I would be amiss if I did not mention the Cultural Performers, Irish dancers and Musical Sawist, what a show!

In conclusion the 5th Conference of Elementary –Secondary Teacher & Learning was a wonderful experience, I came away with a wealth of knowledge, which I hope to share with students in my classroom. As I indicated today this is my first semester at C.W. post, I am looking forward to the 6Th C.E.S.T.L. Professor Boyanton, thanks again for being a great educator. (Jennifer Grenville, 5/2/09)

First I would like to say that I had a lot of fun at the CESTL. It was a long day but well worth it. I really enjoyed our key-note speaker. He was so eloquent and touched upon many things that really hit home. Two of the biggies from his wonderful speech were the whole being afraid to raise your hand in class as well as needing to have that motivation and drive. I think towards the end of Undergraduate I had lost that drive (where school was concerned) but after this semester at LIU I am confident and proud to say that it is back.

I also had a lovely chat with Dr. Cohen who was very nice to answer some of my personal questions (I didn’t want to ask them during the committee because it was personal about getting involved with Autism). Dr. Cohen was nice enough to give me some teachers to email about getting involved.

I think all of the information at the CESTL was so valuable. I wish I had more time to take it all in. I felt like it was such a whirlwind of information. I defiantly think I gained valuable knowledge for the future. And I even learned about a few new uses for a saw. I could not believe the sweet music that she was able to create from the saw. I think my overall performance was good at the CESTL. I explained my poster to a few people who came over and they seemed to like it (I hope). I also tried to be as professional as possible because it is hard enough to get up their and speak; the presenters don’t need any distractions coming from the audience.

I think the class as a whole was amazing. It was a lot of work but all well worth it. I not only learned a great deal but I made some great friends in the class. It also helped me to break out of my shell a little and I can’t thank you enough for that.

I had such an amazing time at the conference!!! I will definitely come again next year and maybe present again, too!! Thanks for everything this semester!!! I had such a great experience in your class!
Thank you again and I hope you have a wonderful summer!! Joseph Scauzillo, 5/4/09

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