Every October, educators from across the state get ready for the biggest professional development in Minnesota—Education Minnesota’s MEA conference in downtown St. Paul.
This year, your union will return to the traditional, in-person conference at the St. Paul RiverCentre on Thursday, Oct. 19. While no virtual conference will be offered on that day, online courses are also available year-round on Education Minnesota’s MEA Online for members to complete at their own pace.
The MEA conference and MEA Online are always free and open to Education Minnesota members only.
Registration for the conference will go live around the start of the school year. Advanced registration is required.
Attendees can earn general continuing education credit for attending the MEA conference. In addition, some sessions might help you fulfill state relicensure requirements in reading instruction, identifying early-onset mental illness in students, positive behavioral interventions, English language learners and suicide prevention. Check with your district’s continuing education committee on whether you will receive credit. Other sessions being planned for this year include topics such as supporting students with disabilities, equity and social justice, and both educator and student wellness.
Free onsite child care will also be available during the MEA conference for in-person attendees. You must register for child care in advance, as well.
A big question we often get asked is…why is the conference held in October? Why not in the summer when school isn’t in session?
It is held during the school year for several reasons. Most important, the focus of the conference is on techniques and ideas that teachers can take back to the classroom and use right away with their students. This schedule provides the greatest benefit to student learning. In addition, in the summer many teachers wouldn’t be able to attend because they are taking continuing education courses to stay current in their field and fulfill licensing requirements; teaching summer school; or working summer jobs to supplement their salaries. Education Minnesota has always wanted to make this opportunity available to as many educators as possible.
It’s a local school district decision whether to make the conference days non-school days. Most do, but some do not. Others require teachers to attend local training on our conference day.