Using several inspirational readings, Suzanne Cunningham highlighted the opportunities teachers have always had to share values and give encouragement to students in their classrooms every day. Reading from 365 Meditations from Teachers, she shared a devotion written by a teacher after helping students learn the concept of cooperation through decision-making in group activities. Then, after emphasizing several verses from the poem “Hold Onto Your Dreams,” she shared the Helen Steiner Rice poem “Teach Us to Live,” reminding DKG educators that “in the Father’s Holy Sight no man is yellow, black or white / And peace on earth cannot be found / Until we meet on common ground / And every man becomes a brother / Who worships God and loves each other.
In the Music and Related Arts segment, Joy Borden enlightened the group about changes in the way music has been taught to children through the years, stressing the more positive aspects used by music teachers today. Then, in a Moment of Society Orientation, Juanita Badgett, Sigma Chapter secretary and Beta State Rules and Bylaws Committee chairperson, briefed members about the Educational Excellence Committee established in 2010 at the DKG International Convention. She reiterated goals and objectives adopted for the 2012-2014 biennium, including promotion of the Schools for Africa project; supporting early-career educators; and encouraging programs and activities that focus on educational excellence, leadership and lifelong learning of women educators. Additionally, she shared some suggested program topics and activities local chapters might incorporate into their meetings.
Dot Padgett reported on chapter projects, including donations sent to Schools for Africa as well as the September opportunity to contribute to the Beta State Emergency Fund. These donations are used to help Delta Kappa Gamma members affected by tornadoes or other natural disasters in their areas. Several DKG members statewide suffered property losses during the 2011 tornadoes that ravaged Alabama.
Sigma Chapter Vice-President Angela Morgan, now also serving as the District 14 representative for Uniserv, gave an informative and instructional presentation on the topic “Technology in the Classroom.” She shared several “old school” teaching methods for incorporating technology into the classroom, such as using Powerpoint, Microsoft Publisher, and various game formats considered basically lecture-oriented and teacher-centered. The “new school” methods, becoming more popular in classrooms today, include formats such as Teacher Tube, You Tube, Moodle, Access, APEX, Odyssey, USA Test Prep, Live Binders, Pinterest, smart phones, smart boards, smart tables, and other media forms considered more student-centered. Angela gave several examples for incorporating these methods into the classroom and then discussed both pros and cons when employing these types of technology. Using feedback obtained from local school systems and parents, she stated that although these new methods are much more interesting and student-friendly, schools continue to work through issues and concerns as they incorporate ever-changing technology into the classroom.
After completion of chapter business, President Gloria Horton shared the Beta State Executive Committee Report, adding that their theme for the year is “It’s a New Day,” and the statewide project focus is on the American Cancer Society. The Sigma Chapter theme for 2013-2014 is “A Time for Renewal, A Time for Change.” She and Angela Morgan also mentioned possible project ideas, opportunities for recruitment, and officer election for the upcoming 2014-2016 biennium.