An array of great summer professional development opportunities are available for teachers (and parents!) who want to expand their knowledge of the learning and social/emotional needs of gifted and advanced learners. Some of these conferences I have attended myself over the years, and I always find them to be both fun and enlightening. Hopefully you can take advantage of at least one of these incredible options:
First up is the Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium, June 10-14, in Austin, Minnesota. This in-depth opportunity includes 2012 Keynote Addresses.pdf, an optional full-day tailored to 2012 Administrator Day Sessions and Schedule.pdf, two 2012 Pre Conference Session Descriptions.pdf (one aimed at parents and one aimed at those new to Gifted Education), and dozens of national-expert-presented 2012 General Sessions Descriptions.pdf from which to choose. Thanks in large part to a generous grant from the Hormel Foundation that helps to cover costs, this incredible week is a screaming deal at only $175. 2012 Schedule of Events.pdf also include an optional tour of and dinner at the SPAM Museum! (You knew "Hormel" sounded familiar, didn't you?! ;o)
A unique monthly opportunity is the Global Virtual Meeting for Gifted Education in SecondLife. Create an avatar and join others from around the world as they meet online to discuss and learn about various Gifted Education topics!
PG Retreat is a summer program organized by and for families of profoundly gifted children. This year's retreat will take place in Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 29-July 3. The week's selection of events vary from intense to relaxed, depending on what each individual needs. For the best peek into what the experience is like, I recommend reading the testimonials from previous attendees.
Confratute is a 35-year-classic in the field of Gifted Education. Held this year July 8-13, and always on the University of Connecticut campus, this week-long "conference, fraternity, institute" provides in-depth learning through strands, keynotes, special topics sessions, social gatherings, and evening forums. You can also find a "Best of the Best" Curriculum Resource Library, roundtable discussions, and the full-of-surprises Talent Show!
SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) offers a wonderful conference each summer for adults and children. This year it will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 13-14. Highlights include a Children's & Teen Program, breakout sessions, keynote speakers, and training to become a SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator.
The Asia-Pacific Conference on Giftedness will take place July 14-18 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Features include a "Scientific Program" (general sessions on key topics), pre-conference workshops, a Children & Youth Summit, and Exhibitors.
The University of South Dakota (Vermillion) will be hosting a conference on Curriculum Development and Teaching Strategies for the Gifted July 16-20. A two-day portion is the Institute for Teachers of Gifted Youth, July 18-19.
The 10th International Dabrowski Congress will take place July 19-21 in Denver, Colorado. The schedule includes opportunities to learn about Dabrowski's theories of heightened sensitivity (a.k.a. "overexcitabilities") and positive disintegration (and how they may apply to gifted individuals).
Edufest, "the Northwest's premiere summer conference on gifted and talented education," will take place July 22-27 this year in Boise, Idaho. Similar to Hormel and Confratute, Edufest is another in-depth learning opportunity featuring strands, keynotes, special topics sessions, and evening gatherings. If you're up for a little adventure, an inner tube trip down the Boise River is a fun side trip ;o)
Interested in other conference opportunities throughout the year? Hoagies always keeps an updated list.