Meditation Rock at the Mountain


At The Mountain Conference and Retreat Center, Highland, NC

MARCH 9-11, 2018

Total cost: $250 (2 nights lodging, all meals, all workshops, and all programming)

The Mountain Learning and Retreat Center, in Highlands, NC, is roughly 2 hours from Atlanta and Asheville, and 3 hours from Charlotte. It is the perfect place to get away from the city so you can relax AND learn at the same time.

Our sessions will be informative, dynamic, useful, and FUN. This will be a conference like none you've been to before. Presentations will be interactive and adapted to the interests of the participants. We’ll also have time for collaboration, since we all have valuable experience and stories to tell. Learn in a refreshing way!

The main presenter, and coordinator of the retreat, Liz Bigler, is consistently one of the most popular presenters for educators of adults at Georgia TESOL conferences. She has also taught the TESOL certificate program at Kennesaw State and presented at the Latin American Association Teacher Education series. Her sessions are lively, interactive, and will cover many different topics that are relevant to educators of adults.

Bigler ESL is proud to offer a new spin on professional development for ESL teachers. Besides many hours of valuable programming, there will be time for relaxing and interacting with each other. We ALL have valuable experience and stories to tell! (Check out our Events page for other professional networking opportunities sponsored by Bigler ESL!)

Come learn and grow as an ESL educator with the beautiful mountains of North Carolina as the backdrop. EVERY session will be relevant to teachers of adults. All ESL teachers are welcome (continuing ed, higher ed, church-based programs, refugee programs, etc.).

Bring your significant other and room together, or make a new friend by getting a random roomie for the weekend! The cost is based on double occupancy rooms. (You and your roommate will both pay the registration fee, which covers the room, food, and all programming.) Your significant other can relax or hike or catch up on reading during the sessions, and enjoy the mountains with you during the breaks. Private rooms are also available for an upcharge of $35.

The dining hall at the Mountain will offer choices for each meal. The eggs and many of the vegetables are harvested from the farm which is on the premises. Dietary restrictions (vegan, gluten-free, etc) can be easily accommodated with advance notice.

Tentative Schedule:

Friday, March 9

  • 5:30p - 7:00p: Arrival and Evening Meal
  • 7:00p - 7:30p: Orientation to the Mountain
  • 7:30p - 8:30p: Icebreakers and Sharing Tales from the Trenches
  • 8:30p - 10:00p: Wine and Cheese
  • 10:00p: Bedtime

Saturday, March 10

  • 7:00a - 8:00a: Optional Morning Hike or Yoga
  • 8:00a - 9:00a: Breakfast
  • 9:00a -12:00p: Sessions 1, 2, 3
  • 12:00p -1:00p: Lunch
  • 1:00p -3:00p: Break Time (Hiking, Community Time, or Just Relaxing)
  • 4:00p - 6:00p: Sessions 4, 5
  • 6:00p - 7:00p: Dinner
  • 7:00p - 9:00p: Materials and Activity Sharing Time
  • 9:00p - 10:00p: Optional Musical Performance
  • 10:00p: Bedtime

Sunday, March 11

  • 7:00a-8:00a: Optional Morning Hike or Spiritual Time
  • 8:00a to 9:00a: Breakfast
  • 9:00a to 11:00a: Sessions 6, 7
  • 11:00a: Check out of rooms, rest before lunch
  • 12:00p: Lunch and Goodbyes!
  • (On the way home, visit the charming town of Highlands, NC, or nearby waterfalls!)

Session topics will be decided on based on the interests of registered attendees.
Possible Session topics include:

"A Spoonful of Sugar”
How to ‘“Gamify” your Classroom
Improving Pronunciation
Techniques for Using the Color Vowel Chart and Other Systems to Help Students with Intelligibility
"I Never Thought About It That Way”
Looking at Cultural Differences In and Out of the Classroom
Broadway Music in the Adult Classroom
Using Showtunes in All Levels
Teachers’ Toolbox
Sharing our Favorite Adult ESL Classroom Hacks
“You’re an ESL Teacher?
How Many Languages Do You Speak?”

How to Teach Beginner Students Without Speaking Their Language
Multi Level Classes
How to Challenge EVERY Level
“Try It Again”
How to Get Students to Correct Their OWN Errors
Online Games for the Adult Classroom
From Kahoot to Quizlet and Beyond!
Teaching Grammar in Meaningful Ways
From the Basics to Advanced
ESL Drawing 101
How to Make your “Stick Figures” Show What You Mean
Online Teaching
Platforms, Tools, and Marketing to Start Your Online Business
Our Favorite Materials
Teacher Idea Books, Reference Texts, and Websites for Teachers of Adult ESL
How to Nurture Community
Getting to Know Our Students and Getting Them to Know and Care About Each Other

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