The North Carolina
Association of Teacher Assistants



The North Carolina Association of Teacher Assistants promotes
the important role of teacher assistants in the public schools,
provides professional training opportunities, and works to
improve salaries and employment security.

Members benefit from

* invaluable PEER NETWORKING





* opportunities for RECOGNITION and AWARDS.

Friday Workshops

There are six workshop offerings on Friday, March 6, 2020. You will select four workshops to attend. Workshops are 1 hour 15 minutes in length. There are two options for Friday.

OPTION 1: When you choose this option, you will choose four workshops from the five offered.

OPTION 2: When you choose this option, you are automatically registered for the workshop offered by Louise Southern which is 2.5 hours long. If you choose Option 2, then you will choose TWO additional workshops of the five offered, only TWO! 

YOU WILL ONLY CHOOSE ONE OPTION WHEN REGISTERING - OPTION 1 or OPTION 2. Please do not choose workshops under both options.  

On Saturday, you will choose four workshops from the six offered.

2020 NCATA Conference Worksheet.pdf

Download and print this document, then visit the Friday and Saturday workshop pages to select your workshops before starting the conference registration process. This way you will have all your workshop selections made and the registration process will go more smoothly, especially if you register online! 

 “Communicating Your Value: How to Talk With Lawmakers”

Presenter: Lynn Edmonds
Position: Outreach Director for Public Schools First NC
Category: Advocacy
Focus group: Teacher Assistants

Description: Learn how to talk with local and state lawmakers about the value of Teaching Assistants. North Carolina lost thousands of teacher assistants positions because of the Great Recession. It's past time to restore those positions and pay teacher assistants a living wage. This workshop will teach you who to talk to, what to say and how to advocate for better policies and better pay.

Bio: Lynn Edmonds is Outreach Director for Public Schools First NC. She has worked in public education advocacy for 10 years, first as a volunteer and then with Public Schools First NC beginning in 2013. Lynn graduated with an associate’s degree from Peace College, what is now William Peace University in Raleigh. She has served on multiple PTA and civic boards, including her current at-large position on the Wake County Board of Library Commissioners. A native North Carolinian, Lynn and her husband attended and graduated from Durham Public Schools. They have two children who both attended Wake County public schools.

“Wearing the Author Hat: Shaping Students Through Writing”

Presenter: Alisa Innes
Position: ELA Teacher in Hampton City Schools
Category: Small group instruction, Writing instruction
Focus group: Elementary 

Description: Get ready to put on your author hat! This workshop session will provide participants the opportunity to put on their author hat and inspire students to do so as well. Reading and writing is a reciprocal process, and students need experience in both to grow as 21st Century learners. This session focuses on how to engage students in composing their own words and simultaneously fall in love with writing. The attendees will learn how to guide and support student writing through student initiative. Participants will also gain an understanding of how to further support student writing and how to provide individualized feedback to students through writing conferences. The practices learned throughout this session are based on writer’s workshop techniques that can be used with students during small group instruction.

Bio: Alisa Innes is an Elementary Language Arts Teacher Specialist for Hampton City Schools. Her career began as a first grade teacher at Moyock Elementary School in North Carolina. During her nine-year tenor as a first grade teacher, she was awarded Moyock Elementary School Teacher of the Year and Moyock Ruritan Club Teacher of the Year. While teaching first grade she earned a Master’s in Reading from Old Dominion University. Alisa then went on to be an Elementary School Reading Specialist with Norfolk Public Schools and Virginia Beach Public Schools. She is currently completing her second year as an Elementary Language Arts Teacher Specialist at the district level with Hampton City Schools. Alisa is also currently a doctoral student at Old Dominion University, completing her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a dissertation topic of Writer’s Workshop.

“Building on Strengths to Overcome Challenges”

Presenter: Robin McCraw
Position: Autism Resource Specialist – Autism Society of NC
Category: Exceptional Children
Focus group: All Grade Levels

Description:This workshop offers professionals a more in-depth look at the four core deficits of Autism Spectrum Disorder. From there, we will explore how these core deficits may trigger challenging behaviors and how to build on your child’s strengths to overcome those challenges.

• To review core deficit areas of autism: communication, social interaction, behavior, and thinking/learning.

• To build a better understanding of what may trigger behavior based on those core deficits.

• To review some examples of evidence-based strategies and possible resources.

Bio: Robin joined the Autism Society of North Carolina as an Autism Resource Specialist after serving in several roles in North Carolina Public Schools. She served in the roles of EC Case Manager, Reading Specialist, Occupational Course of Study Teacher, EC Resource Teacher, and Itinerant EC Teacher. She was employed with Guilford County Schools, Randolph County Schools, and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Robin is the proud mother of two adult children, Hayley and Evan. Hayley is a former Special Education Teacher and currently teaches Elementary Dance. Evan has autism and is a 2016 cum laude high school graduate. He is employed at a restaurant and A Special Blend, a coffee shop employing people with disabilities. Robin is certified in K-12 Special Education – General and Adapted Curriculum, K-12 Reading, and Middle Grades English Language Arts. She earned a Master’s degree in Language and Literacy from Salem College and has additional graduate level training in Special Education from UNC-Greensboro and Elon University.

“Making Them Visible: Recognizing, Supporting, and Advocating for
Children of Incarcerated and Returning Parents”

Presenter: Melissa Radcliff
Position: Program Director – Our Children’s Place of Coastal Horizons Center
Category: Mental Health and Wellness, Advocacy
Focus group: All grade levels

Description: On any given day, there are an estimated 2.7 million children in the United States with at least one incarcerated parent. In North Carolina the best estimate is more than 28,000. The most recent Annie E. Casey Foundation report shows that more than 5 million children (179,000 in NC) have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives. This workshop will focus on what we know and do not know about these children (often an invisible group dealing with shame, stigma, and a sense of isolation) and the impact of parental incarceration, what strategies could be developed and implemented to identify and serve these children, how to engage advocates in a conversation about advancing policies supporting the children (including policies that directly impact incarcerated and returning parents and indirectly impact their children), current gaps in resources and data collection, and new ways to partner and collaborate to better meet the needs of the children. The presenter will discuss the need to gather information and insight from these children themselves to ensure that their voices are heard. Participants will be encouraged to take what they learn back to their own schools to continue the conversation there and determine appropriate next steps.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

• Participants will be able to share with others their acquired knowledge of the challenges that children of incarcerated and returning parents face on a daily basis and will be able to apply the strategies and techniques learned in this workshop to create a supportive environment for these children.

• Participants will be able to share with others their acquired increased knowledge of what the needs are of children of incarcerated and returning parents, increased knowledge of what services and programs exist and where the gaps are, and tools to advocate for these children to improve responses, programs, and services.

• Participants will be able to identify ways to collaborate with other professionals to improve the well being of children of incarcerated and returning parents and will take what they learn back to their own professional settings to explore opportunities to better serve these children.

Bio: Melissa Radcliff has been with Our Children’s Place of Coastal Horizons Center based in Wilmington, NC since February 2007. Our Children’s Place is a statewide education and advocacy program focused on children of incarcerated and returning parents. Prior to that she was the Executive Director and a founding staff member of the Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County (now the Compass Center for Women and Families), the local domestic violence agency serving Orange County, NC. She has worked in the area of victim services since the 1990s at a domestic violence agency, rape crisis center, prosecutor’s office, and police department in Rhode Island, Arizona, and North Carolina. She serves as chair of the Pre-Release Committee for the Orange Correctional Center, a minimum-security men’s prison facility located in Hillsborough, NC.

“Proactive Strategies to Support Students with Autism”

Presenter: Louise Southern
Position: Associate Clinical Director – Autism Society of NC
Category: Exceptional Children, Classroom Management, Behavior Strategies
Focus group: All grade levels

Description: This workshop will focus on fundamental strategies to support students with autism in K-12 special and general education contexts. As a result of this brief workshop, participants will be able to:

1. Identify key strategies to address academic engagement and socio-behavioral performance for students with autism. 2. Identify the way that these strategies are responsive to the core features of autism. 3. Actively reflect on the way these strategies might be tailored to students who they support.

Bio: In her current role at ASNC, Louise provides direct consultation to families and professionals, and she delivers presentations, workshops and ongoing coaching to school systems, service providers, families and other stakeholder groups. Louise has been privileged to work with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) since 1998. Louise has worked as a special education teacher in general and self-contained contexts. She is in the dissertation phase in pursuit of a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at North Carolina State University (NCSU), with a concentration in Special Education.

"I Didn't Learn It That Way!"  - It's Time To Buy A New Math Hat

Presenter: Raye Lynn Weaver 
Math Foundations NCSIP Regional Coach - Catawba County Schools - Banoak Elementary
Category: Math Strategies
Focus group: Grades K – 8

Description: In this workshop, attendees will be shown the progression of conceptual math. We will look at different math strategies to help students understand the process of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. One of those strategies is the way we learned how to do math! Join me in a fun and eye-opening session. Let's help those babies understand math!

Bio: Raye Lynn Weaver has been teaching for fourteen years in Catawba County. Four of those years have been in second grade. Two have been in a fifth/sixth combination math class, and the remaining eight years have been in a sixth grade math and science class. SheI have completed certification to become a Foundations of Math trainer for Catawba County. Math is her passion!

North Carolina Association of Teacher Assistants
PO Box 334
Welcome, NC 27374
Phone Toll Free: 1.800.979.2077
Fax: 1.800.979.2077

For issues on this website, please email Melinda Zarate, Communications Director.  (

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