On July 13th, 500 teachers gathered at the JW Marriott Las Vegas for Journey, VIPKid’s highly-anticipated fifth regional teacher conference. The enthusiasm, passion and energy were palpable. Teacher attendees, who joined locally from Las Vegas and who traveled across the country from 39 states to participate, were thrilled at the opportunity to connect with fellow teachers and hear from VIPKid Founder and CEO, Cindy Mi.
Husband and wife teachers, Kyle and Ashley Elmer, traveled from Pennsylvania to attend their first Journey. Sharing that VIPKid allows them the flexibility they need as foster parents, Kyle said that VIPKid “has been a huge blessing” and that “attending Journey on the other side of the United States has been so much fun and we cannot wait to share what we learned with our students in the classroom.”
In the morning’s keynote session, Mi discussed her continued dedication to teacher and student success during her fireside chat with Kevyn Klein, Head of Global Teacher Community at VIPKid. Mi also spoke about the power of VIPKid in teachers’ lives and the positive impact of VIPKid’s Rural Education Project, which provides English learning opportunities to over 1,000 schools in rural China.
“The global classroom is so powerful when we all work together,” said Mi. “We are empowering our communities and are only at the beginning of what we will accomplish in education and learning. We are building something truly magical for ourselves and our communities.”
Teacher Alicia Weeks of Las Vegas was inspired listening to Mi speak. “Seeing Cindy in person you can feel the passion coming through, and for those of us who usually work from our home classroom that energy felt really good.”
Additionally, Mi talked about VIPTeach, the nonprofit organization funded by VIPKid dedicated to providing access to quality global education, and its Teacher Courage Awards, which honored five teachers outside the VIPKid community who demonstrate the ability to overcome hardship and exemplify commitment, creativity, and the ability to inspire in the classroom.
The day’s programming also included keynote speeches and breakout sessions on topics like Chinese culture, community building, social impact and using music in the classroom.
Teacher Misty Drollinger of Las Vegas returned to Journey for her second time after attending VIPKid’s first Journey in Salt Lake City in March 2018. Drollinger shared that “Journey means that we all get to come together with a common goal. It means so much for us to be here together and share our love of our students and teaching.”