Sandy: One Week Later…
The aftermath of Sandy remains devastating to many of us; hopefully none of you fall under that category of many. I remain hopeful that a loss of power was the worst that any of you experienced. Although my own house took a bit of a hit, I am well aware that it could have been much worse. Dealing with the immediate effects of the hurricane, in addition to damages caused by a flood in my house last summer, has been challenging. Luckily, coming to work has been a great distraction for me. Monday’s in-service was an amazing example of the SCH faculty/staff coming together to educate themselves as a community, following an innovative approach to professional development. I was happy to be a part of a team lead by Hadley Ferguson that helped to facilitate this tremendous day.
With the outreach of professional development energy still strong, I’d like to share a couple of opportunities that may be of interest to you. First, Educon 2.5 will be hosted at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia from January 25th – January 27th. What makes Educon great is that it is not a technology conference; it’s an education conference. According to the Educon website, Educon is both a conversation and a conference. It is an innovation conference where we can come together, both in person and virtually, to discuss the future of schools. Every session will be an opportunity to discuss and debate ideas – from the very practical to the big dreams.
Several years ago, Chris Lehman, the founding principal of SLA gave an incredible presentation on the future of education at a Springside In-Service day. Educon would be a great opportunity to become a part of that continued conversation regarding the direction of education, so please let me know if you are interested in attending. We have had several faculty members from all divisions of the school attend this conference in the past. Here are a few of their testimonials on their Educon experience:
“Though I’ve never been to an official edcamp, I think educon had sort of the same feel – all about the ideas and the kids, not about the bells and whistles of a more traditional conference.” –Erik Dreisbach
“Educon was about the energy, excitement, passion and willingness of professionals to share their knowledge. The connections formed, whether in a session or between sessions in the halls, is what sticks with me. My PLN increased and I am still learning from those individuals. For me I was appreciative that a non-PE conference was willing to have me present how I connect physical education to the academic classrooms to better serve our students.” –Betty Ann Fish
“It was great to interact with such an enthusiastic group of progressive educators who are committed to doing the same type of work we’re championing here at SCH. It’s local, engaging, and low-cost, and some of my take-aways were immediately applicable to the work I do each day. The best part was building connections and having meaningful conversations – that’s where I was able to connect with Hadley for the first time really! Lastly, I love the format. Session leaders are charged with making their sessions truly interactive. No passive learning anywhere!” — Francis Yasharian
Another opportunity that Christine Heine recently shared with the US faculty is the PLP Lite Free Webinar: 8 Steps to Do-It-Yourself PD. In the 2008-2009 school year, Springside served as the host school and Program Fellow for over one hundred educators from 20+ area ADVIS schools. Again in the 2009-2010 academic year, we put together another team who enthusiastically represented Springside at the conference. The model for this year’s PLP offering is different from previous years; it includes twelve weekly Webinars, including kickoff and culmination sessions, plus ten Webinars taught in an e-course format, all of which are geared to help you to enhance your practice. Check out the video below for more information on the program. Once you have given this some thought, please contact me if you’re interested in participating either on your own or as part of a team.
I leave you with a video from Taylor Mali poet, teacher, and the curator of the Page Meets Stage series that takes place at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City – What Teachers Make. Let me know what you think!