Saturday, January 18, 2014

Educon 2.6 Mindset: The Why and How of Good Teaching

Next week I'll attend Educon 2.6.  The line up of speakers and conversations are amazing.  I want to be ready to learn, learn, learn.

The best way for me to prepare for an amazing event like this is to get my overarching questions and focus ready--what is it that I want to take away from this event?

I'm not really sure where I fit into the puzzle of education thought and forward movement today, but I know that I'm inspired by the momentum/research, and my teaching has improved ten-fold since I joined the conversation online and off.

There are some aspects of the journey that are quite clear, however, including the following.

First, I know that I want to continue my work as an elementary school teacher. Working with young children every day gives me a "front row seat" to the challenges, promise, and day-to-day events in education. The children are my muse as I work to discover, understand, and employ the best ideas related to a brain-friendly, child-centered, holistic education that responds to students' needs and interests as well as state- and system-wide standards. While young children are often under valued and served in our society, I believe that the promise of the future lies in the way we care for, teach, and inspire children.

Next, I am grateful to work in a school system that has dynamic resources and supports that allow me to try the best-of-the-best materials, strategies, and processes.  At times my impatience for change creates debate, challenge, and conflict, however, in the end those "sand paper" experiences serve to create positive growth and change. There remains, however, a longing in me to serve systems and children that are less fortunate, and I wonder how this will play out in the years to come.

So with this in mind, what questions and focus will I bring to Educon 2.6.

First, I will bring an open mind.  I want to observe and listen as I am introduced to new ideas and practice.  I will share the new learning through my blog.

Next, I will bring a sense of gratitude.  I'd like to say hello to the many people in my PLN who inspire me regularly.  This is always a bit daunting since I'm so intense.  It's easy to be intense with online share as people can take it or leave it, but conferences are typically less intense with more choices, ideas, and potential than time, hence my mind spins and my ideas burst forward.  The last time I attended Educon the conversation leaders did a great job leading all that energy, creativity, and think, so I will look forward to their lead in this regard.  If you're in my PLN and you're at Educon, please say hello.

I'll also bring my current questions to Educon:  What is the best way to teach today?  How do we serve children well?  In what ways can we work with colleagues to maximize our impact/effect with the children we serve?  How can we create opportunities for deeper learning? (a question that will create an intersection between Educon and the Deeper Learning MOOC)?  How will I use my education interest, research, and passion to best effect positive change, momentum, and efforts related to education--efforts to make schools/learning experiences the kind of places/events where all children thrive with confidence, creativity, care, and contribution?

I'm ready for this terrific event.  Let me know if there's anything I've forgotten. And, thanks to Chris Lehmann and his incredible Science Leadership Academy students, families, and staff for paving the way to such a tremendous learning opportunity.

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Educon 2.4: Educon: An Independence Hall for Education