Google+ Badge

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Teaching and Learning Conference 2015: Day One

As typical, day one at the T&L Conference didn't turn out exactly how I planned.

My devoted husband drove me to the airport only to realize I had left my license and credit card at home so he had to drive the 1.5 hour round trip again to help me out.  The flight was effortless as was the cab ride to the hotel and conference center. Yet due to an extremely busy week of teaching by the time I arrived at the conference I was exhausted. Hence, note to self, give yourself some lead time at the front end of a conference in order to access the conference with your best time and energy.

Despite the challenging start, day one at the conference served to uplift my dedication and desire to teach well. It also opened my eyes up to new learning paths and ways to teach better.

Teach to Lean
I had joined Teach to Lead, but didn't really understand the initiative. Yesterday's plenary talk gave me a good introduction to the effort which leads educators as leaders with this process and more:
  • Focus on meaningful problems from the field.
  • Better understand the problem.
  • Work in collaboration with others to develop the problem.
  • Build a sense of momentum.
As a Boston area educator, I was proud to see a Boston teacher, Jennifer Aponte, on the stage representing her good work and the Teach to Lead initiative. Jennifer joined three other Teach to Lead teachers in an inspiring panel discussion that brought forth the following points:
  • Think: What if every child succeeded? Use a strengths based, success mindset.
  • Educators are diagnosticians who need the time, resources, and research to teach well. 
  • Every educator can be a leader.
  • Educator networks within and without organizations are important to fostering good work.
  • Teachers in the field have important knowledge.
I really like the energy and effort that's being devoted to the teacher leader initiatives as I don't think that teachers have to leave the classroom to advance. Good teachers who want to stay in the classroom should be able to advance with hybrid roles as described during day one of the conference.