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Saturday, October 22, 2016

#ECET2-MA2016 Arrives

It's awesome when trusted colleagues from
your PLN meet one another: Lisa Simon,
ECET2 Planning Committee Member and
Rik Rowe, ECET2 Presenter and
 #EdchatMA co-leader.
Today's the day for our MA2016 Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2) Teach All Children event. I'm up in the wee hours as there's a lot to do in order to have the event up and running at 8 a.m. for the many participants who will attend #ecet2ma2016 today.

Last night was the perfect start to the weekend as the planning team had a bit of time to sit down and talk about the day, relax a bit, and chat with a number of today's presenters and attendees. Words such as "I'm looking for the next thing," and "This is the first time I've attended an event like this," brought renewed enthusiasm to me as I thought about today's event, an event meant to highlight the following ECET2 ingredients.
  • Nurture trust among teachers.
  • Focus on each teacher's potential for growth.
  • Inspire both the intellect and the passion that drives teachers in their work.
  • Provide time for collaboration and learning.
  • Put teachers in the lead.
  • Recognize teachers as talented professionals.
At the reception, educators quickly found one another and talked about education and non-education topics. The commonality was that everyone there was willing and looking forward to spending a Saturday devoted to thinking about and sharing ideas related to Teaching All Children. Our common interest and quest related to this theme brought us together. 

ECET2's create the opportunity to meet educators 
from other schools--that always brings new ideas, 
enthusiasm, and energy!
The most challenging part of today's set-up will be lugging lots and lots of boxes. Fortunately, in addition to the planning team, we've recruited family members to help out with that task. The next most timely task will be setting up the room with markers, blurbs, hand-outs, tokens of appreciation bags, colleague circles and more--we'll divide and conquer as we are only able to get into the venue one hour before the start. Again teacher and teaching-enthusiast family members, friends, and colleagues have agreed to volunteer in this regard.

When the day starts, the agenda brings us from the early morning breakfast meet and greet to Jose Vilson's keynote, break-out sessions, colleague circles, a lunch hosted by Chop Chop Magazine, more break-out sessions, colleague circles, "Cultivating a Calling" keynotes by student essayist Rachel Kennedy and educators, Liz Soeiro and Suzy Brooks, closing remarks, and an end-of-the-event reception. Tomorrow we have a 10 a.m. #ecet2ma2016 wrap-up chat planned and there is money available from The Nellie Mae Education Foundation for a number of mini-grants that interested educators may apply for to bring forward the learning and enthusiasm from the event.

ECET2-MA 2016 Planning team member and
MA 2016 Teacher of the Year, Audrey Jackson,
has relayed many wonderful stories about her colleague,
Victor Joyner. Another great aspect of ECET2's is that
we get to meet our education friends' and colleagues'
trusted, inspirational education partners, mentors,
and team members. 
To get the most out of today, it's important that educators bring an open mind, a sense of celebration, and a willingness to share ideas, ask questions, and work together to solve problems and create. It's amazing what our diverse experiences, enthusiasm, and conversation can do to inspire each of us. I noticed that last night as I spoke with educators at the reception--it makes me want to go back to school and teach better. That's why I'm committed to events and affiliations like this that bring educators together based on forward thinking and energizing principles. ECET2's similar to edcamps, collegial conferences, regular collegial meetings, chats, and other venues that bring us together serve to elevate, celebrate, and positively challenge what we can do to make a difference in our education pursuits, collaboration, and contribution. I know today will affirm this spirit as well as bring with it a number of wonderful surprises and new learning. Onward.