When noon came on Thursday, it didn’t take long to get over the fact that our Admin Unplugged session was in the immense Grand Ballroom B. Participants trickled in and began to write session topics (or vote for others) on the easels at the entrance.
After about 10 minutes, Liz facilitated an icebreaker so participates could meet and introduce themselves to three different people. While that was happening, Justine and I were tallying the votes and setting up the 5 different discussion tables.
The of topics of Scheduling, Teacher Evaluation, Head of School relationship with Admin Teams, Open Gradebooks, and Leadership Training were announced. We explained that attendees would choose one of the tables and have a 20-minute discussion surrounding that topic. It wasn’t long before everyone was seated and the conversations were off and running. At the end of 20 minutes, participants could choose another table and have a conversation surrounding a different topic or stay at the table and continue with the discussion.
The hour flew by, and participants seemed comfortable sharing their knowledge and passions with each other. Choice is a good thing!
My 8am session on Thursday morning was “Why Should More Parents Value Your School?” Some great advice here from Richard Hardy from Concord Academy and Ben Edwards from The Art & Science Group.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.“
“Don’t take on research until you are ready to be: 1) introspective and 2) act on the results.”
Here are my tweets:
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Each Thursday night at 9pm EST, a group independent school educators gather “virtually,” using the twitter hashtag #isedchat, to discuss a hot topic determined by a twtpoll or by the guest moderator. Lots of learning, sharing and connections are made, and the hour is guaranteed to fly by.
This week, our #isedchat was in a different form– we were face to face…and it was amazing! We discussed programs at our school, successes, failures, resources, and much more. Putting that face to the twitter handle is a great thing! This was a value added for my conference experience and I thank everyone who made it over to Summer Shack. We had an awesome time!
My first session at NAIS 2015 was a 3-hour workshop entitled: “Playgrounds, Parents and Programs- Oh My! The Work of the Division Head.” It was engaging, relevant, and very informative.
Following an amazing presentation from three division heads at three different schools, the session included a “critical friends group” exercise used to unpack a challenging dilemma at our school. We were paired up and went through the process of pre-reflection, framing the dilemma, clarifying the dilemma, probing and discussing, making recommendations, and then reflecting on it. It was useful to have a peer listen, process, and then give feedback on something that was challenging for me. It was a great start to the conference!
Here are my public notes (tweets) and reflections on the session:
Hope you can join us!
Last year, one of my favorite sessions of the conference was Teachers Unplugged. As with most traditional conferences, sessions tend to be a speaker or panel at the front of the room, with rows of attendees sitting passively. Ironically, this is what we are trying to move away from in our classrooms and yet the largest conference of the year for independent school educators seems to be mostly in this format. This is why I was happy to see that there was a session option in an unconference format: Teachers Unplugged. This session exceeded all my expectations while providing me with amazing connections and thought-provoking discussions.
Read my reflections from last year here.
I remember wishing there were more of these types of sessions, and I especially wished there was one specifically for Administrators. So, I reached out to Liz Davis, who ran the Teachers Unplugged session, along…
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It’s almost here– NAIS AC 2015! While we have about 7 feet of snow waiting for us when we arrive, Boston is an awesome city and a great place for independent school educators to gather for this year’s annual conference:
The Design Revolution: Blending Learning, Leading and Innovation.
Before you get here, my biggest tip… DOWNLOAD the APP…Do it TODAY! Right now!
I remember feeling overwhelmed with the program book a few years back. I had a hard time figuring out my schedule, reading through descriptions and speaker info, and getting up to date information on any changes. I had to dig it out of my bag each time. Ugh!
Well… no more! The app organizes presentations by time slot, allows you to organize your schedule, track exhibitors, get info about presenters and sessions, follow conference tweets, and much more! It continues to refresh and update as presenters add speaker…
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