In the past week, I have seen a plethora of conferences and trainings around the country. My Twitter feed had tweets about conferences focusing on Special Education, English Language Arts, Math, and Women in Leadership. Why is it important for us to attend conferences?
It is easy to get comfortable in what you do and how you do it. When you first begin a job, you are in learning mode and in some cases, a fast-paced learning mode. However, once we learn the foundation of our jobs, we can sometimes get complacent.
Education is constantly changing. If you believe that statement, then explain to me how we can continue to do what we’re doing the way we’re doing it when the game is constantly changing? We must keep up with the changes and also change our approach in order for our students to thrive in whatever system we find ourselves.
Conferences bring people together from around the region, state, and/or world. I attended a conference two years ago that had participants from China, Australia, and Canada. It was amazing to hear how they “do” education. There were many things I heard from them that made great sense. It made me be much more reflective on our practices.
Because conferences bring so many people together, attending conferences gives you the opportunity to hear and see what other educators are doing. It gives you the opportunity to hear other ideas. Hearing other ideas will many times spark your creativity and give you new ways of “doing” education.
What conferences or trainings do you attend that have proven to be a great source of learning?
January is oftentimes seen as a new beginning. Truth be told, for educators, our year begins in August. Our world is seen in two halves. The first half is called the fall semester. The second half is called the spring semester. January for us marks the halfway mark. We are officially halfway through the 2018-2019 school year.
This is the perfect time to stop and assess procedures and systems and determine whether or not they are successful. After you assess, there are three conclusions of which you can decide.
1) What we are doing is working… continue doing the work.
2) What we are doing is working, but could be better with a minor tweak…. Make the tweak and continue the work.
3) What we are doing is not working… abandon and try something else.
All three options are important; however, number 3 can be tricky. When abandoning something, you must be careful of timing. You have to consider whether or not you have given it time to work. You also have to consider if abandoning it in the middle of the year can have adverse effects. Bottom line, for option 3, think in terms of if nothing changed, would I negatively effect students. If the answer is yes, then abandon quickly and find a new course of action.
What’s most important is that the conversation is had with your leadership team. Enter the discussion with an open mind. The key is remembering your WHY… and hopefully kids are part of that why.
New year, new you! This is a common statement this time of year. For some reason, we think when the clock strikes midnight on the dawn of a new year, we magically become a better version of ourselves. If only that were true! The reality is that nothing will change this year unless you make changes. New year’s resolutions seem to be so very hard to keep. A couple of years ago, I read about Jon Gordon’s One Word.
The One Word “movement” is where you think about where you would like to go this year in your life or something on which you would like to focus this year. Instead of a long resolution, it’s just one word. One word is much easier to remember and if you re-visit it often, it can truly transform your life.
My one word for this year is BALANCE. Balance at work. Balance at home. Balance in my marriage. Balance in my parenting. Balance in my finances. One side should not outweigh in any other side.
My One Word “to do” list.
What is the one word that will define your goal for this new year?
Paula Patterson is a Superintendent of Schools who shares practical points on leadership.