“Our current landscape of education: People are making decisions about our profession, who have not been in our profession.” by Benjamin Shuldiner
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to go to ASCD #Empower17 Conference. This conference is always a favorite because not only do I get to meet up with my ASCD Emerging Leaders, Authors and other educators from around the world but I ALWAYS learn new things. Here are my top take-aways from the conference in no particular order:
1. Students at the Center by Carol Ann Tomlinson (ie Differentiation Guru)
Carol Ann believes in Personalized Learning( PL) and that it is not the same as differentiation! I know what you are thinking, this is not something that you learned as you have been saying this for years but what was new was hearing it from her mouth! She also stated many other facts that I have been saying but was nice to hear such as:
- Technology is not the answer, relationships are!
- PL requires effective teaching first!
- The teacher is not the keeper of the knowledge but the facilitator of resources and should support the students needs to reach mastery!
*The aha moment I did have in her session was when she said: “Changing schools is hard. I have been teaching, training and talking about differentiation for 20 years and many educators still don’t understand it. PL is going to take years for all educators to understand as well.”
2. PL with Habits Of Mind by Allison Zmuda and Bena Kalick
I always go to Allison Zmuda’s session even though she’s now a friend and educational though partner that I talk to often because I always learn something new.
- Life does not work on a pacing guide…neither should a classroom.
- Don’t wait until the end product for expert feedback. Provide this support when students still have time to learn, play and explore.
- Average teachers teach until the student gets it right. Above average teachers teach until the student can’t get it wrong.
3. Creating Schools that Work for Kids’ presented by Eric Sheninger.
Eric has a book that recently came out called UnCommon Learning: Creating Schools That Work for Kids, but I have not read it. I did learn:
- Focus on the what ifs, not the yea buts.
- Unless you get instructional design right, technology can only increase the speed and certainty of failure. by William Horton (so true and good reminder)
4. 5 Teacher Behaviors That Prepare Students to Lead by Tammy Musiowsky
Tammy asked great reflective questions to help educators think about their practice:
- What is a behavior of yours that limits the student-led potential in your classroom?
- How do your students know you trust them? If your students know you trust them, how does this allow them to take a greater ownership of their classroom?
- What is something you learned recently while working with your students?
- How explicitly and consistently do you name the skill students are working on?
5. Other great blog posts, resources and tweets from #Empower17:
- I learned about Bluford Series – great books to add into a classroom library for secondary students.
All things are difficult before they are easy. – Thomas Fuller
- Resources for Effective Student Feedback
- Don’t let a program dictate a child’s needs, let the child’s needs dictate the program.” – @DinaBrulles
You’ve got to be in the classrooms everyday, or you can’t improve their performance! Both Ts and Ss. via @ToddWhitaker
“Learning isn’t personal if every student is an island in the classroom.” via @thomascmurray
Student Voice is not an event, a class period, or something cute to do. It is a WAY OF BEING! via @DrRussQ