Why does one go to a conference? What draws a person in? The conference mailings arrive weekly in my mailbox at school. For some I open, but for most I toss them straight into the garbage. In order for it to grab my attention it needs to provide me with more than my daily growth within my PLN and twitter. (Twitter alone nurtures my love for teaching and can be done from the comforts of my home.) It cannot just be a buzz word. It must be legit. So for me it is the keynote. The person chosen must be relevant to teaching and learning… not only for my students, but for me.
So how did #SASInstitute2017 get it right? For starters, they sought out one of the most powerful influences in education today… George Couros, author of Innovator’s Mindset!
George is key to my attendance. It really is that simple. I am an educator making positive change in the classroom. I am pushing myself forward every day without a conference, so for one to grab my attention, be worth my financial investment, and hold value to my students and to me, it must have impact!
IMPACT: the kind that pulls on every emotion possible! The kind that changes me for the better!
Truths that were spoken by George… hard core truth:
Truth: “Learning is your job so stop whining and settle down.” (I about jumped up and gave him a standing ovation!)
Truth: “If you do not have a twitter account you are no longer relevant to teaching!”
Truth: “If you still have a computer lab, the question is do you have a pencil lab too?”
Truth: “Isolation is now a CHOICE that educators make!”
Truth: “Do kids do it because of school or in spite of it?”
Truth: “Data driven is the stupidest term in education!”
Truth: “Stop making excuses!”
Truth: “What serves kids the best?”
Truth: “Make the positive so loud that the negative becomes almost impossible to hear!”
Truth: “CHANGE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING AMAZING!”
The energy in itself… the mere magnitude of educators buzzing with enthusiasm has drawn me in to conversation. Conversation that I don’t normally engage in. (Don’t laugh too hard… I have the gift of gab, but I’m talking about the choice to put myself in conversation.) The truth is, I don’t like the downers… the fun suckers… closed mindsets. Most groups I have encountered at school conferences have always included closed mindsets. One that sucks the positive life right from my soul. But this conference is different… the buzz is about George. His truths. His innovative practices. His doors he opened… for us! His relationships he nurtured… with us. In turn, I have engaged beyond the keynote… into small groups… lunches… dinners… downtime. I came with an amazing group of educators, connected with my twitter family, and am growing each day with incredible educators! The power of a keynote has created an opportunity for me to do amazing things!