Tomorrow’s Classroom Today 2016: Why You Should Have Gone

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Giving up a Saturday for a professional development workshop used to be an idea I quickly tossed aside because I, the well respected high school math teacher, was doing just fine. Talk about your fixed mindsets. Now I consider myself to be a relatively creative guy, and was proud of some of the “outside the box” lessons I’d created in the past, but let me be perfectly clear about one thing:

NOTHING COMPARES TO THE CREATIVITY OF THE HIVE MIND OF PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS

There’s no better example of this than yesterday’s Tomorrow’s Classroom Today conference, put on by Brad Currie, Scott Rocco and Billy Krakower, known collectively as The Evolving Educators.

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I’m not the type of person to recap a day of PD moment by moment. Here are the three things that I liked best about my Saturday at educator school, in a particular order (you determine what that is).

1.  Will Richardson (http://willrichardson.com/) has an amazing mind for conceptualizing what school and education needs to be for teachers and students in the near and distant future. He communicated a vision of absolute overhaul to our schools that can’t be ignored. Check out this list of what teachers believe school SHOULD be (left) vs what teachers make schools ACTUALLY be (right)IMG_2972I listened to conversations around me all day sparked by his keynote. “What can we do that’s best for students? What do kids really need? Should there even be school anymore?” Fascinating discussions all day long. I talked with Dani Kennis, creator of the Education Calendar (#TheEduCal) and special ed teacher extraordinaire for what felt like only a few seconds but what was likely an hour about creative ways to change school. If you ever get a chance to talk with her about anything..do it!

 

2.  The Evolving Educators took one important thought into consideration for this workshop and it made all the difference. They gave us time. The morning before the keynote was long and wide open. Lunch was an hour and a half (and delicious I might add), and the Rider School of Education has fantastic areas around their classrooms for sitting and chatting. I sat in on two presentations and presented my own, but had some of my most valuable minutes in those “in-between” moments. So thanks for not planning the workshop as a “get in as much as possible” Saturday. We all benefited from your thoughtfulness. And I benefited from this:

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3.  Finally, here are some of my most liked, retweeted, or connected tweets from the day. I think you’ll find the message in them.

 

and then skyped in, so that always rocks.

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