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March 22, 2019

posted Mar 25, 2019, 5:08 AM by Christine Roman
Dear Parents and Guardians,

Happy Spring! I am so excited to see the snow melting and feel the warmer temperatures. My trip to Chicago was insightful. I gained some new knowledge, did some touristy things (saw The Bean), reaffirmed some of my core beliefs in education (building relationships matter), and had some amazing food (Gino’s East and the Rosebud).

Here are some takeaways from different presenters (not all of them):

Maurice Elias-No Need to Choose: Integrating Social-Emotional and Academic Learning to Help Students Thrive
 NJ’s 5 Competencies in their Social-Emotional Curriculum—1. Self-Awareness; 2. Self-Management; 3. Responsible Decision-Making; 4. Relationship Skills; 5. Social Awareness (casel 2017)
 We need to teach skills and help develop character traits
 As a school, we need to practice and model what we teach!

Mike Roberts-Ten Things Every Teacher Should Be Doing in Their Class Every Day
 Just to name a few—Positive Attitude; Engaging Lesson; Vary Your Teaching Method; Include Movement and Create Relationships
Dwayne Reed—Warm-up before the Keynote on Saturday
 His creative teaching and music went viral on YouTube; I loved his energy and passion for kids and making learning fun! Check out his video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBLcuGunRxU

Ron Clark—Keynote Saturday
 Don’t be a “bread” teacher be the “pizza”! His belief is that bread is nice, but it is boring. He wants teachers to be pizza with a lot of toppings!
 Ron, author of the books- The Essential 55 and The End of Molasses Classes, was Disney Teacher of the Year and now runs The Ron Clark Academy.
Tim Elmore—A New Strategy to Approach Social and Emotional Learning
 Dr. Elmore is President and Founder of Growing Leaders. He is a best-selling author. As a district, we read last summer his book, Marching Off The Map.
 He provided advice and suggestions on how to work, guide, and mentor our Generation Y and Generation Z populations. He also referred to Casel’s Social and Emotional competencies.
 Discussed his belief that we can teach SEL skills through pictures and discussion. I liked his example of Chess vs. Crackers from one of his Habitudes book.

Jen Schwanke—Avoiding Principal Burnout: How to manage the challenges and keep the joy.
 There were a lot of laughs and reaffirmation during this presentation. I felt like I wasn’t alone on this journey of being a school principal. Also allowed me to reflect on how I keep the joy in my job.

Doris Kearns Goodwin—Sunday-Keynote-Presidential Leadership Lessons
 She was a very fast talker! It was insightful to learn about her study of four of our past presidents and their different leadership styles. It was interesting to hear about how her career evolved.
James Carville and Mary Matalin—All’s Fair: Love, War, and Politics
 I am not a big political follower and I really knew nothing about these two presenters. This 45-minute session allowed us to see the interactions between two people (husband and wife) and how they have maintained opposite political views, but have remained married for 26 years. James spoke about his teaching experiences as a middle school science teacher and now as a college professor. Mary shared stories of their daughter’s life as an elementary special education teacher and Mary’s work volunteering at her local parish schools.

Another highlight from going to this conference is our time spent together as an administrative team. We had our meals together and tried to add in some tourist sites. During our time, we celebrated the great things happening in our schools, problem-solved some of our issues, discussed and debated educational topics, shared updates on our families, and laughed!

Moving forward, I will share some of my insights at our April faculty meeting. I will volunteer to sit on our district’s SEL committee. I will continue to build stronger relationships with my staff, students, and parents. I will continue to model how to be a lifelong learner!

I know this is a longer article than usual, but I wanted to share with you what happens when I (we) go to different professional development opportunities.

Have a great spring weekend!
-Ann
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