Beluga whales frolicing during the Presidential Reception
at the Georgia Aquarium
As a high school principal, missing two days of school was a big deal, but going to ASCD Annual in Atlanta was worth it!
I've attended the ASCD Annual for over a dozen years now. I get to go because I actually negotiated it into my contract; it's that important to me! I believe that it is, bar none, the best education conference out there. It's my chance to recharge my professional learning "batteries" and to connect face-to-face with educators from all over the world.
This year's conference (April 2-4, 2016) in Atlanta was truly phenomenal! The ASCD professional staff made a great choice in picking Atlanta & the Georgia World Congress, as the city had so much to offer and the facilities were super easy to navigate.
Remember during college when you couldn't decide which class to check our first? You get the same feeling trying to figure out which one of the hundreds of workshops you want to go to over the three days you're there.
I pursued a series of sessions around coaching teachers & school leaders while I was there, but the best workshop I went to was "The Wisdom of Grant Wiggins," presented by Jay McTighe and Denise Wilbur Wiggins. Carol Dweck's keynote, "The Journey to a Growth Mindset", also gave me a chance to fill my Evernote notebook with a great overview of her work as well as insight into her latest research.
One of the highlights of the trip from me was the ASCD Nominations Committee reunion dinner. A bunch of us who have served on "Nom Com" for the past two years went to this hip (because, of course, we're hip...) restaurant, Gunshow. The eight course meal included oysters with smoked caviar and a cucumber & Gatorade foam (it was amazing - trust me.)
Finding the time to meet up with friends and colleagues, like Walter McKenzie, Jason Flom and Peter DeWitt, many of whom you only "see" on Twitter or Facebook, is another part of the whole Annual experience that makes taking the time away from school worth it.
Yeah - I had hundreds of emails waiting when I got back, and my appointment calendar had tons of people stacked up over Logan, but this conference re-reminds me of why I do what I do every day.
Pics from ASCD Annual 2016
Selfie with "ed rock star", Jay McTighe
ASCD Nom Com Reunion dinner with Alina Davis, Vicky Ayam & Jessica Blevins Bohn
Sharon Zoller, Matt Mingle and me at Gunshow, one of Atlanta's most coolest restaurants
One example of the amazing food at Gunshow