Takeaways from Educon

First and foremost, after a weekend of thinking and learning, it is the people! It is always the people who make the time at Educon so important. Educon isn’t set up like any other conference. The challenge for those who are presenting is to create “conversations.” It is not to stand at the front of the room and pontificate. The presenters’ job is to get people to talk, to share and learn together. Sometimes it is difficult to get the conversations going, and some questions or initial presentations of ideas are more captivating than others, but overall the connections with other educators are made.

Educon is not for the faint of heart or the passive. Teachers and administrators don’t come to Educon unless they want to grow and develop their practice. It isn’t a place for anyone who simply wants to sit on the sidelines; it is for those who are willing to try new ways of meeting the needs of their students. Most of the people there found Educon through Twitter and came to meet face-to-face with the people they had connected with through dozens or hundreds of tweets.

I led a session, with Wendy Eiteljorg and Philip Cummings on “Being a Risk-Taking Teacher.” The session was filled with teachers who are trying to change the world, one small project and one individual child at a time. They willingly shared their challenges and their successes with each other.We built the session around the ideas in Making Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchart, Mark Church and Karin Morrison, so everyone who came had to be up and moving around throughout the session. We set up activities that allowed them to think about taking risks while learning new ways to present material in the classroom. The session was before lunch, and the movement helped to stimulate their bodies and minds as well as create a sense of community among the teachers. I will be writing more on these strategies as I use them in the classroom.

Another thought, as I leave SLA exhausted and in many ways, overwhelmed, is that this sort of learning, intense, hour after hour, is what we do to our students every day. We ask them to go from one class to another and give it their all. We want them to care about every subject, deeply and with commitment, 50 minutes at a time. After 2 days of it, I am exhausted. I can’t imagine how they can do it with any level of passion and enthusiasm. As always I believe that change is going to have to happen to schedules first of all. Students need time to design and build,  to reflect and integrate new ways of thinking. If we don’t give them that time, the best plans in the world will fall on disheartened and tired minds and hearts.

Time for me to rest now before the start of another week! Thank you to Science Leadership Academy and Chris Lehmann for a wonderful weekend!

5 responses to “Takeaways from Educon

  1. Hi Hadley, On the ride to Educon, I began my journey with your post from last year. Now, as I begin my journey home, your post was the first reflection I read. Thanks for bringing me full circle during this educon experience. Wish we had the chance to meet–perhaps next year or at another event.

  2. Hello Mr. Hadley, my name is Brittney Henderson ,and I attend the University of South Alabama as a Secondary Education major in Social Sciences.After reading about your trip to the EDUCON conference;I felt excited about learning the interesting ways of teaching being discussed in your blog. I first clicked on the Educon link to familiarize myself about the conference, and I found it most refreshing to see teachers stating their concerns and their views on the new technology as well. Mostly, I love the setting of the conference; everyone seems to be comfortable ,and passionate about their profession.Which are the most vital components when working with students. I agree 100 percent when you stated that the conference is not for the passive or faint.I believe teachers hold the success to our future generations. How often are these conferences held? Can students attend them as well? I really enjoyed reading your blog and learning about the EDUCON conference. I hope to hear from you Mr. Hadley I will leave you my twitter , and blog site so we may keep in touch!!!!
    Twitter:@ Brittney Hender4
    Blog : hendersonbrittneyedm310.blogspot.com

  3. Mrs. Hadley ( my keys go in and out of my keyboard just came back in. Deeply sorry I guess I should be going a MAC notebook liked discussed in the EDUCON video.
    Twitter : Brittney Hender4
    Class blog: https://hendersonbrittneyedm310blogspot.com

  4. Hi again Hadley,
    I enjoyed reading your follow up on Educon. I think it is absolutely wonderful that there a conference such as ‘educon’. I became extremely excited when I read about how engaged all of the teachers were during the presentations and ideas that were brought up. When you said this quote, “Educon is not for the faint of heart or the passive. Teachers and administrators don’t come to Educon unless they want to grow and develop their practice.” , it made me love even more that I am becoming an educator. You stated that educon is not a place for those who want to just sit on the side lines, that only those who want to met the needs of their students and allow their students to met their full potential should attend. I agree with you because I hate to see a lazy teacher who doesn’t want to better the lives of his/her students and his/her fellow educators. A conference that enables teachers to get ideas out there for those who need the help is a great tool. I love how inviting this conference seems to be. Like I said in my first comment to you, I would really like to attend an euducon conference! Your post is filled with such energy and spirit. Thank you for telling us all about Educon and the power of teachers and administrators getting together to converse. You are a fantastic educator and a great mentor. I am going to continue following your blog because I feel your are full of insight in the education world and as a future educator, I need all the insight I can get. I am going to leave my email and blog information again if you would like to comment back.
    Thanks again,
    Emilie Rinehart
    twitter: @emilie_noel14

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