NSDC Summer Conference Opening Keynote

[live blogging the session]

Encouraging us to take every minute to learn from others.
Make a committment to actions. Every teacher needs to stand up to the plate of teacher leadership.

Sue McAdamis – NSDC Board PRes.

Mentioning sponsors.
Recognizing organizers.
There were 19 organizers on the stage, all educators – one man.

Sharing meals, networking and engaging in reflective conversations.
Encouraging us to be risk-takers. Sit with people we don’t know and take reflective thoughts.
Avoid side conversations, turn off noisy stuff and give full attention.
Today’s take-away is a bookmark made by 4th-grade students.
Another take away at lunch to inspire conversation at lunch.
The practice of deep reflection leads to knowledge and ultimately increases student achievement.

Denver public schools innovative teacher compensation program.

Welcome Phil Gonrey (sp) of the Rose Foundation

me – I wonder if “Rocky Mountain High” is played at every Colorado convention.

Denver first to make cheeseburger.

2nd producer of lamb
1st producer of millet (small seed grain grown in a difficult environment – sounds a lot like a school)

Introducing – Joellen Killion and Stephanie “Nikki” Rivera

It’s not about choice, structural changes or market reform.

We understand that education is a human capitol issue.
Smart, dedicated well-trained people with the right incentives and the right support can do amazing things with kids.

Our grant-making has been focused on the simple fact that there si a tremendous genius in teachers and given the resources teachers can do amazing things.

Killion – Deputy Exec. Dir. of NSDC “taking the lead: new roles for teacher leaders…”
Rivera – clinical prof. in Adams 12 district, master teacher who assumes a leadership role in the dev. of pre-service and novice teachers.

Killion/Rivera:

Importance of aligning actions with beliefs. Beliefs are what we stand for. Beliefs challenge and facilitate work. Give courage and direction. Help take a stand. Re-assessment of beliefs increases integrity. beliefs Riv. now holds are not the same ones she held when she started as a coach. Started by giving resources. Stopped doing that because it created dependence.

Talking about the importance of not creating dependence as a coach. Haven’t integrated beliefs until we experience them in a real-world setting.
Each experience provides us an opportunity to discover beliefs.
Admitting difference between what they believe/say they believe and what they actually do.
Two kinds of beliefs: beliefs in action and espoused beliefs.
“Reading my life as a textbook is a good way to discover if my life reflects my beliefs.”
focus on student assessment that are true to accomplishment.
Fundamental beliefs of teacher leaders and coaches:
1. Let Go
2. believe in possibilities.
3. keep promises
4. do you best always
5. check perceptions

1. Let Go: Talking about difference between espoused/action in reference to imposing answers or letting community find solutions. Did not act on espoused belief. “What do you want?” “To be right.” What did you get? Frustration and resistence. What did you learn? Being right didn’t matter…they mattered. Let go of the need to fic and heal and rescue and repair others. Work rather on yourself. – Scot Peck “A different Drum.”
(me- this is a basic tennet of improv)

2. Possibilities: (me, using narrative to show points) Lesson Study Protocol. Rolled out LSP with one team with no new teachers. Debriefing went well. Three years ago, school still using LSP. By believing in poss. these students and teachers are growing. Support and scaffolding gave every chance for success.

3. Keeping your Promises: Promised to send protocol when she got home. Did not send as she promised. Didn’t remember. Got call Tuesday of the next week. Disappointment that the protocol didn’t show up. Horrified. Made promise and didn’t follow through. Sometimes not conscious of the promises we make. “See you later. Meeting starts at 3:30. Meet you in the library. I’ll send that when I get home.” (me – Four Agreements: Be impeccable in your word.) Loss of integrity leads to loss of trust leads to inability to engage with others. no objection can be read as a promise. Failure to keep promises is a choice that endangers the relationship.

4. Do your best, always: (me – Another Four Agreements: Always do your best.) Using story to explain points. She’s a biking enthusiast. Went on trip to France. Promises of travel company’s website didn’t come through. People on buses were acting horrible. Coordinators listened to clients and wrote down complaints. Explained circumstances but didn’t make excuses. On the last day, asked coord. how he was doing with near mutiny. On the bus. sitting in front of her, turned and said, “Life, is 10% what happens to you. 90% how you react to it.” What a beautiful example of doing your best, always. Guiding belief was getting him through difficult situation. Often faced with visible and invisible mutinies.

5. Check your perceptions: Sometimes I make up explanations of things that I don’t understand. Assumptions from wonderings. Andrea (teaching 3 years, tapped to be a coach). Doing observation of teacher. Andrea was conscious of butterflies. More severe than normal. Teacher she was observing had been her teacher. Facing a severe case of role reversal. How was she going to be able to give feedback to this teacher? Anxiety grew as lesson continued. Assumed feedback session would be horrible. Teacher sat, put hands on top of Andrea’s. “Andrea, many years ago, I had the pleasure of being your teacher. I look forward now to you being my teacher.” Andrea dissolved into tears. (me – etymological difference between “perception” and “assumption”?) “If I don’t know something, it’s best to check, clarify or hold curiosity about it.” Withhold the drive to make up stories to explain what we don’t know. (me – this is Covey “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”)

When we stand for what we believe, we are more authentic. When we take a stand for our beliefs, we make a difference for teachers and their students.

NSDC’s new purpose statement – Every educator participates in effective professional development everyday so that every student learns.

One thought on “NSDC Summer Conference Opening Keynote

  1. Nice job of capturing the first day of NSDC! I’m attending with five others from our district in Ohio. We all enjoyed the Killion/Rivera keynote. Two points mentioned often yesterday by the group were: life is 10% what happens…90% how you react, and check your perceptions…amazing how often we forget to inquire and just make up reasons for things.

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