One challenge I have as I review the sched and selection my sessions is that there are so many great ones to choose from. I have to narrow it down to what I can hopefully implement upon my return, which again, is not always easy.
But the bigger challenge I feel is the lack of leadership - superintendent staffs and board of trustees members - attending these types of conferences. I do think a teacher can start a movement, but the vision needs to be shared and come from the top. We cannot live in a world where we are anti-conference. Anti-conference = anti-professional development = anti-growth. One of the biggest benefits of attending conferences such as CUE is the networking opportunities and the opportunity to learn best practices other districts and schools are implementing. We all have similar challenges, so why are some schools and districts really making instructional technology work when others are not? I think you can read the paragraph I just wrote an answer that question yourself.
Lately, I've been reading Principal Professional Development: Leading Learning in the Digital Age (Corwin Connected Educators Series.) This is a very easy read, and the points made are quite simple in regards to today's principal and school leaders:
- Effective principals can manage the organization as a whole and the implementation of curriculum as long as they have the appropriate professional support and development
- There will never be extra time in your day. Lead learners model learning by integrating the learning into an already full day.
- Social media plays an important role in the professional development of school leaders
- A professional learning network (PLN) can help support the personal and professional development of school leaders.
- As an educational leader, you must take control of your own learning and personalize it in a way that works for you.
Why are so many school leaders late to the game? Is it because we are creatures of habit? Fear of the unknown? Not willing to take a risk? I once read a quote, "The biggest risk is the one you don't take." Think about that for a little while.... #CUE16 #bethechange