Various Sessions at NYSCATE

Playing a bit of catch up here – there is so much to see/do/learn that time flies by. I’m going to reflect on a few different sessions from yesterday/today.

  • Sunday Keynote w/Marco Torres: Marco is a wonderful and inspirational person. Its easy to see why he is so successful with his students. It was a delight to listen to him share about connecting with students. I especially like how he focuses on music to make the connection.
  • Monday Morning Keynote w/Gary Marx: I first heard of Gary Marx and the Sixteen Trends during the opening day of school this year for teachers. Our superintendent talked about the trends, and I was very interested to learn more. Gary is a very entertaining speaker, but the amount of information (and number of slides) presented was too much, too fast. I think I’m going to have to get the book and try to digest it at a more manageable pace.
  • Leading from the Inside Out w/Pete Reilly: Pete spoke about the 3 major components of leadership – vision, best practices, and personal practice. He focused on the latter, and specifically on the fact that all learning about leadership is intellectual, and that leaders need time to learn to embody the skills they know intellectually. He demonstrated some simple techniques for “walking the walk” of leadership, starting with making a declaration every day (week, month, etc.) about improving a skill (for example, active listening). This was my first opportunity to hear Pete in action. I’ve heard great things about what he has been doing for NYSCATE – it’s very clear why. Pete presentation style was focused, thought-provoking, participatory and engaging. He closed with the poem, The Way It Is by William Stafford.
  • Monday Afternoon Keynote w/Milton Chen: I’ve been a huge Edutopia fan for a few years now. He shared many things that the GLEF is doing, as well as many examples of types of experiences we should be having kids do. Videos of note were A New Day for Learning and Animal School. Milton gave part of his speaker fee to fund an additional grant for NYSCATE for next year – how awesome!
  • Google’s Cool Tools for Teachers and Students w/Carol LaRow and Tom Short: Carol and Tom presented on many of the tools that Google has come out with. Carol is an author for the Google Lit Trips.

Well, that’s enough for one day – sorry for the amount of writing – just trying to keep up with the amount of information going by…but the good news is the synthesizing posts are starting to form..those couple of thoughts that rise to the top as to what to focus on, what the overall take-aways are.