Thursday, July 27, 2017

Just Fine (The song that represents my summer of conferences)

I'm a bit of a procrastinator and so I although I've been planning on writing this post, it wasn't until reading Brenda's latest blog post (@PrincipalMN) and thinking of a song title that represented my summer, did I finally sit down to write.  Of course, I was motivated by the opportunity to get my fav Mary J Blige in a blog post!  So why did I choose "Just Fine" to represent my summer?  Just Fine sums up how I feel after a summer of conference hopping that began on June 30th and ended on July 20, 2017l.

June 30th - EdCampldr in Long Island, New York
I have been a part of the EdCamp Long Island scene for a number of years and have grown my professional network across Long Island as a result.  Although school had just ended a week before, learning never ends! I attended my first Breakout EDU session, sat in on a conversation about Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, and co-facilitated a conversation about Parent Camp.  

#learningisjofyul with Uniondale colleagues. 
 "Having a really good time, I'm not complaining
And I'm a still wear a smile if it's raining
I got to enjoy myself regardless
I appreciate life, I'm so glad I got mine"
"Just Fine" Mary J Blige

July 8 - July 10th, Principal's Conference  - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I attended my first NAESP national conference and walked away feeling a bit perplexed at the mix of emotions I felt after the conference.  On the surface, I had a GREAT time! Socially it was like attending an all-star festival of educators that I've only known through Twitter and Voxer.  Like Jay (@posickj) shared in his blog post: People either get it, or they don't.  The connections that we make via social media can have a lasting impression on our lives as educators.  I also had a chance to spend time with Long Island educators and with a colleague that I had worked with over 20 years ago (even though we work less than 10 minutes from each other).  Below are just a few pics that made #NPC17 such a joyful learning experience! 

Members of #PTCamp Voxer
group since 2014
Former Roosevelt SD Colleague 
Long Island Educators 

At the Crayola breakfast with Todd and Brad
Met Kaylen Tucker! 

I have to admit, professionally and academically I left feeling a bit empty.  Sure I went to some engaging sessions, obtained some useful tips and resources but I can't say my heart and soul was moved as there was no fire that was lit.  It was a bittersweet feeling but I was quickly on my way to the next conference stop and accepted the time in Philly for what it was. 

"No time for moping around, are you kidding
And no time for negative vibes, cause I'm winning
It's been a long week, I put in my hardest
Gonna live my life, feels so good to get it right"
"Just Fine" Mary J Blige

July 11th - July 12th - Learn Fresh All-Star Educator Summit - Denver, Co.
Being selected as an All-Star Educator for this organization was such an honor.  Take a moment to visit NBA Math Hoops and follow the them on Twitter (@NBAMathHoops). My students have been participating for the last 3 years.  Reach out to me if you are interested and would like more information.  NBA Math Hoops is developed and distributed by Learn Fresh, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, in association with NBA Cares. Learn Fresh seeks to eliminate racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps, and ensure that all U.S. students are engaged in school and have a solid foundation in fundamental skills.   

"Feels so good, when you're doing all the things that you want do 
Get the best out of life, treat yourself to something new
It's a really good thing to say
That I won't change my life, my life's just fine"
"Just Fine" Mary J Blige

July 17th - July 20th  - Reimagining Education: Teaching and Learning in Racially Diverse Schools - Teachers College, Columbia University 
Day 1 - Why Reimagining
Day 2 - Racial and Cultural Literacies
Day 3 - Equity Pedagogy 
Day 4 -Culturally Sustaining Leadership

Hold up, wait a minute...a conference filled with All-Star educators that was specifically designed to talk about the promise, potential and brilliance of Black and Brown children?!?! Please, please, please take a look at the conference curriculum and bios of the Speakers that were present and read their research if you are not familiar with them.   Here are just a few tweets and pics from this powerful conference. 

With Kass Minor! 

With Team Uniondale! 

This conference was just what I needed to fill that gap from the National Principals Conference. Socially, as with all of the other conferences, I enjoyed the experience.  But more importantly the work that has been done and needs to be done for Students of Color was front and center.  That is my life's work and that was "Just Fine" for me! 

 "Got my head on straight, I got my mind right
I ain't gonna let you kill it
You see I wouldn't change my life my life's just fine"
"Just Fine" Mary J Blige 

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