Teacher Conferences & New Passions

Every year, our fabulous administration invites us to an amazing teaching conference that is local.  This year, it was focused on instructional leadership in the classroom.

We heard from some fabulous individuals, both those in the education and in the business field.  Two of the people that really inspired me were Daniel Pink and Ron Clark.  Daniel Pink is a business analyst that studies corporations and analyzes their level of success compared to the motives that the company uses to achieve such success (or the lack thereof).  It was fascinating to learn that as teachers we often bride our students constantly with IF-THEN statements: If you do this, then you'll get this.  While there is a place for such motivators, we are actually doing our children a disservice.  We are taking away intrinsic motivation, and, therefore, ruining their love of learning in some cases.  If you want to read more, check out one of his books!  

Now, the other presenter that was hands down phenomenal was Ron Clark.  If you've heard anything about the Ron Clark Academy, South Texas's IDEA Academies, or the KIPP Charter schools, you probably know a thing or two about this high energy, passionate educator from North Carolina.  The man has transformed education with his kids.  He makes it fun, and instills serious manners into his students.  His ability to make school fun isn't filled with class points, rewards, stickers, etc.  He follows through to a T with every single one of his policies, even if it means that not every student ends up getting the cookie for their hard work.  He also addressed that we need to be very cautious that we are not raising a generation of soft students by giving them the reward regardless of their effort/performance.  Amen my friend.  I've only read a snippet of his books, but I'm already addicted.  I have secured copies at the local library and I. Am. STOKED!  He is at the top of my professional learning idols, up there with Kelly Gallagher.  I'm so excited to sell the idea to some other teachers who weren't at the conference.  It's going to make next year exciting and wonderful, just like this year was.  Here are his three books!  If you've read them, leave a comment with your thoughts/ideas!  I'd LOVE to hear from you!  Happy teaching and reading!

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