Originally uploaded by briangrenier
Have you ever been part of a workshop that stretched you and you ended up learning as much or more than you taught? Well my time at High Schools New Face at Holiday Valley in Ellicottville, NY was just such a time for me. It was a wonderful personal learning experience for all that attended.
High Schools New Face: Broadening the Scope of What is Possible
The conference began by streaming the opening. The stream is really good, you can view it here. In addition to the wonderful district and political speakers there is an opening keynote by a student. (A must see).
But my favorite was meeting and watching Monte Selby perform.
I bought two of his books and was delighted to find out that my TLN colleague, Rick Wormeli coauthored both books with him! The two books I bought were: Middle School Matters and Because You Teach.I bought them for the CDs.
If you would like a taste of the songs Monte writes I recorded two with my digital camera. The sound quality on both are pretty good. You can also see them at the end of the stream above.
One of the things that made this conference such a success was the mash-up of content creation and creativity. Pictures that were taken throughout the conference were put in a slide show that was shown.
A comedy troupe performed teacher type humor, musicians performed, movie clips that were created were shared, and the leadership breakfast had a variety of hands-on activities. It set the tone for being creative and truly broadening perspectives. In the conference bags were the traditional t-shirts and booklets but also each participant got an i-Pod shuffle and a flash drive!!
There were iPod stations set up around the conference and even an i-Pod university that attendees could go to to learn more about their gift.
Engaging the 21st Century Teen - The Flippen Group – Bethany Rosebroch
Connecting the 21st Century Teen- Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
Designing a School for the 21st Century Teen - Susan Szachowicz, Maria LeFort &
Joyce Phillips & Team
Personalizing for the 21st Century Teen - Monte Selby & Tony Limoges
Leading the Way - Neil Rochelle & Bonnie Smith
Here are the photos I took in my Flickr stream.
Never Met a Stranger
I have been told that I never meet a stranger and to some extent that is true. I warm up to folks very quickly. But I met a group of educators who put me to shame in terms of being able to make someone feel like family immediately. Seeing I had always heard that New Yorkers were less than warm and friendly, I found this to be so exciting!
I come in to the hotel in between workshops sessions. As I went to go to my room, I notice that there are two of the principals I had sat with at the leadership breakfast siting in the lobby. I walk over to say hello. They invite me to sit with them a minute. The minute turns into an hour of the most lively conversation. We talk about demographics, race, educational reform, and my coming to do an inservice in their district. Then they invite me to dinner with their school team as their guest. What a delightful group! We ended up making plans to go see Niagara Falls before I returned to Va Beach. The plans were canceled due to weather, but the point is that they asked me to go! I had never felt so honored and welcomed by a group of educators who I had only met a little while ago. Amazing!
It was a great conference and I learned a great deal, made some new friends, shared some of what I know, lost a lot of sleep and birthed a few bloggers! Thanks Will Richardson and Neil Rochelle for recommending me and Gail Hirst for having me. Feel free to contact me anytime!