At the end of the day I spent some time trying to capture the essence of it.
It was lovely to spend a day out of school with members of my school leadership team. It was an opportunity to connect more closely with them, to talk about all manner of things and to learn. I highly recommend staff participating in workshops in groups, so they can deconstruct together, learn and think collaboratively.
The day was also an opportunity to make new connections. It was great to converse with and learn from teachers in a range of schools and from different backgrounds, to share and compare our teaching and learning experiences.
It was really special to engage in person with educators with whom I have previously interacted only online. In particular, my young friend George Couros, who feels like an old friend! We’ve connected via social media for a couple of years, learning from each other and taking each others’ ideas back to enrich the learning in our schools.
Alec shared many examples of incredible school-wide and worldwide collaborations, highlighting just what’s possible in our connected world. His wonderful 40th birthday video, created by 75 of his ‘closest friends’, many of whom he has never met in person, was a perfect example. My mind was buzzing with possibilities for learners in my school… and in the world.
It was heartwarming to hear Alec and George talk about the influence of their parents on their lives as educators. Their stories resonate for me. My own father was an inspirational educator and it stills thrills me when I meet people so many years later who talk about the way he touched their lives.
The essence of the day was connection. Connections between ideas and practice. Connections between new knowledge and existing thinking. Powerful global connections. Meaningful personal connections…. And the places where all of those interconnect.