If you are a thought leader in education, or want to help your team to become better thought leaders, this post is rich, free, easy professional development for all! Send it along to team members and suggest they start following the blogs and tweets of people in this post and they will immediately be linked to some of our best educational minds, not talking heads, but people like them who are in the trenches day-to-day, who share how and why they are transforming the K-12 learning experience. I know this is going to sound like a society page article, but it is not. Developing thought networks and connections is key to innovation and these are great people to be connected.
It was a rich two days in Philly this week at the annual NAIS conference. I never look forward to school meetings more than when I know I can have dinner with Bo Adams and Jill Gough, two of the most fertile, articulate minds in school innovation today. We were joined at dinner by Holly Chesser who writes and works for the SAIS; her articles are always clear, compelling, and cover a wide range of topics on educational innovation. Lee Burns, is head of Presbyterian Day School, author, and one of the truly courageous leaders of American education. I presented with Jamie Baker of the Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence, and I got to hang out in the Martin booth with educational icon John Hunter and talk about the World Peace Game. As I tweeted last week, if you have not seen at least the short clips of the World Peace Game movie on YouTube, you have not seen the face of what education can be. Do your team a real favor and contact Jamie at The Martin Institute and get a copy of the award-winning movie to show your faculty; it sets a new bar for all of us. In addition to Jamie, I presented with Jason Ramsden of Ravenscroft and Don Buckley of The School at Columbia, two of our most respected innovators in classroom transformation, design thinking, and educational technology. Attendees included Josie Holford from Poughkeepsie Day School and Doris Korda from the Hawken School.
At the annual dinner hosted by educational architects Lake/Flato, I sat next to another icon, long-time head of the Cranbrook Schools Arlyce Seibert who told me in no uncertain terms that my book “would not be published without first coming to visit Cranbrook”, and I look forward to that visit! Nishant Mehta, who will soon be joining the rapidly innovating Atlanta school scene as head of the Children’s School, spoke on how leaders bring about change through elevating those around them. Suzie Boss, Brett Jacobsen, and Jonathon Martin, three of the most powerful voices in our business today teamed for a session loaded with practical advice for aligning vision and action. Ken Kay, Chris Thinnes, and Bill Taylor, gave examples of how the EdLeader21 model is helping schools and districts to focus their innovation strategies. I talked to Peter Baron and Travis Warren at Whipple Hill and talked about some ideas I had for adding new capabilities to their LMS. I finally got to meet Greg Bamford face to face; he is providing workshops in design thinking and has teamed up with Carla Silver and the Santa Fe Leadership Center led by Carla Silver.
And I just saw this link forwarded by Jonathon Martin: Tom Little, Head of Park Day School in Oakland is on a tour of progressive schools around the country right now, and you can follow his blog to add to the list of schools I visited on EdJourney.
I met with and talked to many others, and huge thanks to the more than 200 folks who came to listen to my first major report on my trip around the country last fall. And thanks to those who reported on my talks via Twitter. (For those who still think Twitter is for sharing social minutiae, start following some of the people I have listed in this post and you will be linked in to rich sources of up-to-date learning and professional growth.) It was great to see so many new colleagues I had met on my trip, and I was asked to come to a couple more schools to work with leadership teams in the coming months.