My Reflections on Greatness

IMG_5765I was fortunate last weekend to attend the What Great Educators Do Differently Conference in Chicago.  It was a great weekend from the moment I stepped on the plane due to the fact that I was able to take a mental break from normalcy.  I was able to sit, consume and connect.  This started on the plane ride to Chicago as I read The Energy Bus.  This was the perfect time to read this book for my own personal growth due to the message it provided.  The conference presenter list was like the who’s who of #edurockstars.  Jimmy Casas and Jeff Zoul kicked off the conference with the keynote session led by one of my favorite authors and educators, Todd Whitaker.  I have read many of his books but when it came to hearing him speak in person it truly changed many outlooks I had prior to this conference.  Talk about connections as a side note, at 5 a.m. I had walked into the gym and through no other means of connecting other than Twitter, Jimmy and I were the crazy people that early in the morning hitting the gym (cardio machines only).  We realized post run that we had met via Twitter and I would go onto learn from a great educator during my short time in Chicago.  Throughout the weekend, I was able to connect and start building relationships with so many great educators.  As I sit here on a Thursday evening these conversations with those educators continue.  I have been able to Tweet many of the great presenters that I heard speak over the weekend.  I have received advice and feedback from great educators like Angela Maiers and George Curos (@gcouros).  I especially want to thank George because, like many of the other presenters, who took the time to talk with me, he spent time offering advice about starting a blog to build my online footprint.  He also was very gracious by tweeting out my first blog post and providing feedback.  Below are my reflections about the conference in not particular order and my takeaways from “Great Educators.”  I want to thank them for their time and the learning that they provided everyone that attended.

  • This was like no other conference!  People go to conferences to learn about initiatives and bring them back for implementation.  This conference was learning about connections, both digitally and personally.  There were not initiatives to bring back.  It was more about personal growth and the path to connecting with those you work with.
  • Connections are more than a Tweet, they can be built on 140 characters but are maintained by personal interactions.
  • Jimmy Casa and Jeff Zoul-@casas_jimmy and @Jeff_Zoul
    • The Top 10 Trust Traits
    • The 3 C’s-Communication, Collaboration, and Communication
    • Change is opportunity to something amazing.
  • Todd Whitaker-@ToddWhitaker
    • Good teachers and great teachers are the same.  Great teachers just do things differently.
    • In a great teacher’s classroom every student thinks they are the favorite.
    • 10 for 10
    • Treat every student with respect and dignity every day, all the time.
    • It’s people, not programs
  • Angela Maiers-@AngelaMaiers-Such an inspirational thinker.  I can’t wait to start working on #geniushour with my staff and students.
    • Do my actions mirror my beliefs?
    • Received how you perceived. Reception should equal perception.
    • We need to be our one thing.
    • Courage is the most important habitude none of the other things matter.
    • What is brave?
    • The opposite of courage is comfortability.
    • When your story converts to their story that is when it is huge.
    • “Be” that.
    • Your actions define your impact
    • Embrace vulnerability-My biggest takeaway and something I will strive to do 10 out of 10 days.
  • Dwight Carter-@Dwight_Carter
    • Great educators participate and perform.
    • Take action and attitude. Only two things we can control. Action and attitude.
    • No significant learning without a significant relationship
      • Everyone wants to feel needed

It was a privilege to witness “What Great Educators Do Differently.”


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