Wow! I have not blogged, but that is because this conference is awesome and so is this city! I am going to spend a few minutes before I hit the hay talking about this presenter. He did a GREAT job at his workshop I went to today. He was what I needed to hear. As a matter of fact, when it was over I went to the bookstore here and bought his book. I am a sucker for books!! Then, he was sitting in the lounge near the bookstore so I went up to him and asked him to sign it. I told him that his workshop was phenomenal and I loved it. He was like thank you and we sat down and talked for about a half hour. So, if you ever get a chance to hear Raymond McNulty do his presentation on “Educators Have the Power, Let’s Use It!” do not miss it! It is wonderful! I am excited to start reading his book!
Why did I love it? Because he was POSITIVE! That is what I told him! I said it was very motivational and an inspiration! His key points were that we need a growth mindset for educators. Also, where you start is not where you finish! It is about Career Pathways, not just College. The new standards are college AND career ready. We live in a highly imperfect world, surrounded by imperfect people with enormous diversity. YES, he said that. I was like LOVE IT! We are diverse and we need to embrace our diversity. Also, he said that we need to be the agents of change. You can’t build the future using the same “stuff” as yesterday. A key idea he had is that it is going to have to be different before it is better. First different….then better. The problem unfortunately is that people struggle with change. Our biggest challenge is the idea of “status quo”
As teachers, we can’t control the learning anymore. There are many, many ways that students can achieve learning. We need to use the gradual release of responsibility. What kind of education do we need? He said that if you want to educate the next generation of learners we need a hybrid/blended/traditional/online learning model. In other words we need many strategies. Think of individual scaffolded learning. Education needs to be personalized – driven by the student any time, any place. It needs to be engaging, and it needs to be competency based. We need to remove time, and hold our students to a competency. Turn the learning over to the students. Kids have to learn for themselves. If you learn it yourself, your brain will remember it. We want our students to be self learners.
In a nutshell, we have the power! Believe in your students, and believe in yourself! There is too much learned helplessness. We don’t need that. We need to be positive – the kids are counting on us. We need to push the negatives aside and create positive learning environments. Be professionals and make things happen! It is important to have relations with your students and to embrace the learning environment.
A key point that he made was that students are the potential and NOT the problem. YES! I so agree. Our students look to us to help guide them and to give them success. You need to have commitment and passion to do it. A key point he focused on is that if you work with teachers who do not have the professionalism, the commitment, and the passion to do it, to leave them behind. Don’t let them get you down either. Let it Go! One of my favorite sayings!
Can you see why I loved this guy! He was wonderful. Also, he was very friendly when we were chatting afterwards. I have to say that any presenter I heard…. if I had questions or talked to them after, they were great! I did buy this persons book and I can’t wait to read it. I may start reading it on the plane home tomorrow. Which, by the way, I am so going to miss this city. I have loved this conference, this city, and the people. It has been wonderful. I feel like I will go back refreshed. I almost wish this conference was just before school and not right after. But I am definitely motivated and inspired to continue teaching.
I will share more later, but right now it is bed time! While here, I have been exploring the city. Tonight, we went to a Braves game. They lost and it was not like a Yankees game, but it was fun! I have also seen Olympic park, visited the aquarium, and just walked around this city interacting with everyone. It has been wonderful! I will have to spend a few days just thinking and reflecting when I get home. I have a few more sessions to go to tomorrow and then I get back on the planes.