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Here for the Kids

Now that I've had some time to reflect on the AASA National Conference on Education, I wanted to share a few takeaways.

  • The theme of the conference was “Here for the Kids” and I felt that throughout sessions, keynotes, and conversations. Our work is grounded in what is best for students. This is a good reminder to keep the main thing the main thing. Stay focused on the students we serve.
  • I appreciated hearing diversity, equity and inclusion mentioned in a variety of sessions and topics. Rather than DEI or Equity being a standalone topic, we have begun to move into equity being a lens through which we view all of our work. Leadership development, school safety, and AI all look a little different when you make sure you view with multiple perspectives in mind. It's still critical that we make sure the voices of all educational partners are heard and visible at the table when we are making decisions.
  • Conferences are as much about connections as they are about new learning. Throughout this conference I ran into a professor from my doctoral program, a leader who interviewed me on his podcast, leaders whose research and or books I've read, people I've followed on Twitter, and new friends. After sharing a comment in one session I had a stranger walk up to me to begin a discussion based on what I shared. As an introvert, I would almost never do that, but I appreciated this person connecting with me as we had a lot to discuss.
  • I appreciated the opportunity to blog for AASA during this conference. I use blogging as a way to reflect and having to do it live, during the conference, and each day, kept me on my toes, taking good notes and thinking about topics over time. I also loved reading the other blogs written during the conference by my colleagues.
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