As I prepared for the National Conference on Education this year, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I have to fly all the way across the country from Vermont to California and to make the trek on Tuesday. As the full conference starts on Thursday, that decision allowed me to look at the pre-conference sessions and dig in deeper to an area of interest!
Please understand, I love the general format of the conference, with dozens of breakout sessions, workshops, thought sessions and keynotes to choose from. My head is always swimming (and my suitcase is stuffed with materials) when it is time to head home again. However, I have often felt I was missing out on some of the deeper topics by waiting to arrive the day before the opening sessions. Thus, this year, I took a look and made a decision to dive in deep.
Pre-conference sessions are generally 4 or 5 hour sessions the afternoon before the opening day. This year, topics include innovative practices for improving student performances, closing equity and achievement gaps, the Happiness Advantage, transforming your district based on a graduate profile, improving secondary schools and, the one I chose: NESLI Advanced Women's Leadership Program.
I have often wanted to attend the AASA conference for women each year, but seldom feel I can leave the district at that particular time. Next week, already being out of the district, I will get a chance to join other female district leaders and reflect upon my leadership as a female in what is still traditionally a male world. It is my hope to walk away with new insights and tools to improve my leadership and to bring those insights and tools back to my district, where I can make a difference.
If you get a chance this year, look at the pre-conference sessions and decide on one to dive deep into! For a nominal additional fee, the content is rich and your attention is captured without adding more time away from your schools.
See you in L.A.!