For the last few years I have asked annually three times during the school year to attend Alan November’s Building Learning Communities Conference. I would ask in August near the beginning, just before Christmas break, and again in March. Each year I was turned down due to lack of funding. I didn’t overly complain b/c one, it is expensive, and two, I feel the conference concept best benefits a group from the same school or district. It takes more than one person to return and help formulate and then cast a vision. Many of my readers know I changed school districts this year. Again, I began my tactic of asking about the BLC conference. Being new, I had to describe it, share my knowledge of what it offers, and really sell the idea that a collective group could really bring back a lot to share. I spoke to my principal and media coordinator on the district level in August. I planted that second seed in December. Today, before I could nourish my little planted seed, I was told that a a sprout had fomulated as a group from the district office was going (just that it did not include me.) When I expressed shocked indignation (yes, lots of pouting out loud!), I was then told that a few principals around the district are putting together small groups of educators from their schools, and that I should inquire with my principal. My principal is not only supportive of me attending with the groups from the district, she is recommending I take one other teacher from our school–someone who can help cast that vision. I did ask her to go with me, but she feels it should be a teacher. I even (shock, i still can’t believe I did it) suggested that instead of me, she send two teachers who are leaders but not necessarily totally bought-in to 21st Centruy Learning, and she said no, you deserve to go Cathy. W00T!
I am extremely happy. Now our school will totally benefit from this, as will my district. And I really feel no one–not one of us–would be going if I hadn’t pushed it.
So I will have my brain so totally tickled this summer! Here’s how my summer is breaking down:
- June 16-20, 2008: South Carolina Association of School Administrators Summer Leadership Institute, presenting Schools & Dealing with Social Networking, Myrtle Beach, SC
- June 25-26th, 2008: Upstate Technology Conference, Greenville, SC
- June 29-July 2, 2008: ISTE’s NECC 2008 in San Antonio, Texas; presenting with panel of experts on School Library Web 2.0
- July 16-18 , 2008: BLC 2008, Boston, Massachusetts
Yes, my brain will be so totally tickled this summer. Who needs vacations when this much fun & learning can be had?