Conversations

During each of the six breakout sessions throughout the weekend, a large number of conversations will take place. This site will help you organize your plan for the weekend and provide the relevant information for each conversation. After signing in, search through the conversations below and mark the sessions you are interested in to populate your personal schedule on the right (or below if on your mobile phone).

Building the Middle Schools We Need: The Story of one 8th Grader’s Accidental Preparation for Freshman Year at SLA

Session 1
Kevin Jarrett

This is the story of Justin S. (SLA class of 2021) and how a transformational 8th grade year at a public middle school in South Jersey prepared him for life at 22nd & Arch. Justin and one of his 8th grade teachers, Kevin Jarrett, will explore how Mr. Jarrett’s Design Thinking-based program, “Digital Shop,” and the school’s Edcamp Period disrupted Justin’s educational worldview and helped form his identity as a young adult in charge of his own learning.

Civility and Citizenry

Session 1
Diana Laufenberg

In the spirit of this year's theme, I'd like to spend some time investigating the role of civility and citizenry as it contributes to the sustainability of a learning community. We are, as a society, ever more connected and informed. That connection and information seems, though, to be having an interesting impact on our ability to civilly interact with other citizens. What role does a learning community play in developing these skills? What projects, programs and school norms are successfully infusing civility and citizenry into the school experience? How does technology both hinder and help the situation?

FACE-ing the Facts: Building Community through One-on-One Conferencing

Session 1
Tom Jones

One-on-one, face-to-face interactions between teachers and students have a demonstrated track record in improving student autonomy and growth, but it can be difficult to manage them with all of the other responsibilities that teachers face within a class period. In this session, we’ll consider how to incorporate these individual student conferences into your daily routine. You’ll leave our time together with concrete ideas on what to say to students in these meetings, how to track student progress, and when to use your findings to alter instructional decisions.

First, do no harm

Session 1
Laura Thomas

How can out-of-district consultants, coaches, and PD providers do a better job of serving teachers? What can they do to change the Death By Professional Development paradigm among teachers? Why are they still a necessary part of a balanced professional learning "diet?" What if we change the narrative around outside expertise in professional learning?

Race, Policing, and Student Agency

Session 1
Rusul Alrubail, Kelly Wikham Hurst, Shana White, Laura Thomas, Valencia Clay.

How can they expect to rebuild their communities when the experience of living in those communities is so hostile? Is it possible to instill (surface? reinforce?) a love and respect for the place that "made" you, while also recognizing and hating the things that made it a difficult place to grow up?How do we deal with the impact that police brutality, racism, and systemic inequity has had on our students' agency, voice, and existence? How do we come together to provide solutions, support, and resources to tackle these difficult questions?

Reimagining School Writing: Literacy, Agency, and Voice

Session 1
Joshua Block & SLA Students

There is a sad truth about the way that most students learn to write: They become boring writers. To write with clarity and insight involves struggle (regardless of age). When faced with this challenge, many students are taught to detach from content, to analyze with sterile language, and to develop ideas within a narrow formula. In this conversation participants and SLA students will share ideas and strategies to make school writing focus on reclaiming the joy and power of developing a unique, insightful writing voice.

So You Teach a Trans Student. Now What?: Fostering a Healthy Dynamic Between Teachers & Transgender Students

Session 1
SLA Students and Zoe Siswick, SLA Counselor

SLA counselor and students will lead information and Q&A sessions on life as transgender students. This session will include tips on appropriate terminology, a teacher's role, managing different home dynamics and navigating the professional world. Bring lots of questions! Note: this session contains especially sensitive topics. Please have an open heart and mind. If you have specific questions to ask or topics that you would like to have addressed, feel free to email zsiswick [at] scienceleadership [dot] org prior to attending.

SPOC Squad

Session 1
JoJo Farrell

A major obstacle that prevents the integration of new technologies in schools is managing the tech infrastructure. There are frequent opportunities for off-site professional development. The onsite support is where many schools get stuck. SPOC Squads are taking a new approach to PD in NYC Public Schools. Join them to discuss how.

The Language of Learning Space Design

Session 1
David Jakes, Karina Ruiz

Words matter. And how we combine words together in a language that supports the development of next generation learning spaces is essential for the design of spaces that make a difference for kids. Join us to begin developing an understanding of the vocabulary of design, and how you can use a new language to inform the creation of learning spaces that matter.

Three Questions

Session 1
Gary S. Stager Ph.D.

Mythopoeic theory suggests that you teach based on a personal myth about how learning occurs. When terms like genius, revolution, transformation, and reform get tossed about, it's worth taking a deep breath to clarify basic beliefs about learning, teaching, and educational progress. We will explore three essential questions for educators.

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