Events like CUE rock star always leave me full. Not just because there was a tasty macaroni and cheese bar at lunch, but because there's so much rich discussion and dialogue that goes on. I feel like every event of this nature should have an extra day built in just for processing. Because tomorrow I have to go back to work and honestly I kind of suck at parallel processing what I learned with the routine tasks of work.
Today, I attended both Jon Corippo and JR Ginex-Orinion's sessions and I loved how both were really focused on the big picture of buy-in and leading change. I have a lot of room to grow in the area of leadership. Thankfully, I'm in a great position in my career to do just that. And I have to admit that the challenge is both daunting and exhilarating at the same time. The focus today wasn't on learning a new tech tool, it was on becoming a better leader. A I ate it up, just like I ate up the mac and cheese at lunch.
If you know me at all, you know that science is the second love of my life (after my husband). I've been released from the classroom this year to deliver all of the district's Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) professional development to everyone K-8. Again, both daunting and exhilarating, right? So, what are my takeaways from this weekend that I'll consider moving forward? Read on!
- Start with Why: I started Simon Sinek's audiobook on my drive home from Texas Tech this summer, but haven't finished it. I need to. It was present loud and clear in this weekend's sessions. If you want people to follow, you'd better start with why, before delving into the how and why. Let me give it a try:
- "So, Holly, why should I care about the NGSS?"
- "Great question! Here's why. I want students to learn how to make sense of the world around them by asking and answering their own questions. And I want them to solve problems and challenges in their lives to better all of society. To do that they need to learn what scientists and engineers know, and also how they work and think. The NGSS are designed to do just that. Would you like to learn more about them with me?" How'd I do?
- The Business of Saving Time: Every teacher will tell you that time is the most precious resource they have. I've heard some teachers say, "I don't have time to teach science." After quelling my rising internal "oh no you didn't!", I acknowledge that you can't teach science, math, history, writing and reading in isolation. Ain't nobody got time for all that! But if that's your predicament, you've missed the point entirely. They belong together like peanut butter and chocolate...or salt and pepper...or Sheldon and Amy. You get the point. I tried to make this a focus last year and I think I was at least partly successful. I will continue to emphasize it again this year. Integrate, don't separate. I also learned a few tips and tricks to make me more efficient and in doing so I'll save myself some time (time likely to be spent doing my own homework because classes start next week)!
- Marketing Matters: It was apparent in Jon Corippo's session that his marketing background makes him a mastermind at putting the "correct" spin on just about anything. It's not just the concept of "start with why", it extends far beyond that. How do I learn more about that? Recommendations? Help!
- How do I find the time to read all of the books that I want to read that were referenced this weekend?
- Why did OCDE schedule classes for the Tier 1 admin program during BOTH Fall CUE and the Annual CUE conference? I don't think I can go a whole year without more CUE-ness. Does anyone know someone who can at least get one of those shifted?
- Most humorous part of the day? When Jon Corippo came up to me at lunch and told me that I needed to apply to be rock star faculty. My response? I did...and you turned me down! Guess I should apply again.
So, I'm full and yet so incredibly hungry for more. And that's exactly what great professional development should do. Thanks, CUE Rock Star for an incredible weekend.