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Why I’m Excited for #ModelSchools

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On June 25 I’ll be headed down to Orlando, Florida for the Model Schools Conference, which is the brainchild of Bill Daggett and the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). Last October I was thoroughly impressed by a Daggett presentation, and now I’m even more excited to experience what is one of the most highly regarded conferences of the year.

Here are five specific reasons why June 25 can’t come soon enough:

1. Concurrent Sessions

The conference features over 100 concurrent sessions (plus a whole lot more) over three days. And, the focal point of these sessions isn’t “the stuff” (technology), but rather what “works” and what “doesn’t work” to undeniably move schools forward for the benefit of our students. As the brochure says, “At this year’s MSC [Model Schools Conference], we aim to encourage you to seize this opportunity and, with lessons learned from the nation’s most rapidly improving and trailblazing schools and districts…”

2. Immersion Sessions

These four sessions, which require preregistration, include: Quad D Classroom – from Rookie to Rockstar, Transformational Leaders in Action, Quad D Learning Spaces – Breaking Free from Rows of Desks, and Leading Quad D Teaching and Learning. Personally, the most appealing session is Transformational Leaders in Action, which has a description that reads:

Ideal for both current and aspiring leaders at the building or district level, this high-energy, interactive session will challenge and inspire you with thought-provoking, real-life leadership dilemmas. Attendees will partake in facilitated role-play with the real-time feedback and discussions these dilemmas demand.

3. An Emphasis on Authors/Books

As any reader of this blog knows, I am always searching for the latest and greatest education books. So, I am excited to see that the conference features the authors of some of the books I’ve read, haven’t read, or have been wanting to read. Some of these books include: Digital Leadership, What’s in Your Space?, It’s Not Us Against Them, What Connected Educators Do Differently, RTI Roadmap, Passionate Learners, and Number Talks.

4. Networking Opportunities

I look forward to learning from and networking with other conference presenters and attendees. In looking through the program, some of them include: Joe Sanfelippo (@Joesanfelippofc), Pernille Ripp (@pernilleripp), Tom Murray (@thomascmurray), Nathan Lang (@nalang1), and Eric Sheninger (@E_Sheninger). If you’re not on Twitter (which you should be), all of these educators are definitely worth a follow!

5. District Benefits

While many educators will be attending the conference with teams from their districts, I am traveling solo. Nonetheless, I look forward to documenting and sharing what I learn with others in my district, as the summer will provide us with time to reflect upon the information and possibly plan how we can make use of my experiences and what I learn. Finally, I am hopeful that a group of educators from my district will attend future Model Schools conferences together so we can learn and grow as a team.

A handful of years ago this conference entered my radar, and I’ve been wanting to experience it ever since. Now that I’m a central office administrator, this summer feels like the ideal time to take the plunge, learn from those who have experienced successes, and ultimately leverage my time at the conference to assist in moving my district forward.

Are you going to Model Schools? What conferences will you be attending this summer? What makes a conference great?

Connect with Ross on his blog and on Twitter.


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I am the Supervisor of Instructional Practice K-12 in the Salisbury Township School District (1:1 MacBook/iPad) in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I am an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Google Certified Teacher. My passions are inquiry-based learning and quality professional development. I blog about these topics at rosscoops31.com. Also, I regularly engage in speaking, consulting, and presenting. I have conducted keynotes, speaking engagements, and workshops ranging from 15 minutes to all-day. A list of what I have previously offered, and testimonials, can be found on my blog.

When I am not educating or going to school, I enjoy eating steak and pizza, exercising, reading books, and playing on my computer…Please feel free to connect via email, RossCoops31@gmail.com, and/or Twitter, @RossCoops31.

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