On Friday, June 26, educators from across the world joined at Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the inaugural Tomorrow’s Classroom Today Conference. The conference featured sessions led by many great educators, as well as Keynote addresses by Jerry Blumengarten and Rich Kiker.
Below are my takeaways from the event:
1. We are preparing students for a future that is very different than what we see in many classrooms. Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1) started the event with a keynote address where he asked those in attendance, “How do we prepare students for jobs that don’t yet exist?” We must change instruction and learning to give students the necessary skills to succeed in tomorrow’s world. Continuing to teach students with outdated methods and strategies harms not only their chance to succeed, but also takes away an intrinsic love of learning.
2. With so many educators out there now reflecting and blogging, it is important to share your message in a way that appeals to readers. According to Meghan Everette (@bamameghan), who blogs for Scholastic, readers will decide in 3 seconds if they will continue to read a blog post. In order for great ideas to be shared, we must present those ideas in ways that are easy for others to read about.
3. Think beyond what is possible. Rich Kiker (@rkiker) led a spirited lunch session keynote and talked about moonshot thinking. We must think about what is 10x currently possible in education. We must think about what tomorrow’s classrooms will look like. Start by thinking about your students in your classroom. How can you challenge students to go beyond what you normally expect of them? How can you increase their capabilities to exceed in a world that requires 10x thinking?
4. Quest Based learning can provide meaningful and authentic tasks for students. Steve Isaacs (@mr_isaacs) shared methods for infusing quest based learning, and providing choice to engage students. (Click here for a link to another post about the importance of student choice.) By allowing students to choose a learning path and various tasks to reach a specific goal, we allow students to experience a productivity that makes them feel successful in their learning.
5. As an educator, you are a child’s greatest hope. When choosing between sessions today, I tried to read the session descriptions to see what I might be interested in. I stumbled upon Nick Proud’s session, “Don’t Shy Away from Greatness” because of the title. As the last session of the day, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I am glad that I attended, as the session proved to be the most inspiring session I attended all day. Nick (@nick_proud) talked about the importance of matching a school’s motto/vision to the actual education that students receive on a daily basis. We must remember to set the bar high for all students and teachers, while continuing to focus on what is most important in our schools: students! How can we ensure that we are giving our best to students every day? Start by creating a culture that makes everyone run into your building on a daily basis!
Thank you to all of the wonderful educators who shared at the Tomorrow’s Classrooms Today conference! I continue to become a better educator for having participated in the shared experience. I can’t wait to attend next year!