One of the topics that will be covered during the NCEA 2017 in St. Louis will be Best Practices. There are currently 16 different sessions that will be held that will help educators better serve their students. I have 4 sessions that I find would be best suited for my needs. These 4 sessions include Creating a Culture of Academic Excellence; Enhancing the Social and Emotional Maturity of My Students (and Their Parents); Leading a Catholic Professional Learning Community; and STREAM…The Catholic Intellectual Tradition and New Times and New Measures.
Creating a Culture of Academic Excellence is critically important to the academic success of a school. Culture is a driving force in a school and school leaders and educators need to develop a plan that pushes forward the academic growth of a school. Defining what tools and techniques a school already has in place can help assist in the creation of a school plan that achieves academic excellence. Discovering the tools and techniques can also aid a school in defining what academic excellence is and how well it is defined within their own setting. Tools, techniques, and culture will lead a school to academic excellence and this session will greatly assist me to learn how my school characterizes excellence and how our community can build a greater academic culture.
Enhancing the Social and Emotional Maturity of My Students (and their Parents) is an area that really does need to be focused on. Our students are in an ever-changing society with greater pressure on them than in the previous generations. Some students feel that they need to grow older faster than before. We as educators need to learn how to support and help students develop positive decision making skills that will not only allow them to make better choices but also help them with their self-discipline. Educators cannot do this alone though, so we also have to provide parents with the proper techniques that will help guide their student along that growth process. I believe this session will be very helpful.
Leading a Catholic Professional Learning Community is a session that will provide educators with the opportunity to gain knowledge on how to lead a group to grow their faith and academic skills. A professional learning community (PLC) is a group of educators that gather to collaborate on enhancing skills and knowledge of a particular area of the field. Catholic schools face different challenges and blessings that only Catholic educators understand. We need to find ways to support each other within our own buildings and outside of them as well. Learning how to lead a Catholic PLC will be of great interest to me!
STREAM…the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and New Times and New Measures is going to be a session that I know is going to be really important. I have always been a big believer in the idea that the arts, sciences, technology, engineering, and math are all related. The addition of religion into the equation places a strong emphasis on focusing on how God plays a role in providing us with gifts and talents and that we need to share these talents to blossom our education even further. STREAM is going to expand and I would like to be a part of this process within my school. Developing a STREAM curriculum and learning why STREAM is important is going to allow me to advance my school even further down the road to academic excellence.
While these are only a few of the sessions, you can see that NCEA 2017 in St. Louis will provide you with many options to learn more Best Practices. I know that I will become an even better teacher and colleague through attending these sessions. NCEA 2017 will have something for all of you!