Today (4/19/17) began with Mass led by Bishop Murry of the Diocese of Youngstown! He had one of the finest homilies that I have ever heard. It connected very deeply with me for several reasons, and I am glad that I was able to hear it! The music was by the Archdiocese of St. Louis High School chorus and they were fantastic. These masses have been amazing!
My first session was on “Shared Leadership.” In education, there is no way that we are able to go into this field on our own. We need to know when to stop and let those around us to take a position of leadership. We need to trust those who work with us to share their gifts and talents and make the burden on us lighter. Reflect on the why, how, when, who, where, and what! We each have special skills that make the Catholic education system remain strong and we need to utilize all those skills to their fullest potential possible!
During the second session time, I was helping setup for a Lunch and Learn on EdCamps. EdCamps are one of my favorite professional development functions to attend. The Lunch and Learn brought in 120 educators to learn this developing kind of professional development. It was a great opportunity for me to support NCEA and their movement to evolve the EdCamp model into Catholic education.
I then attended a session on how to market a school better and what are some areas to look at to increase enrollment and improve retention of the current students. I know that I found several techniques that I am excited to bring back to my school and share with our committees to help strengthen our school. It is important to improve alumni relations, have a strong social media presence, build community relationships, and look from within to see where gifts and talents are not being fully utilized.
The final session of the day was “Teaching to the Gender Differences.” This session was very good and I know will make me a better educator. Boys and girls learn and develop differently, which means we need to treat them differently. We need to create educational techniques that allow students to create, be hands on, and experience the learning. We can’t teach boys and girls the same way. We need to understand how students develop. This session made me want to do so much to help all my students.
I ended the day with a TweetUp event. As you know, social media has been a huge part of my educational experience. I have found great passion in sharing the stories of my school with educators from around the country and world. This evening allowed me to connect in person with many of these educators that I have gotten to know. Now, I was kind of a celebrity at this TweetUp. People were excited to meet the Social Media Influencer contest winner. While it felt good to be treated this way, it was even more exciting that people are paying attention to the wonderful stories that I am sharing about my school community. Thank you to all of my Tweeps that have supported me throughout my social media experience.
There is one more day of NCEA17! There is one more day of sharing, growing, and learning. I am proud to say that my passion for Catholic education has grown even more during these past 2 days! I know tomorrow will make it grow even more!