This is my fourth time in Memphis attending Lausanne Collegiate’s Laptop Institute conference. The first time I came with one other teacher, the second time I came alone. Last year I was able to convince school and district admin that more teachers needed this experience, and we ended up with nine staff members attending.
This year is special however. Last fall I received an invitation for Nashwaaksis Middle School to be the 2009 Spotlight School at LI. This would mean a lot of commitment – both financial and human – from our admin and staff. We gladly accepted. It’s a $20,000 ticket for our school, with funding coming from a variety of sources – to whom we are very grateful. But more than that, our teachers made a huge professional commitment to prepare presentation proposals, make arrangements, get their presentations together and deliver the goods here in Memphis.
As we start day 2 of Laptop Institute, I couldn’t be more proud of our staff. I’ve been doing this conference presentation gig for quite a while now, but I do recognize that, for many teachers, there’s nothing more scary than laying yourself on the line to your colleagues. Many were nervous – very nervous. But from everything I heard and saw yesterday, they rocked – absolutely hit a home run!
Like a proud dad, I am just as excited about what this will mean for them and, by extension our school and, most importantly, our kids! Their professional growth as learning leaders will be incredible. While I would have stacked our staff up with anybody, anywhere, I can already see another huge shift in ideas, motivation and skills. I can’t wait to get back to school.
Touch em all guys! Just a few more innings to go today.