The Exhibit Hall at the 68th Annual ASCD Conference – courtesy ASCD
What a busy day! What does 10, 000 teachers, over 400 workshops, and a facility that rivals any college campus all have in common? Of course the ASCD 68th Annual Conference! On Saturday, March 15th, I traveled from sunny Atlanta, Georgia to attend my first conference hosted by the the ASCD in cold Chicago, IL. I was at first was at first worried if I would even arrive on time due to my flight being rescheduled (then hastily scheduled back to the original time ). I luckily made the flight and was greeted by our Assignments Editor, Cari Harris , at the bustling O’Hare Airport.
As I arrived to the conference I was immediately overwhelmed with the sheer enormity of the site and the amount of educators here to engage in learning about our profession. Immediately I was greeted by volunteers who were able to direct me to anywhere I need to be. The first general session was given by Freeman A. Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland in Baltimore County. His thoughts about educating children in the 21st century were an inspiring way to start the conference. This was followed by Kevin Kumashiro, the Founding Director Center for Anti Oppressive Education in Chicago, IL. His session, entitled “Bad Teacher! How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture,” provided common sense answers to the ways to reframe the way the education community talks about education so that the public conversation can shift from blame to what really can bring change.
In addition, we had the great opportunity to interview one of the recipients of the 2013 Outstanding Young Educators: Joshua Garcia, Deputy Superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools in the state of Washington. It was refreshing to listen to someone who really believed in empowering teachers to be the leaders in schools. Cari will have more on our interview in a separate article.
By the end of the day, I was exhausted – but it was a good exhaustion as I closed my eyes on the bus back to the hotel. As I was wrapping my day up at a Chicago classic, Lou Mannnati ‘s, eating classic deep dish Chicago style pizza, I felt renewed! Now it’s on to day 2!