Today was a more leisurely day. I "volunteered" to spend some time this afternoon at the pool with the kids that was energizing for me.
The work for the day consisted of presentations by Dr. Michael Fullan and Peter. We have read a lot of Fullan's books and have used his ideas in our work. He shared nine findings from his research over time that they have found to be necessary factors for creating learning communities that successfully increase achievement for all students. He challenged us to rate ourselves in each of the categories as he shared the information. Many of you know that I am very critical about the progress and success of our learning journey and tend to see the glass as a quarter full. I can honestly say that I believe we are doing well in relation to these findings.
Mary Jane had an opportunity to spend some time with Dr. Fullan and said that we are doing much of what he has found to be necessary for the formation of learning communities. He welcomed her to call at any time to continue the conversation. They talked about the need to create change at levels above the district, meaning at the state and national level. I am sure that continuing this conversation can lead to potential support for our journey.
We also had what was called a Marketplace where participating districts could share information and materials that others might find useful and informative. Dawn facilitated this effort and I can say with no bias that ours was the best looking and most impressive collection of material on sustainability. The kids and adults on our team did a great job. Below, Mike answers questions of people visiting our Marketplace.
Today was also about preparing for tomorrow morning's presentation on our sustainability program. At this time Dawn is meeting with our students who all have an active role in the presentation. I have been able to post pictures of two of our students because they have been in the same sessions as me so I have been able to observe them. Tomorrow I will be with all the students and can share with you their contribution to our sharing opportunity.
At lunch today one of our students had the opportunity to be on a student panel in front of all conference participants and answer questions asked by Peter Senge. In the words of one of our other students, "he was awesome." We heard similar comments from others in the room. Sorry for the poor picture quality.