Three hundred Edmond Public Schools teachers gave up two days of their summer to attend a professional growth conference this week.
The Edmond Public Schools Leads conference focusing on unlocking potential was underway beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center and concluded on Wednesday afternoon.
Superintendent Bret Towne welcomed the educators, “These two days will be packed full of new ideas, new perspectives and new challenges. I feel confident you will leave this conference with more instructional tools and with a deeper desire to put students first. We never want to lose sight of our five instructional pillars: Creativity, Collaboration, Choice, Inquiry and Reflection. You will find these pillars woven throughout the conference as our core instructional foundation.”
Angela Grunewald, associate superintendent of Educational Services, added, “Unlocking potential begins with you. It is more than just uncovering a hidden talent in a student or restoring hope in a student who has abandoned all efforts letting apathy rule. It is the potential to step up and be a leader in your PLC team even though you have only been teaching a few years.”
She said the goal of the conference is for the teachers to step out of their comfort zone and allow the students to have choice or let collaboration among students spark new ideas.
Conference keynote speakers were Adam Welcome and Baruti Kafele. Welcome is a principal and director of innovation, co-founder of Kids Deserve It, and author of “Run Like a Pirate” and “Empower Our Girls.” Kafele is a fomer principal, a prolific writer having written 10 books, a master teacher, and a “transformational school leader.” He is considered an expert in the area of attitude transformation and has conducted or delivered more than 1,000 conference and program keynotes, workshops, seminars and assemblies.
A variety of breakout sessions provided topics based on High Impact Pedagogy, Learning Artifacts, Researching All Learners, Research & Writing with Inquiry, and STEM. Also part of the conference was a Stem Playground, complete with interactive hands-on technology tools, devices and accessories. Teachers were invited to “hop, skip and jump through the equipment” and ask the experts what is the best match for their students’ needs.
Towne said, “As a district, we are committed to providing for our teachers high quality professional development that is relevant to today’s classroom. You will see this commitment throughout the conference from the quality of keynote speakers, to the engaging and informative breakout sessions, to the details in planning that occurs behind the scenes.”
Edmond Public Schools specialists and consultants also were on hand to aid with any questions or needs with curriculum, instruction, and technology.