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Almost Famous at ASCD

March 27, 2011

Accomplished California Teachers is all about teacher leadership, and I’m please to say that we are present and accounted for here at the ASCD 2011 Annual Conference.

And hat’s off to the folks at ASCD for allowing bloggers to have “press” passes – access to all the sessions, and a nice, quiet place to sit and write (with the laptop plugged in).

So what have we ACT members been up to?

Jason Buell and Alice Mercer are both ACT members and bloggers, seen here in the press room getting ready for press/blogging action on the first day of the conference.  Jason has been writing some great posts on specific sessions, and his perspective means it’s not just a report of what happened, but it’s got the “value-added” from his classroom expertise.

Dave Orphal and Alice Mercer interviewed Luis Torres a little later in the day (at left).  Torres, the principal of PS 55 in the Bronx, NY, was one of the this year’s winners of an ASCD Outstanding Young Educator award.

Taking it to the next level, Alice Mercer has been webcasting from the conference.  Earlier this morning she grabbed another ACT member and blogger, Larry Ferlazzo, and interviewed him at the Eye on Education booth where folks are taking an interest in Larry’s new book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves.  I walked up to see how it was going and found myself taking part in the conversation as well.

I also enjoyed meeting ACT member and blogger Darlene Pope.  We’ve been in contact for a while, and Darlene has been one of three ACT members engaged in an ongoing education policy roundtable in Southern California, convened by State Senator Carol Liu.  Darlene and I were lamenting the relatively poor showing at ASCD by California educators and presenters.  Not the first time I’ve had this feeling at a national conference.  Is it a sign of east coast bias in our organizations, or a symptom of California’s failure to encourage professional development?  Darlene might be blogging about that topic later – stay tuned.  But in the meantime, I’m pleased to say that Accomplished California Teachers is representing at ASCD.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2011 8:45 pm

    Thanks for the kind words David! I feel like I fell flat on getting to sessions with all the Webcasting. Nice to know I can read about them on your blog and Jason’s!

  2. strategicteaching permalink
    March 29, 2011 11:23 am

    It was good to meet you as well. A lot to process and link together, valuable time at ASCD 2011. Thanks for the mention


  3. April 1, 2011 8:44 am

    Could it be that ASCD was scheduled at a time when California teachers were all busy teaching?
    From the descriptions I’ve seen by bloggers, it didn’t seem to me that ASCD was worth the time away from the classroom.

    Attending conferences is mainly a chance to meet other people doing interesting things, but I didn’t get the impression that was happening much at ASCD. Perhaps the blog coverage is not helping sell the idea of the conference.

    • David B. Cohen permalink*
      April 1, 2011 2:53 pm

      I think the conference overlapped with spring break for some teachers, but I’m not sure how much that helps, either, as that break might be time for family travel more than work-related travel. Time away from the classroom would apply to the pre-conference workshops or the last day of the conference. The first two days were a weekend.
      As for the conference “reviews” on blogs, it may depend on whose work you read and what they attended. I’d be careful about generalizing regarding the whole conference: for any given time slot, there may have been anywhere from twenty to fifty options, so it’s hard to get a handle on the whole affair from a single perspective. Some people I talked to at the conference suggested that with that many offerings, there’s bound to be some drop off in quality. I can’t entirely disagree – there were a few wasted hours there. It also depends whom you ask. I had friends come away from the same session with totally divergent views on it (I wasn’t there). But on the balance, in my three days, I came away with good information and experiences that I think will promote better practices at my school and in my district.

  4. strategicteaching permalink
    April 2, 2011 6:38 am

    @gasstationwithoutpumps I attended an blogged about this conference and took away from it quite a lot. Unlike some conferences it was not one for those who wanted nuts and bolts or things to do in the classroom the nex day. Although there was some of this I found the conference more of a chance to reflect and think about why I do what I do. It also served as a vehicle fir me to hear the voices of a wide spectrum of educational leaders. I came away energized and inspired. I hope to attend next year.


  1. Report: ASCD Conference In San Francisco | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

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