Reflecting on #RSCON3 Day 1

Wow, it’s been a long and tiring day, but an incredible day nonetheless. I’m sure I have plenty of company when I say that Day 1 of the Reform Symposium Conference was tremendous. I was able to meet some educators brand new to me (and reconnect with some old friends), attend some inspirational, informative, and interesting sessions, and make the first presentation of my career. Let’s recap.

We started off the day with an organizers round table. Their passion carries this conference and I was reminded as they spoke why they are some of the most influential people in our PLN.

From there, I listened to the Timo and Aki share the framework of the Finnish school system, all the while marveling at how different is from that in the United States. We had the opportunity to ask questions of a Finnish student who provided his own insight into life as a student in what is regarded as the best system in the world. As Shelly Terrell asked at the outset, “Where else are you going to get this opportunity?” Shelly, I think the answer is, “Nowhere.”

I attended sessions from John Spencer and Deven Black and took something from both of them. I didn’t make it into Kelly Tenkely’s keynote because I was preparing my own presentation, but I know the #RSCON3 hashtag was abuzz throughout.

I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to present alongside Pernille Ripp. She is a wonderful person to collaborate with and has an unflappable can-do attitude. I’m very proud of what we accomplished together and very thankful to her for helping me grow both as an educator and a presenter. I was really happy to see people saying they liked our ideas and were considering ways to bring them into their classroom. It was our goal to inspire people to work together like we did, and I’ll reiterate here that if I can help anyone, I’m happy to. Just ask.

After our presentation, I went into Kathleen Morris‘ talk about global blogging with her young students and jumped in as a guest moderator (perfect practice for the real thing tomorrow). She left me with lots of tools for blogging with students, which is important because I definitely want to bring blogging to my students this year.

I was also inspired to reconsider my mother’s idea of using the picture book version of Flat Stanley so my students could participate in the Global Read Aloud, so I went to the library to find it and begin planning.

So many wonderful ideas were exchanged today, it’s impossible for anyone with a pulse to not walk away with something. Tomorrow is another full day of learning, and I look forward to seeing many of the same people I saw today and enjoying some more wonderful presentations!

Leave your favorite experiences from Day 1 in the comments! Looking forward to reliving them with you!


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