As I write this, I am making the best use of my time during a substantial layover en route to Atlanta. Though I am tired and my body isn’t sure exactly what time it is, I had such an enjoyable experience the four days that had the opportunity to spend in Hawaii presenting and learning at the Hawaii International Conference on Education. First of all, the complimentary breakfasts were DELICIOUS. (Be honest, free food excites you too.) Beyond the great food that provided a brief culinary taste of Hawaiian cuisine (for example, banana apple fritters), the people who descended upon this conference were so friendly. Then again, all of the Hawaiian people I encountered were also very warm and friendly. I guess it isn’t too hard to be nice when the weather and sights are so breathtaking.
Some of the standout sessions I was able to attend included titles such as:
- P-20 Collaboration and Instruction Practices: Enhancing Teacher Preparation in Georgia, by Vicki Luther of Mercer Univeristy;
- Indigeneity: What is it and Why is it Important for School Leaders, by Dr. Ijeoma Ononuju of Northern Arizona State University;
- Recruit, Retain, & Respond: Addressing the Elephant in the Room-The Teacher Shortage, by Kelly Olson-Stewart and Michael Stewart of Ashford University; and
- Decoding Disney: Translating Imagineering Tricks into Teaching Strategies, by Mick Charney of Kansas State University.
It was so refreshing to see such an expansive array of topics being discussed and researched. Furthermore, I found that there were a number of sessions that did not stray away from touching soft spots in education, more specifically the national (and international) teacher shortage as well as the importance of strong teaching practices (a.k.a. pedagogy) as more learning goes digital.
Without a doubt, I know that I will be able to translate and repackage this information to share with my Cobb County colleagues. Furthermore, I am excited to see what national and international partnerships teachers within the CCSD can form with educators and researchers I met while in Hawaii.
I’ve gotta admit: I am really excited to have started the year with such great information that I can’t wait to share with you as well.