I’m a little behind schedule, but with a few minutes this morning in Maine, I want to share my thoughts on the CIMidwest 17 conference.
It was powerful.
Power was core of this conference.
Now, technically, the theme of the conference was Equity. But by the time the weekend was over, for me, it was about Power.
Bob Patrick was the keynote speaker and his speech may have been the best keynote I’ve heard. Bob is a great thinker, a thoughtful writer, and a gifted speaker. His speech felt like a close personal story. He spoke about his journey as an individual and as a teacher (they really aren’t separate journeys.) I took fervent notes and here are a few of Bob’s “quotes” that truly spoke to me:
“Building human relationships is the most important work that we do.”
“The most important element of any hour that we teach, is the people in the room.”
“Comprehensible, Compelling, Caring”
“Who is NOT in your room…and why not?”
“Use your students’ questions as a portal to make meaning.”
“What if my last nerve is really my next best opportunity to connect?”
And it all came down to the Power we each have to change lives.
And if we acknowledge that Power.
And how we understand that Power.
And how that Power becomes a lens through which we see the world….and our students.
And how we use that Power.
And how that affects the Power that our students do, or do not, have.
Because in the end, the type of Power and amount of Power an individual has impacts his/her ability to be “equal” to others. No Power = No equality. More Power = More privilege.
It was meant to make us ask ourselves questions and to reflect on how our thoughts, our feelings and our actions affect our students and their ability to harness and use Power.
And we carried those questions and continued those reflections throughout the day, with each session that we attended.
The organizers had invited presenters and had scheduled presentations knowing that each had something to offer that would help teachers to continue their questioning and thinking WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, acquiring skills and developing strategies.
Next year’s CI Midwest Conference will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 29. Theme to be announced, but it promises to be another well-organized, thoughtful AND useful opportunity!