October 20, 2012

Engaging Imagination Conference: A huge success!

We just finished hosting a successful conference on imagination in my school district which we called: Engaging Imagination: Hearts, Minds and Learning

I was part of the organizing committee which included 7 members. This was a very exhausting, but also tremendously rewarding experience. Initially we thought that we might get only about 40 people; however we were pleasantly "blown-away" at the interest we received, and we started to contemplate closing the registration as we ended up with over 160 participants and approximately 20 presenters. As I spoke to another teacher at the break she said, "I believe we have reached critical mass," when we were talking about the idea of understanding what it truly means to be a 21st century teacher and how we can best reach and equip our students for this day and age. The answer of course is not just by putting technology in their hands, but by engaging students' imaginations!

I was involved in many aspects of the preparation for the day, such as stuffing envelopes, getting extra chairs from the nearby middle school, making signage for rooms, setting up tables and chairs the night before (thanks also to my colleagues for their help), and figuring out where all the cars were going to park in the morning. More importantly though, I was extremely fortunate to co-present for 2 sessions on the Whole School Project with Dr. Kieran Egan. 

Here are a few "slides" from my presentation on our school's project about the River which we have titled: "Respecting Our River, Embracing Our Space". I think it will explain what our project is about.

I was so thankful for all the kind comments that we received from the participants who attended the conference. Would I do it again? Yes, but maybe I'll rest a little before that. I also presented my own workshop later in the day on how to use imagination to bring laughter and fun into the curriculum by engaging students bodies and emotions with concepts. Look for that in my next post:)

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