Posted by Heather Sullivan on March 25, 2009
Transforming our schools
NJEA’s annual professional development symposium will provide a vision for the 21st century
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “21st century schools”?
Do you think about globalization and the need to prepare students for a world with fewer boundaries that requires a greater understanding of other cultures? Is it schools that are structured around greater collaboration and shared leadership? Are you concerned that your students will need to be more adept in the use of technology as a tool for communication?
It is often said that we must prepare our students for jobs and careers that do not yet exist. Such a task requires a vision of the 21st century and new ways to think about both curriculum and pedagogy so we can truly prepare our students for the future.
That’s the goal of this year’s NJEA Teaching and Learning Symposium, themed “Transforming New Jersey’s Schools for the 21st Century”: to prepare teachers for the challenges of educating students in a rapidly changing society. The third annual event will be held on Saturday, April 25 at the Wyndham Princeton Forrestal in Plainsboro. Registration starts at 8 am; the symposium concludes at 4 p.m.
Keynoter to look at “The Global Classroom”
The symposium will kick off with a keynote address on “The Global Classroom” from Dr. Shari Albright of the Asia Society. The presentation will inform participants about the world in which today’s students will graduate and how different it is from the world in which we grew up. As never before, American education must prepare students for a world where the opportunities for success require the ability to compete and cooperate on a global scale. The globalization of economies, the rise of China and India, advances in science and communications technology, the acceleration of international migration— and the fact that virtually every major health, environmental, and human security challenge Americans face can be solved only through international collaboration — will require our high school graduates to be far more knowledgeable about world regions, cultures and global issues.
Today’s students will be the citizens and leaders of the 21st century, heirs to a world that grows smaller and more interconnected everyday. For the United States to continue to prosper, all students must have the opportunities to learn about other world regions and languages. The world will demand it of them–we need to demand it of our education system.
Dr. Albright is the chief operating officer for Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network and co-author of Going Global. Before joining the Asia Society, Albright was the the principal of International School of the Americas (ISA), a public, internationally focused magnet school in San Antonio, Texas. During her tenure there, she also served as the director of the North East School of the Arts and as a professor of educational leadership with Trinity University.
The Asia Society is the leading global organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States. It seeks to enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of policy, business, education, arts and culture.
Following the keynote, participants will then have the opportunity to choose two of four workshops. All offerings share the common thread of transforming New Jersey’s schools, with a focus on goal setting, creating a collaborative culture, creating global classrooms and using technology in the 21st century classroom.
The day will conclude with a panel discussion featuring workshop facilitators as well as NJEA president Joyce Powell.
Participants to choose two of four workshops
From Information Literacy to Information Leadership will be presented by Will Richardson. Assessing the relevance and reliability of information is a crucial skill for all educators to master and model. But that type of information literacy is only the beginning. With the explosion of information available online, school leaders need to employ successful strategies for finding, managing and communicating what is significant.
Will Richardson is the author of the highly ranked and read edublog Weblogged and author of the book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Formerly a teacher at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, N.J, Richardson was recognized for his use of blogs in the classroom as a “trendsetter in education” by The New York Times.
Richardson is now an independent presenter and owner of Connective Learning, LLC. He promotes the implementation of Read/Write technologies in K-12 classrooms. He is an advocate for school reform that encourages the integration of technology in learning. Richardson was recently named to the National Advisory Board for the George Lucas Education Foundation. He is co-owner of Powerful Learning Practice, a company that delivers job-embedded, year-long professional development to schools worldwide around the pedagogies of Web 2.0 tools.
Teacher Collaboration and Student Achievement will be presented by Steve Barkley. The constant push for higher student achievement for all students is demanding that teaching be a “team sport.” Attendees will examine:
- How teacher collegiality impacts teaching, learning and student achievement
- How schools can promote collegiality\
- Are teachers acting as team members or franchised individuals?
- What is your school’s culture and what are possible strategies for change?
Steve Barkley, executive vice-president of Performance Learning Systems, Inc.,began his career in education 30 years ago as an elementary school teacher. For the past 20 years he has served as a consultant to school districts, teacher organizations, state departments of education and colleges throughout the United States and Canada.
Barkley has designed and conducted training for teachers and administrators at all levels. He has extensive experience guiding districts through the process of school restructuring and site-based management, as well as working with both teachers and students to develop School-to-Work programs.
Barkley has been a keynote speaker and presenter at National Staff Development Council Conferences, state school board association meetings and other national conferences. Recently, he has focused on working with several districts in leadership training, coaching skills and teacher growth.
With the publication of his recent books Quality Teaching in a Culture of Coaching and WOW: Adding Pizzazz to Teaching and Learning, Barkley stands out as an authority on developing and sustaining quality school mentoring and coaching programs. His newest book, Tapping Student Effort: Increasing Student Achievement, has been recently released.
Goal Setting to Transform New Jersey’s Schools will be presented by Ronni Reed. In order to transform schools, teachers need to be collaborative partners in the process of setting SMART goals. This workshop will address the definition of SMART goals as participants explore how they align to district, school and classroom goals, so that all stakeholders are on the same team. Emphasis will be placed on establishing results tied to student learning. Teachers will work in groups to establish SMART goals for themselves. Come prepared with some school initiatives to use for this activity.
A 30-year veteran, Reed holds a B.A. from Temple University in elementary education and an M.A. in counseling from Michigan State University. She is a licensed professional counselor. Presently she works for Monmouth County Vocational School District as the staff development leader. Her responsibilities include coordinating the professional learning of all staff, overseeing the district Professional Development and Mentoring Plans, coaching and training the district’s novice teachers, training the mentors and planning and implementing all the staff training related to the district’s Comprehensive Equity Plan, Perkins funding and NCLB.
Reed is an established workshop presenter, both locally and for the State of New Jersey in education, counseling, professional development and career development areas. She is a past president of the N.J. Staff Development Council. Reed has served on the host committee of National Staff Development Council and the Mentoring Task Force for New Jersey and presently sits on both the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future Task Force and the Alternate Route Advisory Committee. She is also the chair of the Monmouth County Professional Development Board.
Creating the Global Classroom will be presented by Dr. Shari Albright. To transform New Jersey’s schools all grade levels must embrace global education. Learn strategies that will increase your capacity to teach global education in your classroom. Experience the power of “putting the world” into your students’ hands. You will leave this session motivated to infuse international information into your curriculum so you can better prepare youngsters for the 21st century.
Fill out this registration form and enclose a check for $75 payable to “NJEA.” Student NJEA members pay only $30. Remember to circle your two workshop choices. Or register online now. The registration deadline is April 10.
Lunch will be served. Attendees will earn six hours of professional development credit. Participants must attend all sessions to receive a certificate.
If you have any questions, or any special need that may require assistance to permit or facilitate your participation, contact Liz Murphy at 609-599-4561, ext. 2253.
Hope to see you there