Two weeks ago I spoke at the #140 Edu conference on meaningful parent engagement in the schools. I had never been to a #140 conference and now I’m a huge fan both of the conference and of Jeff Pulver, the organizer, ring leader and all around fantastic guy behind the conferences. Every presenter has a short time span – 10 minutes – to talk about their topic and share their ideas with the audience and it runs straight through except for one brief lunch break. Held at the 92nd Street Y one of the really fun and unexpected parts of the event was hanging backstage in the green room, which is lined with pictures of all of the famous people who have spoken at the Y like Bill Clinton, Barbara Walters and many more.
Being among so many wonderfully passionate and excited education advocates from across the education debate, across fields and even professions was exhilarating. The conversations in the outer lobby were just as rich and rewarding as the presentations going on in the main auditorium.
I want to thank Jeff Pulver for putting together an incredible conference focusing on education and opening it up to teachers for only $1.40. And to Chris Lehmann, Principal and Founder of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia – a truly inspirational, creative and successful PUBLIC (not charter!) high school in Philadelphia. As a hardcore New Yorker it was heartbreaking to me that Chris left the NYC schools to go back to Philly to start this remarkable model school. I may have to move to Philly when my girls are 13 so they can go there. Meeting Chris simultaneously gave me hope for the future of public schools and made me despair at the lack of visionary and truly effective leaders in our schools. But, that’s a post for another day.
You can check out my full presentation below – and the panel I moderated on parental engagement at SLA with Chris and parents from the school too. Then mark your calendars for July 31 and Aug 1st, 2012 for the next 140Edu conference. Also a huge thank you to Beth Blecherman, AKA Techmama, who gave me an entire email of tips for speaking at the 140 conference – chief among them: have tweetable soundbites. Simple and brilliant.