Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Professionally Developed

Photo taken by @Dshulks
Back to school means lots and lots of time spent being professionally developed.  Meetings.  Speakers.  Articles.  Research.  Data.  Data.  Lots of Data.

It also means my district's annual Welcome Back Day celebration and kick off.  Every year, all the staff in the entire district converge at one of the buildings for a continental breakfast with lots of indulgent breakfast goodies (read: donuts and donuts and donuts) along with the requisite fresh fruit and other healthy ways to start the day.

From this lively breakfast, we descend upon the gym, climb the bleachers (this year, more comfortable thanks to a staff appreciation gift of stadium cushions!) and settle in for a rousing kick off, complete with the requisite "rah-rah" speeches.  Thankfully, the speeches are usually really good.

This year was no different.

What was different, was what came after the yearly spiel.  Our guest speaker.

Three words.

Ah.  May.  Zing.

And inspiring and motivating and entertaining and engaging and resourceful and knowledgeable and humble and enthusiastic and WOW.

Kevin Honeycutt.  If you haven't had a chance to hear him speak, google him.  Now.  Find his YouTube.  Explore his website (yes, it's overwhelming - he, like me, has ADHD.)  It will be worth your time.  Not sure about all of this?

Well.  Let me tell you.  Today's Welcome Back Day was scheduled from 8:00 - 10:30.  From there, we had the rest of the day to head back to our buildings and classrooms and work on getting things ready for day one.

There were two optional breakout sessions with Kevin, one from 10:45 - 12:00, and one from 1:15 - 2:30.  I signed up for the morning session, thinking it would be a treat to work with Kevin in a smaller setting (only 30 people for the breakouts, verses the 650+ at the kick off) and knowing I'd have the afternoon to work.

Photo taken by @mwmedvinsky
Nope.  Not happening.

Instead, I found myself SO inspired, SO engaged, and SO excited to have this time with such an awesome speaker, I stayed.  For the day.  So I was at Welcome Back Day from 8:00 - 3:30.  That's how worth it Kevin's presentations were.  Don't believe me?  Go google him.

Some tidbits from my day....

  • Relationships trump all - make that connection with the un-connectable kid and the impact can be life changing....
  • Kids don't know what they don't know - give them a chance to change the world, you may be surprised at what happens!
  • Value what kids are good at, not what they can't do.
  • Perfection is the enemy of done.
  • Relationship is key - believe in kids, especially when they don't believe in themselves, and maybe, just maybe, one day, they'll start to believe too.

Reflecting on the day (reflection is KEY in learning) I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to spend my day learning with such an engaging, motivating, and meaningful person.  I look forward to connecting again..... and again..... and again!

Photo taken by @mwmedvinsky

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