Connections at #ConnectEdCA


Well. it’s the end of day 2 of the ConnectEd Canada conference here in Calgary.  Today, I had the privilege of connecting with some great and caring educators from all over Canada.

I had the honour of leading one of the conversations that occurred today.  I entitled it, “How do you Connect with your Community?” The notes for the session are posted in this Google document.  Thank you to the participants in the session for adding their comments to this document.  Also, thank you for sharing your expertise.

My goal for the session was to talk about ways to connect with your school community.  I showed my personal blog and twitter account and also the blog and twitter account that I developed for my school.  We had a great conversation about ways to communicate and connect.  We talked about the importance of two-way communication.

A few remarkable things happened during the session.

Nick, who was my student host at the Calgary Science School became involved in our discussion.  He was able to share his point of view and was able to field a few questions.  Little did I know that Nick was having a conversation with one of the adult participants in the Google document…check it out.

Also, there were some obstacles with some of the technology.  As a group, we were quickly able to iron out the problems.  Hey, this was supposed to be a session about connections…not technology.  Then it hit me.  Katherine, who attended the session, was having issues with Google documents.  This was preventing her from being an active member of the discussion.  What it took was someone to sit beside her and make sure that she was ok…making a connection!

Mark Scharenbroich (one of my mentors…I spoke about him in the session) speaks about Acknowledging, Honouring, and Connecting.  In my work in schools, I have always tried to create connections.  Connections between people, departments, teams, clubs, etc.  These connections are made by first acknowledging and then honouring.

The most significant things that I learned/reinforced through the conversations in the session today…wait a minute…I was leading the session, I’m not supposed to be learning stuff!?!  <sarcasm>

  • Connecting with your community looks different in different places – what works in one school will not necessarily work in another.
  • All of us are smarter than one of us.
  • Talk to the members of your community – what do they need? What are they comfortable with? What tools will work best?
  • Decide what you want to teach and then decide how you are going to teach it.
  • The teacher is the lead learner.
  • Everyone has something significant to share.

I am looking forward to Day 3 tomorrow.


About Derek Hatch
Principal in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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