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My #RSCON11 Take-Aways!

January 12, 2011

January 8th’s New Teachers Reform Symposium was a wonderful learning opportunity for me. Not only was I part of the incredible organizing team, but I also had the chance to attend many fabulous sessions. I’m amazed by how many wonderful and passionate educators out there were willing to spend an entire Saturday learning alongside other educators. It’s been powerfully inspiring to see so many fantastic educators sharing their knowledge and experience. My mind is buzzing with fantastic ideas and things I’ve learned. There was so much information, learning and inspiration to process!

After the 1st Reform Symposium on July 2010, I read this great post by Paula Naugle, where she mentioned she had heard Vicki Davies say: “try to limit your take-aways from a large conference to the top three.” I really enjoyed putting this into practice last time. I must admit it has been incredibly difficult to reduce the choice but, after doing some thinking, I managed to find my three take-aways:

  • It’s the end of education and the beginning of learning” – Alec Couros
  • Let’s get rid of what is not needed and focus more on what is needed. Discipline issues will begin to vanish” – Monika Hardy
  • Student-centered means putting students first!” – Pernille Ripp

I’m also really excited about the New Teacher Mentoring Project. I love the “Pay it Forward” concept behind it. Sharing our experiences, our successes, our failures, is a great way to help other teachers and to contribute with the educational reform. What’s more, mentoring a new teacher is emotionally and professionally enriching. Would you like to mentor a teacher or would you like to have a mentor? Please check out this wonderful project!

Passionate, enthusiastic educators were everywhere! It was so inspiring to see them all together in action! That’s what struck me most about the Reform Symposium – it was a powerful learning adventure in which I had been given the gift to interact with so many exceptional educators. Teachers should build connections with other educators. By collaborating and sharing our experiences we can transform education.

I’ve always thought that passionate and enthusiastic teaching was contagious and #RSCON11 has confirmed this for me! Let’s continue sharing our learning journey… I’d love to hear what you have to say about #RSCON11. Did you have any A-ha moments? What are your take-aways?

20 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2011 7:43 pm

    Great post, Greta!
    Thanks for sharing your highlights…
    Alec Couros´ plenary was one of mine too!


    • January 13, 2011 6:50 pm

      Thanks Vicky! I loved Alec’s session too. It was so inspiring!

  2. January 13, 2011 12:20 am

    Alec Couros was also my biggest take-away (although there were many others)… “transparency is empowering” is one that I’m going to take to heart and put in to action :).

    • January 13, 2011 7:00 pm

      Thanks for sharing that! I love it! I agree with you, there were many other take aways for me too! Thanks 🙂

  3. January 13, 2011 2:27 am

    I loved all of the sessions I attended, including yours! Alec Couros was definitely among my faves; so much to learn and still haven’t digested all of the information.
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • January 13, 2011 7:06 pm

      Aww thanks Joan! I loved your session, it was one of my favorites! You’re such an awesome educator! I agree with what you said, there’s so much information to digest! It was an awesome learning opportunity! Thanks again 🙂

  4. January 13, 2011 9:42 am

    Your enthusiam caught me and I actually attended one lecture. Only one because doing that was crazy enough – Saturday is my only day off! We have school 6 days a week here in Israel!
    It was great though – wrote all about it here:

    • January 13, 2011 7:07 pm

      Thanks Naomi for sharing that! I’m really glad you had the opportunity to attend John Spencer’s session! I agree with you, it was great! I’ll check out your post now! Thanks again!

  5. January 15, 2011 2:25 am

    I very much enjoyed the freedom-of-choice and duration aspects of this online conference! Although I missed the first half of the day’s sessions, I was still able to sit back at my computer for the last half and actively or passively attend the remaining (numerous) sessions. It was a joy and I really hope more opportunities like it spring up this year.

    • January 17, 2011 8:31 pm

      Thanks for your comment Tyson! I’m so glad you enjoyed the conference! Thanks for attending my session too! There will be a great ELT online conference in March: Virtual Round Table: I also know about Connecting Online in February: and there will be another Reform Symposium in July! Hope this helps! Thanks again!

      • January 17, 2011 10:10 pm

        Very glad to hear of so many opportunities. I’ll ensure links to those events are put on both Coursetree’s and TESL Toronto’s websites.

  6. January 17, 2011 7:42 pm

    Hi Greta,

    I’m just coming across your blog now, and it seems that I missed what must have been a great presentation on building culture in the classroom. Being a second-year, first grade teacher, creating that culture is a large focus point for me. I just wrote up a synopsis of my behavior management system at, but right now I’m realizing that I overlooked the culture aspect of the classroom. If you have time, I would love to hear any tips or advice you might have for me and others who read it.


    • January 17, 2011 8:49 pm

      Thanks so much for checking out my blog! Wow, so honored! I’d be glad to help! I’m away on vacation and my connection isn’t really good here. I’ll check out your post as soon as I get back home! We’ll be posting archived sessions on these days! I’ll definitely share the link to my presentation on my blog too. Thanks again! 🙂

  7. Deb Hogg permalink
    January 19, 2011 6:22 pm

    Hi Greta,
    Really enjoyed the Reform Symposium and the learning that happened and continues. I’ve never attended a professional development event before where enthusiasm was served as cake and everyone got to eat some! It continues to astonish me that I could attend from the comfort of my own home and in my pyjamas (it was the middle of the night after all!).
    2011 has started with such an exciting feel. We go back to school at the end of next week to start a brand new year so I am going to load up some of that enthusiasm cake and serve it to the kids I meet! Thanks for all that you do to spread it around. Regards, Deb (@ debhoggoz)

    • January 25, 2011 9:07 am

      Thanks so much Deb! I agree with what you said. I’m still amazed by what happened at #rscon11. I start school again on March 1st, I can’t wait to put new ideas into practice either! Thanks again!

  8. January 20, 2011 2:54 am

    Great take aways! You are right, it is hard to narrow it down to just a top 3!

    • January 21, 2011 10:32 pm

      Thanks Kelly! It was really hard… I’ve learned so much!

  9. December 14, 2011 5:29 pm

    You actually make it appear really easy along with your presentation however I find this matter to be actually one thing that I feel I would by no means understand. It kind of feels too complicated and extremely vast for me. I’m having a look forward for your next publish, I will attempt to get the cling of it!


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