The ABCs of the NAESP Conference

By Kimberlyn Pratesi

Attendees of the NAESP Conference have left the halls of the Baltimore Convention Center and made their way home, recharged and ready to return to their work. To celebrate of a great week of learning, I’ve captured the essence of attendees’ final comments in something I’d like to call Conference ABCs.

At the conference, I found:

Affirmation of how hard, but worthy our job is;

The Bookstore, which provided access to awesome resources;

Collaboration with professionals who “walk the same walk;”

Dynamic, yet down-to-earth, presenters;

Excellent variety of sessions;

Fun social gatherings;

A chance to Give back to others by building a playground;

Hope for children of poverty;

Ideas that are practical;

Jeans & Jerseys, a rocking fundraiser;

Kind, caring, people who listened to one another’s needs;

Lessons on how to be our best for others;

Mentoring, which is essential for attracting and retaining the best and brightest;

Networking with others;    

Office referral strategies;

Parent engagement ideas; parents of all walks want what’s best for their children.

Quality, research-based practices;

Reasons how responsiveness to cultural differences supports innovative teaching;

Something for everyone, regardless of your experience level or leadership role;

Technology tips to support professional development;

Understanding of how to “think outside of the box” to combat challenging student behaviors;

Vision, which is essential to leading a staff;

Ways to support others with change;                                          

Xtra time spent building relationships; ties with students, staff, and parents are worth the investment;

How young children benefit from STEM-centric learning; and

Zeal, and how passion can go a long way in changing school culture.

It’s been a pleasure to be your blogger, and I hope to see everyone in Nashville!

Maryland principal Kimberlyn Pratesi, a longtime member of NAESP and Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals, blogged from the NAESP Annual Conference in Baltimore. See more conference stories at Conference News Online.


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