Recently, @ASCD Emerging Leader Meghan Everette (@bamameghan) attended the Leader to Leader Conference (#ASCDL2L). Several of the @AlabamaASCD board memebers also attended this annual event. Below is Meghan’s recap of her experiences. Enjoy!
ASCD’s Leader to Leader Conference, held this past week in Arlington, VA, was focused on the topic of growth mindset; the idea that we are not fixed in our cognitive world and can adapt, change, and influence the world around us through our respective roles in education. Sound like preaching to the choir? Maybe, but the weekend, as always, challenged my thinking, my relationships, and strengthened my belief in the ASCD organization.
It was refreshing to hear new Executive Director Deb Delisle not only describe her hope and vision for the future of the ASCD program, but to hear her speak about students. She said, rightly, that at the end of the day, no matter our position in the education world, we are there to better students’ lives and do what’s right for them. As a classroom teacher I appreciate this message and reminder of why we do this every day and it inspires me as I ready my classroom for the learning that will happen in the next few weeks.
Embracing their own message, ASCD has adapted and changed the face of the Emerging Leader program and L2L each year. It’s not usual that an organization engrained in pedagogy, best practices, the power of writing, and policy are adept at bending to their constituents. Attempting an un-conference format of sorts and embracing social media like never before helped the weekend feel refreshed and offered many opportunities for collaboration and connection.
Past Emerging and ASCD leaders shared stories of their personal journeys in leadership and growth within ASCD. Two fault-filled projects that I participated in this past year were highlighted, not as failures, but as a chance to improve and adapt.
Identifying our top personality traits and using those as a starting point for ongoing mentoring relationships brought personal reflection to the growth mindset process. The peer-coaching model around a topic of choice helped attendees identify key missions for the upcoming year and begin laying strategic planning in place.
My cohort of writing friends has a renewed sense of purpose for our ongoing writing project and hope to make it a vital part of the Emerging Leader program to help support future ELs in the upcoming years. In a word, we’re pumped!
The strength of ASCD, and specifically the L2L experience, is all about connection. Just one year in, my network has grown and bonds forged. I talk daily with a core group of educators in six states (and now two countries!) that connected through my EL experience. My paths are crossing as Hope Street Group Fellows, NNSTOY members, ISTE attendees, ECET2 participants, and more cross paths with the common ground of ASCD. What does that say? That this eclectic group of amazing educators finds a crossroads with an organization that has grown from one fun weekend a year ago, to a powerful part of my professional, and yes, personal, life. That speaks to the power of the ASCD network and the potential for the future. That’s my growth mindset.
-Meghan Everette (@bamameghan)