Friday, July 18, 2008

What I did during my summer vacation


My summer has been a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
Right after school ended a delegation headed to Nanae, Japan. Nanae is the sister-city to Concord, located in Hokkaido, the northern island of the archipelago chain. Accompanied by CCHS staff and "old hands" Al Dentino, David Nurenberg, Tom Curtin, as well as Concord Public School staff Karen Pettyjohn (Thoreau School Librarian) and Susan Erickson (Thoreau School Grade 4), and Dr. Sue Curtin and translator/guide Junko Kargulla, we had an amazing journey. A video will be playing on CCTV documenting our transformative experience.

I am still trying to process BLC 08. "Building Learning Communities" is an annual conference hosted by Alan November. November is based in Massachusetts, which means the conference is always local. How nice for us! What can you say about a conference that cracks your head open and pours in best-practice from around the world? I listened and interacted with educators from Kenya, who are transforming their educational infra-stucture using CELL PHONES because Kenya doesn't have national Internet yet! How about a school in NYC where 20% of the student population is homeless and the other 80% lives in housing projects, and they are hitting their testing goals as well as sending a team to the national science fair. How about THAT for education! Teachers from Canada, Scotland, and Concord, MA, presented and spread the word about the highest standards of education. At the end of this conference I felt like the top of my head was going to explode. It was incredible!

So, what did I do over my summer vacation? I saw the world, and the potential for students. You can't ask for much more than that.

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