Great Learning Experience @NASSP

NASSP6Last week was a once in a lifetime experience for me. 

Besides attending my first national conference [@NASSP] and having a tremendous growth experience, I had the unique opportunity to bring my PLN to life. I was able to meet some of people who have made a huge impact in my growth and development over these past years of being a connected educator.

First, #NASSP14

I’ve attended and presented at conferences in different states – all have been great learning experiences. I’ve people that I value as friends and influential people in my life. #NASSP14 was a learning experience on another level. World class presenters and experts made this learning endeavor well worth the trip and cold Dallas weather.



The official sessions were second to none. It goes without saying that when you have Todd Whitaker, Baruti Kafele, Dwight Carter, Eric Sheninger, Carrie Jackson and the host of other presenters on the program you know you there will be next level learning going on. The take aways from these sessions are indescribable! [After attending a session with Baruti Kafele I immediately went back to my school on the following Monday and borrowed/delivered a simple message to my students I took from his presentation at our awards ceremony – ‘I believe in you kids’. #impactful]

I included these two pictures to represent the other incredible informal learning that occurred between sessions and workshops.

  • I participated in on a table top conversation with Dwight Carter, Cathy Sankey, and David Cassady on meta-analysis of class sizes and engagement strategies;
  • I watched as Kafele led a conversation with 6 administrators at different experience levels on career trajectory advice and keeping a focus on the supporting kids in our urban schools;
  • Big highlight was helping a couple of administrators new to Twitter with some start up strategies.



Seeing the face[s] of my PLN!

Had I not met any of these people face to face I would have continued my work with my PLN, committing to grow as person/educator and make a difference with my students. But having met them face to face, having put some personality with my Tweeps, I can say that I  ‘know’ them as caring people, committed to my personal and professional growth. They commit to reaching out. Everyone should experience starting a PLN and coming to a conference like this to meet them. I’m encouraging everyone in my PLN to create an opportunity to meet Brad Currie, Carrie Jackson, Jimmie Casas, Laurie Barron, Trevor Greene and Robert Sigrist and not leave inspired to be a better educator! It makes the work worthwhile and encourages me to encourage everyone to dive into their PLN.NASSP7

@NASSP Digital Principals

NASSP8I’m grateful to meeting these like-minded people! They are characters and commited educators and I’m grateful to them for reaching out to my wife! These two  who kept me on my toes. Daisy Dyer Duerr and Jason Markey are awesome people and inspired company! Meeting them and the previous digital principals was a career highlight.

Some takeaways:

  • Attend a conference and commit to the formal and informal learning
  • Grow connections on social media and face to face – embrace the journey of building up the PLN!
  • I’m grateful to @NASSP, BJ Paris, JoAnn Bartoletti, and Bob Farrace for this honor! Great privilege
  • I encourage you to do the same so you can have a similar or better experience!

2 responses to “Great Learning Experience @NASSP”

  1. I love it!!! Thank you and good to meet you!

    1. Derek L. McCoy Avatar
      Derek L. McCoy

      Great to meet you and spend time with you! Love your message and inspiration!

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