Education has definitely taken the spotlight this fall between the teachers’ strike in Chicago, the New York Times – Schools for Tomorrow Conference, and now the Education Nation Summit (sponsored by NBC News) currently underway. This year’s conference focus which was “Building a Better Teacher.” We had the great benefit of attending the New York Times Schools for Tomorrow Conference given our dedication to improving professional development experiences for teachers through our TeacherStudio product. The conference brought together representatives across the field of education including classroom teachers, professors, district leaders, corporate leaders, and innovators who helped bring cutting edge and out-of-the-box thinking to the dialogue.
Over the course of the one-day conference, a variety of panels came together to discuss the most pressing issues and trends currently impacting the success of classroom teachers – covering teaching quality, measuring teacher performance, and improving the overall perception of teachers and the field. While there was great debate on how to better support teachers, why we are behind other countries in teaching effectiveness, and teacher compensation, there was the wonderful addition of highlights from teachers who are currently working in classrooms across our country. It was eye opening and refreshing to show teachers who are making great strides right now. Although no consensus was made, per se, and no immediate solutions were put in to play, the awareness, education, and knowledge sharing was valuable to both attendees and those who followed along virtually. You can still view segments from the conference online – nytschoolsfortomorrow.com.
In addition to being able to sit in on some of the sessions, TeacherStudio was one of six companies invited to be part of the Inventors Lab, an area of the conference that highlighted companies that were chosen for the potential for positive impact in education. Each company brought an exciting element to the notion of “building a better teacher.” Our emphasis is on giving educators and their leaders an opportunity to pursue individualized professional learning experiences which go much deeper into the areas of reflecting and assessing one’s effectiveness. As panelists reinforced the potential for online learning, we believe that educators should play a role in their path for learning.
We look forward to seeing where the conversations from the day go and to see how the other events in the field take shape.