The 2023 Texas ASCD Annual Conference will host educators from across the state at the Marriott Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio, October 29-31. Registrants will have the opportunity to network and enhance their professional learning, all while finding inspiration and motivation. This year’s event’s theme is “Lighting the Path Forward,” and Texas ASCD looks forward to seeing you there!
The 2023 Annual Conference will kick off on Sunday afternoon with the keynote presentation “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Effective School Leadership”, by Baruti Kafele, master teacher and a transformational school leader. About the keynote: In this engaging, interactive, self-reflective keynote address, Kafele focuses on school leadership relative to issues of diversity, equity & inclusion in their schools. It challenges school leaders to look within themselves relative to how they see, treat, and relate with their staff and students in these areas. It challenges school leaders to confront whatever biases they may bring to their own leadership practices, which may be implicit or explicit. It argues that high-performance is an impossibility in school learning environments where the recognition of diversity coupled with equitable and inclusion practices fail to exist. Principal Kafele will share strategies toward creating and sustaining equity and inclusion in a diverse student learning environment which will be inclusive of important conversations around race and cultural competence. Learn more about Kafele’s keynote and breakout sessions here.
On Monday morning, best-selling author and entrepreneur Anne Grady, will present “Building Resilient Leaders.” About the keynote: What is a resilient leader? The ability to embrace uncertainty, navigate ambiguity, and use adversity as a tool for growth are the new leadership currency and the fastest path to resilience. Resilient leaders adapt to changing circumstances while encouraging others to do the same, and they have teams with higher productivity, engagement, and a greater sense of well-being as a result.
Resilient leaders personalize their approach, tapping into team members’ unique strengths and motivators. They cultivate emotional intelligence and strong relationships and facilitate learning and personal development through everyday experiences. More importantly, these exceptional leaders create a culture of psychological safety, the number one predictor of high-performing teams. Using the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, this session provides a road map to developing resilient teams and organizations.
On Monday afternoon, best-selling author and international trainer, Dr. Catlin Tucker will present “Shifting Workflows: Let Students Lead & Avoid Teacher Burnout.” Tucker’s keynote addresses how teachers are burning out at record levels. They’re drowning in unrealistic expectations and doing the lion’s share of the work in classrooms. It’s time to shift from time-consuming, teacher-led, and often frustratingly ineffective workflows to sustainable student-led workflows that position learners at the center of the learning experience. Grounding these student-led workflows in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and leveraging blended learning models to shift control to students can help all students develop into expert learners capable of acquiring information and making meaning. These re-imagined workflows also free teachers from the front of the room to spend more time working alongside individual and small groups of learners. Tucker’s keynote is generously sponsored by Platinum Corporate Partner Imagine Learning.
On Tuesday, Larry Roberts, Red Hat Media founder and AI thought leader, presents “The Impact of AI on the Future of Education.” Afterwards, Roberts joins the keynote panel “The Next Disruptor in Education.” Moderator Karla Burkholder, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD’s Director of Technology Services moderates a discussion on AI and tools like ChatGPT, which are already disrupting teaching and learning. This panel will discuss the current state of AI in education, potential benefits and challenges of using AI in teaching and learning, issues related to ethics, privacy and bias and how AI is likely to impact education. The panel will offer guidelines and recommendations for addressing the use of AI. Lori Gracey, TCEA’s Executive Director and others will participate in this innovative panel discussion.
Breakout Learning and Special Sessions
Take a deep dive with transformative 90-minute breakthrough sessions designed to enlighten and ignite your inspiration. Keynote presenter Baruti Kafele will teach you “The Three Non-negotiables: Student Identity, Cultural Identity, and Student Voice.” In this session, Kafele posits that for the past ten years, the whole idea of equity in the classroom has evolved to unimaginable proportions…which is a good thing. One of the challenges however is the interpretation of what equity in the classroom actually is. Learn just what these non-negotiables are during this informative session.
Dr. Terri Noland, V.P. of Educator Initiatives for Platinum-Level Corporate Partner Learning Ally, presents “Igniting the Flame for Literacy Leadership: How to Lead From Where You Are.” Literacy underpins everything we do in life and it should be the hinge pin on which all school decisions are made. Once a school gets literacy right, they get everything right. This session will spark a flame of enthusiasm to lead from where you are to ensure literacy success for every child.
Another exciting session will be “Revolutionizing Education: Exploring Immersive Learning and Novel Instructional Practices with Mesquite ISD and syGlass.” Jason Osborne, Chief Business Officer, and Bernadette Barragan, Director of Educational Content & Professional Learning at syGlass, team up with Dr. Jennifer Hammett, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, and Matt Cain, Science Coordinator at Mesquite ISD, to present a collaborative session between syGlass, an innovative education platform, and the Mesquite Independent School District (ISD), a pioneering institution committed to reshaping modern education. Also presenting in this session is Dr. Derek Harmon, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University. Watch a video about this session here.
Ted Willard, Senior Subject Matter Expert in Science for Bronze Corporate Partner Discovery Education, will present the Breakout “Supporting Students with Oral and Written Scientific Explanations of Phenomena.” This session will focus on how teachers can support students to construct explanations of real-world phenomena in the world around them to improve their ability to think like scientists and understand core scientific concepts. Learn more about this session here.
Conference attendees can choose a diverse array of daily Innovative Highlights sessions to attend. These one-hour presentations offer a rich assortment of engaging activities and captivating topics. You can already access the agenda to explore the Innovative Highlights sessions. Stay tuned for our official conference app, which will provide even more detailed information, coming soon!
Receptions and More
After the first day of learning on Sunday, join everyone in the exhibit hall for the Welcome Reception Happy Hour. Enjoy complimentary refreshments as you mix and mingle with fellow attendees and representatives from various educational companies.
Join us for the President’s Reception on Monday night, hosted by Texas ASCD. Don’t forget to don your favorite fall attire for this special evening. Enjoy complimentary beverages, appetizers, and live entertainment.
Tuesday, we invite you to join us as we close the conference with the All-Attendee Breakfast and Awards Ceremony. There will be a bountiful buffet that you won’t want to miss, along with student entertainment. Following the breakfast, Texas ASCD will proudly recognize its distinguished award recipients and unveil the much-anticipated grand prize winners. This year’s grand prize includes two $500 gift certificates, generously provided by Learn21.
If you still need to register for the conference, visit our conference website here. Texas ASCD provides a highly discounted hotel reservation block, but the block closes on October 2. Secure your room today.
We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!