I'm back! I got into town about 4:30 this afternoon and have now had time to run to the grocery store, cook dinner for my family, and settle down with everyone to watch The Amazing Race which they had recorded for me while I was gone.
My head is swimming right now with everything I heard while I was at the conference. Nothing that was totally new, but several sessions focused on areas that I have been wanting to examine more carefully recently. Particularly, we need to move at All-American High toward a more collaborative model of teaching. I liked an analogy that was used to describe the typical high school: a group of educational entrepreneurs connected by a common parking lot. With high-stakes testing, changing demographics, and the need to truly prepare students for success after high school, there's a need for teachers to work together to determine the best way to meet these emerging demands. Too often the "just close the door and teach" model is still in effect. I'll be working to move forward to promote more collaboration over the next few months. As with anything, finding time, both for myself and for the teachers, will be the biggest challenge.
I was very pleased with the way our presentation went on Saturday. The feedback on our evaluation sheets was excellent. I was not pleased with our stay at the Riviera hotel. If you go to Vegas, my advice is stay somewhere else. I knew it wasn't the fanciest hotel on the strip, and it lived up to my expectations on that front, but what was most disturbing was the rude and inefficient staff. Nothing like being snapped at by the desk clerk during check-in. It's also inconvenient since it's located at the far end of the strip, necessitating a cab ride to the nicer hotels and casinos. It is close to the convention center, which I'm assuming is the reason it was the host hotel. Many times during the last four days, I regretted not booking in time to get into the Courtyard Marriott, which was our other option but was booked six months in advance!
Tomorrow it's back to the office to catch up on everything that happened Friday and Monday. Amazing how the work doesn't do itself while I'm gone!