Over the past month I have had the opportunity to experience many different forms of professional learning.  I have traveled the around the state collaborating and networking with administrators, educators (PreK-College professors), state legislators, members of the Illinois State Board of Education, parents, students and other professional learning providers.  Although completely exhausted I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

Each interaction was completely different from the next.  The topics and objectives were SO varied: Transitional Math, ED360, Competency Based Education, IL EMPOWER, ESSA, Personalized Learning, Digital Learning, Preschool for All, Inquiry, Social Media, the list goes on and on.  However, no matter who I was interacting with, where in the state I was located, or what the topic of discussion was, I walked away from each experience thinking the exact same thing…..there is so much happening in education!!  

It is easy to feel like a silo in in your classroom, building, department, or district.  I admit I am guilty of it, I would often feel alone and was working so hard on the day in and day out tasks that I became sheltered from the amazing teaching happening next door to my classroom, important legislative initiatives, and new resources/implementation ideas.  

As stated in a previous blog, every year I tried to pick a specific topic or goal to focus on for my own professional learning.  I loved the opportunity to focus in, research, and learn about a new concept, initiative, or methodology.  However, I was still operating from my silo trying to find resources, books, blogs, and workshops to help me with my PL plan.  In my current role, however, I have the good fortune to surround myself with a plethora of diverse resources and contacts. Throughout the past month I have been reminded of the importance to break down the barriers that surround us geographically, financially, etc. to expand our horizons, make connections, and model what we expect of our students….to be seekers of knowledge and lifelong learners.

Join me for a truly innovative professional learning experience; on Thursday, August 2, 2018 the Kane County Regional Office of Education will host its first ever “UnConference”!!!!!  YOU will determine the topics to discuss.  YOU facilitate the learning.  An UnConference lets YOU share YOUR expertise and learn from OTHERS at the same time.

If you have never participated in an UnConference now is your chance!!!  An UnConference is an opportunity to network, build community, spark initiatives, and ask/answer questions. It is an authentic learning opportunity driven by those who matter most, the participants this is the definition of educator to educator professional learning!!! Come feeling a bit nervous and excited but leave feeling energized and empowered!  

The Logistics

  • Date: Thursday, August 2, 2018
  • Time: 9-2 (lunch provided)
  • Location: Kane County ROE (28 N. First Street Geneva, IL, 60134)
  • Who:  This event is open to anyone in education (Note – You do NOT need to teach in Kane County to attend)
  • Cost: FREE to ALL!!!
  • To Register click here

Remember ignorance is not always bliss 🙂  I have spent the past month opening my eyes to so many various aspects of education, meeting some amazing educators, and finding new ways to help support the whole child, I don’t want the learning to stop!!!  So join me as we expand our knowledge and learn something new together!!!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time!

Katie Algrim – Director of Innovative Professional Learning

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