This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the NJ/PA ECET2 at Raritan Community College in New Jersey. First of all.... I know what NJ and PA stand for because I live in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is next door, but what is this ECET2? ECET2 is Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers is an organization funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I was surprised to learn that there were educators from all over the country that came to this event and shared their knowledge and their stories with us. It was truly an amazing and inspiring event.
I learned about this event over the summer when Kathy Suk @KSukEDUC asked Jeanne Muzi @Muzi:earningLab and I to present with her and some of her students because we had been involved in a project with her. We agreed, and each of us were also inspired to submit applications to present on other topics. This is definitely stepping out of the box for me because, although I speak in front of my teachers or the students daily, I have never presented at a professional conference before. Luckily, one of my proposals was accepted and I got a free invite for the weekend.
I could spend hours writing and talking about the amazing presenters and educators at the conference but what really was inspiring was the energy. I'm not really sure of the names of all of the people on the committee but Barry Saide @barrykid1 started the stream of positivity right into the first keynote, which was Baruti Kafele @principalkafele.
What this blog is really about is the people. Each and every person there was there because they wanted to be better. They wanted to learn something. They wanted to share. Each and every person who was there was positive and helpful. I'm not sure of the final numbers but there were over 225 professional educators in the room looking to make education a better place and looking to help the next kid. Our final keynote was Principal Gemar Mills @PrincipalMills who continued to focus on doing what's best for kids #isavelivesdaily .
I am grateful and thankful to the organizers of #NJPAECET2 for having me there. I grateful and thankful to Barry and the Crew (and it takes a big crew to do this) for all the work that goes into setting up a conference of this magnitude. Mostly, I am grateful and thankful that I had the opportunity to be inspired by so many amazing people who are in education for the right reason. It was good to be home with my family of people who are making a difference. The energy and positivity is contagious.