So, your team wants to go to a conference. How can we ensure the time and money are well-spent?
Here are the 3 big ideas...
Start with a pre-conference team huddle. Breakout the conference schedule. Pick sessions together. Come with a game plan. What’s the dress style? What are the lunch options? What’s a “vender session?” If it is anyone’s first time at a conference there is a lot of front loading and advice you can offer to limited wasted energy and make them feel more comfortable. The main outcome of the pre-huddle is to frame the event as a system of professional development for the school not just a cool free trip.
Use Google Doc to take collaborative notes. Create a template for each session at the top. Title, Slide Link, Notes, Key Takeaway could be some of the titles. Then at each session your team will copy and paste that text and fill it out for their session. This way even if you need to divide and conquer you all have access to the information. The team can even ask each other questions in the doc during the day.
Debrief with a goal to share out to the whole staff. John recommends a sub day for the attendees to prepare professional development for the rest of the staff. This completes the circle because folks left the village, traded information with other villages and then brought back useful learnings to the village.
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