Make Your Mission Matter: From Vision To Values – NAIS 2017

The National Association Of Independent Schools (NAIS) 2017 Annual Conference just wrapped up in Baltimore, Maryland. The two days of sessions, speakers, and confabs all highlighted the evolving roles of schools and school leaders within the ever-competitive learning landscape.

We want to express our sincere thanks to the room full of educators who came to our Friday session, “Where Learning Meets Design: Taking Control Of The Visual Classroom.” The questions and ideas made for a terrific conversation about graphicacy and the importance of visual proficiency in both a student’s and a teacher’s toolkit.

Source: ASIDE 2017

All of the links, resources, and videos from our workshop are posted on our “Visual Classroom” website. The PowerPoint from our presentation is also now live on the page. If you happen to take a look at the slides and graphics, please feel free to get in touch with your feedback and additions.

We also appreciate the enormous encouragement from our school’s Headmaster and Director of Communications in supporting our trip. It was a real treat as well to see our former head from 15 years ago pop into the back of the session room.

Source: ASIDE 2017

The highlight of this year\’s conference was without a doubt the lively and thought-provoking talk by Sir Ken Robinson. With characteristic wit and insight, Robinson reminded us that children are learning organisms. They love the internalization of language and ideas, but they don’t always love “education.” This is because the nation\’s school systems operate on efficiency, not talent. They prioritize shared cultural knowledge, rather than the inner yearning for discovery.

Source: NAIS

Other speakers included Susan Cain and her ruminations about the power of introverts to change the world, as well as intriguing sessions that focused on data-driven assessments and alumni engagement. The most fun, however, came from the accidental hallway encounters with long-time friends and colleagues from across the country. These sorts of run-ins are what make this gathering so meaningful.

Obviously, we didn’t make it out of Baltimore without sampling some crab cakes. We recommend The Oceanaire for their super-fresh, super-local seafood. Also, BricknFire Pizza Co. in the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor makes the best caramelized onion and mushroom pizza we’ve ever had.

Thanks to all of the NAIS organizers for staging such a smooth conference. And if you weren’t able to attend this year’s symposium, follow the #NAISAC tag on Twitter for great on-sight reporting and resources.