An Email from Mexico Changed Our Entire PD Orientation

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As I landed in Houston last Thursday, I received the following email inquiry forwarded from our Rhode Island affiliate:

“I am a RI teacher currently living and working in Mexico.  As an ASCD member, I received notice about the upcoming Fisher & Frey conference and am so disappointed that I will not be in RI to attend!!  As an Instructional Coach in my current job, I work with teachers on the Fisher & Frey Gradual Release of Responsibility model and lesson planning.

Is the virtual aspect of the conference (with Fisher & Frey) just for the participants that will be in attendance in RI, or is the entire conference going to be offered virtually?  If the conference is available virtually to any participant, I have a few questions…”

By the time we finished exchanging ideas, Rhode Island ASCD received an institutional registration for Friday’s ASCD EdSpace blended learning event from a cadre of teachers in Monterrey, Mexico! They will be joining in on the virtual components (about two-thirds of the day) and will work remotely on the offline collaboration pieces, rejoining our Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont affiliates for the resumption of the online work.

I am amazed that a group of dedicated educators in Mexico asked a question that immediately pushed the boundaries on our thinking about delivering the event. I mean, this was an effort of five northeast states. Who was thinking it would appeal to a group of highly interested teachers in a neighboring country? But as I went over the logistics in my mind, it became readily evident there was no reason they couldn’t participate with some accommodations, since they wouldn’t actually be in one of the five states sponsoring the day.

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This afternoon I sent them all the documentation and materials they will need to participate remotely, and tomorrow morning I will get online to run a tech test so we know everyone is ready to participate on Friday. It’s a very exciting development in what has already been an exhilarating project breaking new ground! I wonder how many other educators around the country…and around the world…would participate if they knew they could do so from the comfort of their office, classroom or home?

There’s still time to register, and you don’t need to be a resident of any of the five sponsoring states to do so. No matter where you live on the globe, simply go to any of the five affiliate sites and register online:

Maine ASCD | Massachusetts ASCD | New York ASCD
Rhode Island ASCD | Vermont ASCD

Then shoot me an email at wmckenzie@ascd.org so I can set you up with everything you need to participate in your favorite chair in your favorite slippers!

Want to know more? For further reading about the event:

NE ASCD Infographic

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