E2Lead 2018: Leadership Strand

Now What Do I Do? Navigating Moral and Ethical Dilemmas as Educators


Katherine Bassett, 2000 New Jersey Teacher of the Year

Until recently, education was virtually the only profession to lack a set of guiding professional principles to help practitioners understand and discuss the ethical boundaries to which we should adhere as we do our daily work. Developed by educators for educators, with the support of major national organizations, the code forms a foundation to help educators navigate the ethical dilemmas that we frequently face. While many jurisdictions have Codes of Conduct – the ‘thou shalt nots’ if you will – there has not been a set of guiding principles for the profession. Until now. With the development of the Model Code of Ethics for Educators (MCEE), we now have those principles to provide a basis for discussion amongst educators, guidance, and as a foundation for our moral and ethical behavior. A professional code of ethics sets a higher threshold than regulatory codes of conduct. A code of conduct provides absolutes for employment, licensure, and/or criminal sanctions. The MCEE, however, helps mitigate the risks inherent within the profession and is designed as a guide for current and future educators to construct the best course of action when faced with ethical dilemmas, providing a basis for educator learning, self-reflection, and self-accountability. In this interactive session, participants will unpack the five principles that constitute the code, discuss two examples of ethical dilemmas faced by educators, and leave with an increased understanding of how to handle difficult issues that we face as educators on a daily basis.

A Hard SEL? Cultivating Social Emotional Learning Within, Among, and Beyond


Presenters: Christopher Poulos, Instructional Leader for the Humanities / Spanish Teacher; Gina Pin, Principal; Carolyn Huminski, Instructional Leader for the Humanities / English Teacher; Henry DelAngelo, School Counselor; Jack Powers, Special Education Teacher; Joel Barlow High School – Regional School District 9

Maybe you’re a classroom teacher, coach, or team interested in applying SEL (Social Emotional Learning) directly into your classroom(s). Maybe you’re a leader working toward more systemic, community-based change. Or maybe you aren’t totally sold on the benefits of SEL, yet. Regardless of your vantage point, the EQ8 Team (eight educators leading a district SEL initiative) from Joel Barlow High School is eager to engage in an interactive dialogue about making school communities – selves, students, staff, and beyond – more emotionally intelligent. Having aligned their SEL work with their SLO, this team will share and guide others in reflecting, evaluating, and envisioning: PRESENT: How are you feeling? Your students? Where are you and/or your classroom/community currently in terms of SEL? PAST: What practices are you and/or your classroom/community already doing that fosters Emotional Intelligence? FUTURE: What is the “Best Self” you envision for you and/or your classroom/community? What are the next steps to get there? This workshop session will provide a chance to validate current SEL practices at your own school or district and generate next steps based on where you are and want to go. No previous knowledge of SEL required, and breakout conversations will be based on your current SEL status and emerging vision.

The inspirED Process: Student-Led SEL


Presenters: Jessica Hoffmann, Associate Research Scientist; Julie McGarry, Program Manager, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence; Laura Borrelli, North Haven High School; Zoi Burns, North Haven High School; Grayson Barrett-Carrington, Amity High School; Kobi Spence, Amity High School

inspirED is a free set of resources developed by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence in collaboration with Facebook Education, designed to support student-led, school-based campaigns to improve school climate. This session will include an overview of the inspirED process for creating positive change; specifically, the four-step process of measuring a school’s emotional climate, brainstorming potential solutions, launching and executing a project or campaign, and assessing and debriefing their impact. The majority of the time in this session will be devoted to a panel of inspirED student leaders who have been engaged in this work. They will share their stories of challenges and successes, lessons learned, and tips for future educator advocates. Attendees will leave with a greater understanding of how to empower students as leaders of this work, as well as the resources available to get started. The session highlights the key role that students play in the school-wide integration of SEL and the importance of incorporating students’ voices in building emotionally intelligent school communities.

Fostering Classroom Improvement Through Teacher Leadership and Collaboration

Location: ONEIDA

Presenters: Patrick Flynn, Founder and Executive Director, ReVISION Learning Partnership; teachers from Vernon Public Schools, Regional School District 1, West Hartford Public Schools

During this session, participants will explore the What, Why, and How of work completed in over 50 Connecticut districts to ensure teacher feedback that leads to improved teaching practice and a focus on student learning. Various methods to support school and district growth will be outlined for participants, each based on approaches defined in the upcoming book, Feedback to Feed Forward: 31 Strategies to Lead Learning. Through examination of school-based professional learning approaches designed to build a sense of collective efficacy and rejuvenate teachers and administrators alike, participants will walk away understanding the impact of peer-to peer support for teacher feedback and growth, collective understanding of teaching and learning through frameworks, and feedback that is targeted on student learning versus a rote survey of teacher practice. For each topic, participants will have the opportunity to hear how teachers and administrators in three Connecticut school districts are working both collaboratively and in parallel pathways to improve their capacity in providing constructive, supportive, impactful feedback to teachers.

Teaching from the Heart: Self-Care Practices to Grow Resilience


Genessa Zickefoose, Literacy Coach, 200-hr Yoga Teacher, Buttonball Lane School, Glastonbury, CT; Mount Holyoke College Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership

This highly experiential session is designed to offer participants time to slow down and journey into the heart work of teaching to consider approaches that build internal resilience. This session will explore current research on teacher stress and its impact on burnout, retention, and attrition. In addition, this session will address the risk of “empathy fatigue” that many educators face. Participants will learn about ways to transform their empathy into compassion in order to help prevent negative consequences. While placing one’s own needs above the needs of others can be challenging, self-care is essential to preventing burnout. Once educators develop compassion for self, they can direct that compassion toward others, including their students. During this session, participants will engage directly in practices that can cultivate mindfulness and lead to better self care, including breathing exercises, gentle chair yoga, and guided meditation. Participants will have a chance to discuss and reflect on their experiences in these exercises and, by the end of the session, create their own mini-self care plan. Additionally, many of these practices can also be used to create awareness and a sense of calm in students. Participants will leave the workshop feeling empowered to take greater control of their own well-being and with an introductory set of tools to build resilience in themselves and their students.

Gratitude Attitude: Changemaking Tools for Rejuvenation!


Maureen Ruby, Ph.D. Assistant Superintendent, Brookfield Public Schools; Judy Palmer, Ed.D. Superintendent Regional School District 7

Schools are diverse organizations. Recognizing everyone’s “super-skills” and developing an “attitude of gratitude” is good for the organization and for individuals, professionally and personally. Developing a grateful perspective results in better health and general well-being, enriched personal and social relationships, positive attitude, enhanced emotional status, and improvement in career satisfaction. Additionally, gratitude – giving and receiving – results in more and better sleep! Being grateful is a powerful emotion. This workshop will explore ways in which participants can put gratefulness into practice. When teams of educators work together, collectively and mindfully practicing gratitude, diversity becomes the greatest asset. In a gratitude-enhanced culture, people not only feel valued and appreciated, but they value and appreciate what and whom they have. The concept of “wanting what we have” changes one’s outlook on almost everything. By participating in this workshop, participants will learn change-making tools to rejuvenate themselves through practicing gratitude in their daily lives and to support the development of a gratitude attitude with their colleagues. This is the first step to developing a school culture of gratitude and empathy in which our students can flourish.

Start with S.E.L.F: Supporting the Emotional Well Being of our Learning Families


Melissa Currier, Principal, Mathewson Elementary School, Milford

You can’t build a house if the foundation is crumbling. Build your staff understanding of SEL from the ground up. Using RULER tools (and other resources) as our base to learn about successes for connecting SEL to adult emotional well-being and why we have to start there first, participants will explore why emotions matter, how we can use emotions to better empathize and understand our students and staff members/colleagues, and walk away with some “tools” for the teacher and/or administrator tool kits to help make social emotional intelligence and regulation a part of our daily lives. Participants also will hear about some successful PD opportunities, engage in team buildings and look at staff charters as a way to increase buy-in down the SEL road.

Innovative Group Facilitation Methods

Location: NEHANTIC

Michele Ridolfi O’Neill, CEA Educational Issues Specialist

Whether you and your colleagues have a problem of practice that you want to explore or an issue of professional practice that a skilled facilitator could help navigate, this session is designed to enhance your skill set and provide strategies and ideas to maximize collaboration and engagement. Participants in this session will learn different facilitation methods that can be used in the classroom, at a PD session, or in a meeting. Create a toolbox of facilitation methods—such as Open Space, World Café, Appreciative Inquiry, and Circle Conversations—that you can use to keep students and adults engaged, on-task, fully participating, and contributing. Move beyond PowerPoint and traditional “sit and get” sessions to highly interactive, deep conversations that tap into the collective knowledge that already exists in your classroom or school building.

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