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Celebrating Teachers and Teaching, New York Style

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 7.38.24 AM.png#ECET2NY914 will kick off this weekend as a part of the growing trend of regional ECET2 (Elevating and Celebrating Teachers and Teaching) convenings happening all over the country.

Participating in events like these is a unique and inspiring experience, but in addition to participating this year, I've been a part of helping to plan the event. Thanks to the awesome leadership of AnnRose Santoro, teachers from around Westchester County, New York City, and Long Island will be able to collaborate as learners and thinkers to help address issues in our own school.

What makes ECET2 convenings different than your typical conference is the way teachers are respected and involved.

Organizer AnnRose Santoro said, "I wanted to bring ECET2 back to NY because the first time I attended an ECET2 event, my career was transformed. I wanted my fellow New Yorkers to feel a sense of pride and appreciation for the work we do with kids."

Not only do we know the challenges and pressures of being an educator in the same region, but we also know what we need and how best to meet those needs. In these terms, other teachers are leading sessions and sharing keynotes to connect ideas about diversity and reform in education.

The day's events will include several inspirational speakers, break-out sessions and an afternoon ed-camp style unconference where participants can get involved and lead like we hope they will once they go home.

Since getting involved with the ECET2 movement (I've been fortunate enough to attend two national convenings), it has been amazing to watch teacher really take ownership of their leadership roles in schools and districts and start to change the way education is done locally. We hope that by bringing educators together in this way, more teachers will get involved in the teacher leadership spaces and start to enact change for the betterment of student learning.

"I hope teachers feel empowered and connected with other educators from the region and state to reduce isolation and share solutions to our common issues," AnnRose Santoro said, echoing my feelings as well.

ECET2 is not an exclusive club. Every educator deserves to be celebrated and that's why we have attendees nominate future attendees. If there is no ECET2 currently happening in your region, you can get involved too. Why not plan an event in your neck of the woods? It will be appreciated.

How can we spend more time focusing on what is right in education and continue to move toward systemic change that works for students? Please share.

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