This may all be a bit premature, but as a Bostonian I’m already getting excited about the arrival of the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference and all that this means.
Not that it hasn’t been exciting enough lately around here. Apparently a local football has been doing well, and then this past week Juno brought us more than two feet of snow and two weekdays at home for my spouse (also an independent school teacher) and myself. I wish I could say days “off,” but the enforced home-time meant we finally had to finish a couple of projects that we had been avoiding for years; going back to school was something of a relief from that. But tonight and through tomorrow they’re forecasting another foot of snow, with no sign of a thaw as far as Weather Underground can see into the future. Hopefully this will all change by the last week of the month, and in any event, it is all rather beautiful.
As always, I’m looking forward both to the conference program and to the camaraderie that comes with it. I’ve lived long enough now to see the evolution of the NAIS Annual Conference from a tweedy, New England-flavored festival of self-assurance, leavened with some good learning, into a real professional learning event characterized by intense curiosity about what is new and promising. Not only does NAISAC help us do our work more thoughtfully and more knowledgeably, it has also become a far more diverse gathering in every dimension.
There’s a hunger, I think, in the independent school community for more information, and more and more I encounter independent school people looking for opportunities not just for pleasant social connections (though there is still lots of space for that, thank you) but also for professional collaboration. I see and hear more schools becoming part of consortia or joining professional organizations to support their own evolution, and in my own extracurricular roles I see these groups working overtime to serve the needs of schools and of the educators who work in them.
Even with all of the challenges we face, this is an exciting time to be part of the independent school world. It might be safe to say that never have new ideas and new opportunities been so present in our working lives, and never have so many of us been so excited to share with and learn from our peers and from other professionals outside of our immediate sphere. And NAISAC 15 will be, for a few days, the nexus of this excitement.
See you in Boston in just a few weeks!