Tag Archives: NAISAC15

33 Great Ideas For Women In Leadership Positions

I attended a great session today titled: Engendering Leadership: How Independent Schools Support Successful Female Leaders. Thank you to Lindsay Koss, Pearl Kane, Lucy Goldstein, Meera Ratnesar, Frances Fondren, Karen Whitaker and Katie Arjona for all of your sage advice!

Here is what I learned:

Leadership is a behavior
1. Leadership is about doing not about the title
2. If your passions don’t align with your institution you have to listen to that and move to a place that fits.
3. You need to know the stereotypes that are attached to you (whatever they may be) – use them for your benefit or debunk them.
4. Be frank and clear in your communication even at the risk of not being perceived as nice.
5. Develop a capacity for solitude – as you move up you have a smaller peer group, develop your capacity to solve things alone or with a smaller group of people.
6. Retain your spirit of joy – It can be a joyful position. Need resiliency. Important you know how to bounce back and find the place of joy again.

Developing yourself
7. Presenting at a conference as a way to develop yourself
8. Rent feedback before you own it – look at the reason for the feedback and who is giving it – before you own it.
9. Be aware of your weaknesses – find people who can help you in those areas

Developing others
10. Modeling the way – you are modeling how to be a leader
11. Encourage leadership in each other and in your students
12. Classroom teaching is great training for leadership
13. Cultivate other people in your school
14. New teacher mentoring is an opportunity to build leaders
15. Listen and allow people to tell you their stories
16. Open yourself up to the people around you
17. Develop a protocol for everyone to have a way to think about their career arc – where would you like to be in 5 years – express aspirations and opportunities for the school to help along the way

Blending work and life
18. Work brings joy – don’t apologize or be a martyr
19. Can’t build walls up between work and life
20. Spend less time worrying about the overlap
21Spend more time making sure both are bringing you joy
22. Model as a leader what it looks like to be off line –
23. Eat a piece of chocolate and go for a run – what are your ways to indulge yourself
24. Embrace the glamour of being in a leadership position
25. Cultivate your mentors and your village
26. Times that are really hard can give you a lot to laugh about

Taking initiative
27. You don’t have to know everything in advance
28. Finance knowledge is attainable –
29. Guidestar – Find out what salaries are and ask for money.
30. Don’t be afraid to talk about your value to the institution
31. Look in the mirror and say no to yourself 10 times – the mirror doesn’t break. Don’t back down.
32. If you don’t get the raise ask for feedback as to why
33. Negotiate for PD funds, for comp time not only for money


Wednesday Winding up to the Opening of NAISC Tomorrow!

This is my second day in Boston. The day started with a beautiful cloud free morning and a great meeting (always too short) with the 21st century curriculum and technology task force. We are working on the name but that is who we are at the moment. What a great group of passionate educators! I am honored to be a member of such a group.

This year my Wednesday of the conference was very different as I am also orchestrating the construction of the NAIS interactive makerspace. This means that the rest of Wednesday was spent setting up this makerspace. It also means that I was not able to make the rounds to all of the other cool workshops that took place today. So, if you attended any of these, have pictures or want to submit a blog or reflection, please do so and send me the text or the link to your post and I will make sure we get it posted here as well. Any pictures and video would also be awesome!

The NAIS MakerSpace project has been fun to think about and it is great to see it come to life. I must make a HUGE shout out to Jonathan Schmid and Chris Lindsey from the Meadowbrook School of Weston MA for their help today and for being so gracious to supply much of the 3D printing, robotics and cool student projects. Others from Meadowbook will also be working the space over the next two days. They will be joined by individuals from other schools who are amazing educators who are passionate about the world of “making” as a way of learning. The NAIS MakerSpace will be a place you will want to visit and experience multiple times over the next two days. There is much to see and do so make sure you swing by.

Here are a few images I was able to capture during the day.


For those who missed the “Brisk Walk Through” of the Exhibit Hall, here is your chance to see what the hall looked like about 24 hours from opening. What a transformation it will be!

Building Out NAISAC 2015

Welcome to NAIS 2015!
Welcome to NAIS 2015!

I have just landed in Boston and had an easy flight and cab ride to the conference site. It is amazing to see how Boston has responded to the snow. While I hear it is a sight to be seen in the more remote regions of the town, the trip from the airport to Boston was smooth. However, the cab driver did say to plan on extra time when you need to return.

I always enjoy getting on site early to capture some of the build out of the conference. It is always amazing to see how design on paper is realized as design on site. As you pack your bags and make all of the last minute arrangements, the ones we all need to make when we are going to be gone for several days, NAIS Annual Conference 2015 is being assembled.

Here is a quick preview. You can see spaces “in the raw” and imagine the conversations and experiences you will have when you get here. It is strange to see large hallways void of human interaction and conversations. This of course will start to change tomorrow and crescendo over three days as we share and discuss the revolution that is the world of innovative education. What conversations will you have when you arrive? What will you learn? What will you share with others? Time to pack it up and get to Boston to Design the Revolution: Blending Learning, Leading and Innovation.

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The Daily Find: February 23, 2015

The Daily Find (TDF) is a feature of the NAISAC Online Community. Content comes from features, events and themes related to this year’s conference in Boston and from the community of independent school bloggers and NAISAC 2015 Twitter Community.

Learn how you can participate in the online community for the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference in Boston. Everything you need to know is found here.


Join the MakerSpace Conversation
You are invited to join in an online conversation to answer the question: What is a Maker Space? Learn more about how to participate at MakerSpace Forum.

Check out the Tweet Archive for #NAISAC! This is an archive of all the tweets sent using the official hashtag #NAISAC and the older form of the tag. This automatically archives each tweet including all links shared. This can be an extremely valuable resource as we move through the conference and beyond. Knowing that there are a lot of resources shared through links posted to Twitter, you will be able to return to this site and capture all those “gold nuggets”. This archive is also posted on the NAISAC community site under Community Sites on the right side of your screen.

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Gallery of Independent School MakerSpaces
As you sit by the fire dreaming of warmer weather and waiting for your plane to take you to Boston for the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference, take some time and read through the 20 schools that have submitted entries for [MORE]

The Interactive MakerSpace at #NAISAC and the Maker Mindset
The Maker Movement is taking the education world by storm. In an effort to help school administrators and teachers better understand this movement, NAIS is pleased to offer the NAIS Makerspace, located in the Exhibit Hall. This space will [MORE]

Lorri Carroll
Gear Up for #NAISAC 2015 and Download the App Today!
I remember feeling overwhelmed with the program book a few years back. I had a hard time figuring out my schedule, reading through descriptions and speaker info, and getting up to date information on [MORE]

Lisa Abel-Palmieri
Girls Can make Stuff Too!
Maker education provides both boys and girls with the opportunity to learn dexterity, ideation, teamwork, and have fun while solving problems and building creative confidence.  As an independent school administrator and educator leading the [MORE]


Josie Holford
Making- the ideal complement to the life of the mind- is on its way to College
The NAIS Annual Conference – #naisac15 – is coming right up. This year schools were invited to contribute to an interactive Makerspace where attendees can explore aspects of this new movement in education…. 21st century skills it seems have a great deal in common with 17th and 18th century skills in that craft and practical application matter again. There’s been a signal switch in the kinds of skill-sets people need [MORE]

Derrick Willard
“Design the Revolution” but, please don’t talk to me about cool furniture:
Consider this scenario…a faculty member walks up to me and says “how do I get some of those rolly desks.” Yes, I’m talking about Steelcase Nodes, the super light and agile student desks. I love ‘em.  But, I do not want to have discussions about buying cool furniture.  My response is always, “tell me about your [MORE]

Jared Colley
How Innovate an English Class? Flip, Gamify, and Post Online: Some Notes from a First Time Gamer
There are 3 major ways I have re-designed the learning experience for my students to make the English class a little less traditional. Shortly put, I’ve flipped the class, gamifiedcurricular assignments, and connected students to real audiences via digital platforms such as blogger, and as result, class time is [MORE]

Marti Weston
Makerspaces Are Amazing, Yet I Remember When…
I am so energized by makerspaces, where people — children and adults — have access to all sorts of equipment to invent, try out ideas, and make things. I’ve spent some time in makerspaces at a number of conferences, and last summer I wrote about my experience at Gary Stager’s Constructing Modern Knowledge 2014[MORE]

Chris Bigenho
Shipping up to Boston” for the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference
“I’m Shipping up to Boston” for the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference- Design the Revolution: Blending Learning, Leading and Innovation. I am excited to again be packing my bags for a week of amazing work, sharing and learning with close to 5000 folks from independent schools all across the nation. [MORE]

This is an automated daily news paper that is created from the information shared by members of the NAISAC15 Twitter community. As members of the community share resources and ideas through Twitter, they are aggregated and categorized then presented as a daily paper.

Don’t Miss Administrators/Teachers Unplugged!

Last year, one of my favorite sessions of the conference was Teachers Unplugged.  As with most traditional conferences, sessions tend to be a speaker or panel at the front of the room, with rows of attendees sitting passively.  Ironically, this is what we are trying to move away from in our classrooms and yet the largest conference of the year for independent school educators seems to be mostly in this format. This is why I was happy to see that there was a session option in an unconference format: Teachers Unplugged.  This session exceeded all my expectations while providing me with amazing connections and thought-provoking discussions.

Read my reflections from last year here.

I remember wishing there were more of these types of sessions, and I especially wished there was one specifically for Administrators.  So, I reached out to Liz Davis, who ran the Teachers Unplugged session, along with a fellow CT colleague, Justine Fellows, to pitch just that!

We are extremely excited to facilitate some innovative conversations in a  participant-driven, relevant, interactive, and engaging session.

Here is the description:

Admin Unplugged

Don’t miss out!

Administrators Unplugged (Thursday at 12noon)
Teachers Unplugged (Friday at 11:30am)



GEAR UP for #NAISAC 2015 and download the app TODAY!

photo 1It’s almost here– NAIS AC 2015! While we have about 7 feet of snow waiting for us when we arrive, Boston is an awesome city and a great place for independent school educators to gather for this year’s annual conference:

Design the Revolution: Blending Learning, Leading and Innovation.

Before you get here, my biggest tip… DOWNLOAD the APP…Do it TODAY! Right now!

I remember feeling overwhelmed with the program book a few years back. I had a hard time figuring out my schedule, reading through descriptions and speaker info, and getting up to date information on any changes. I had to dig it out of my bag each time. Ugh!

Well… no more! The app organizes presentations by time slot, allows you to organize your schedule, track exhibitors, get info about presenters and sessions, follow conference tweets, and much more! It continues to refresh and update as presenters add speaker notes and or any info changes about a session. It’s all organized for you in an awesome calendar view… AND it fits in the palm of your hand! You are not going to get that from the printed book! photo 3

I have been reading through the descriptions trying to plan my days and I realize that, as usual, I have a huge problem. I want to be in three places at once during several time slots. Not a bad problem to have.

SO… an exciting week lies ahead. I am ready for the learning, connecting, and sharing… and brain overload. Bring it on!

The Interactive MakerSpace at #NAISAC and The Maker Mindset


Want to learn more about Making and the Maker movement? Come visit us at the Interactive Maker Space at the NAIS Annual Conference. We will be located in the exhibit hall just outside the NAIS Bookstore.

The Maker Movement is taking the education world by storm. In an effort to help school administrators and teachers better understand this movement, NAIS is pleased to offer the NAIS Makerspace, located in the Exhibit Hall. This space will provide hands-on demonstrations, information about the movement, and ways in which you can implement parts of this approach at your own school. Learn about the revolutionary 3D printer, one of the greatest new technologies you can share with your students. Imagine students at one school developing parts for a joint robotics project in another school as they simply send over files to “print.” Witness this fascinating machine in action in our demonstration area. Attendees will also have the chance to design simple circuits and learn about how to teach robotics across disciplines. You can find out more information here.
Highlights of the NAIS Makerspace include:
  • Knowledgeable independent school teachers who are already involved in maker spaces at their schools. You will be able to interact with them as they help guide you through a small sample of demonstrations of physical and electronic prototyping including 3D printing and scanning, microcontrollers and circuit boards.
  • Robots of all sizes and shapes to reach nearly any age student.
  • You can put your hands to work as you explore the basics of electronic circuitry and logic gates through some amazing tools such as Little Bits. Basics of electronics that can be used by students of all ages. This includes explorations with Little Bits, to Makey Makey to component wiring and prototyping with electronic components and breadboards.
  • Try your hand at writing code to control the actions of various robots and circuits controlled by microcontrollers.
  • “Walk through” the Gallery of Making in Independent Schools: The gallery provides tangible, visible evidence of what other schools are doing in the world of making. Many different approaches will be represented.
  • Leave with a wealth of information and resources that you can further explore long after the conference.

Making is more than “Stuff”. Come by and talk with us about the “Maker Miindset”.

Graphic by Lisa Abel-Palmieri from The Ellis School

maker mindset