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Staying Afloat in Turbulent Times

Walter Brown, Kate Spence — Hudson High School of Learning Technologies, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Educator fatigue, attrition, and distress sometimes feel unavoidable when we are faced with pressures related to compliance and accountability. When personnel or other aspects of our school communities change, we may feel dissonance—how we’re being asked to teach may not match with what we believe is best educational practice. In this session, we will discuss a framework for considering strategies that may be useful in navigating through academic years fraught with dissonance. A school leader and coach will propose strategies at three levels (individual, co-conspirator (strategies to use with our colleagues in the same building), and affinity group (strategies to use with other like-minded individuals outside our buildings) that may be helpful in staying professionally afloat, seeking input from participants about areas of resonance, dissonance, and successes and challenges in navigating turbulent professional times. We will also discuss the roles of professional authenticity and joy in sustaining us in our roles as teachers and learners.

Conversational Practice

This session will include small group conversations and use conversational protocols to guide the whole group discussion about strategies educators can use to sustain themselves professionally.

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