As I reflect on the year, I am surprised to realize how few conferences I've attended. Professional Development is an integral part of my daily life, but these days 95% of it or more takes place on my phone. For all the derision it draws from various quarters, Twitter has become my most valuable tool. I manage quite nicely to avoid the inane, and find more links to articles and blogs, more thoughts and observations on teaching (and also on social justice), than I could ever hope to read in one day. "Teacher in a Strange Land," the EdWeek blog by Nancy Flanagan, and anything ever written anywhere by José Vilson would on their own make the service worthwhile. Fred Bartels's work in starting OPuS1, the Online Progressive unSchool, is fascinating and inspiring, and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach's work with passion-based learning is also years, perhaps decades ahead of its time. And I come into contact with so much more, deliberately including a range of viewpoints so I don't get seduced by the echo chamber of my own instincts and opinions. I try to give back, too, sharing links to my own blog as well as to particularly thought-provoking pieces.
However, this May is the exception that proves the rule as I am attending not one but two conferences. I already went to "Sharing Best Classroom Practices," held recently at Andover, which my son attends. And I am preparing to attend a special Symposium on the history and future of the middle school movement which is being held in Georgia.