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3 Top Takeaways from the AASA’s National Conference on Education

by Rachel Marston and Emily Garcia

The team at Flamboyan is always looking for ways to learn and grow for the students and families we seek to impact, the educators we partner with, and ourselves. We recently attended the School Superintendents Association’s (AASA) National Conference on Education in San Diego, a unique opportunity for Flamboyan to distill the latest insights, strategies, and best practices for school district leadership. It also allowed us to measure the pulse of what key topics and knowledge interest this group of educators. 

From educational sessions to peer-to-peer roundtables, here were our 3 top takeaways: 

1. Leadership wants to learn. 

The conference had no shortage of sessions, with about 500 educational speakers from various learning tracks. From redesigning learning lessons to school environment and culture sessions, attendees could select the topic that aligned with their needs. Peer-to-peer roundtables ran concurrently in a different area, supporting the idea that learning was top-of-mind for everyone. 

To create a great environment for students to thrive, leadership must recognize the importance of continuous learning and development. Leaders who prioritize ongoing education not only enhance their skills and knowledge but also set an example for their team members and community. This takeaway emphasizes the significance of investing in learning to enhance leadership effectiveness and drive organizational success, which ultimately leads to student success. 

2. Everybody is there for the kids. 

This year’s conference title, “Here for the Kids,” shined through! While the event benefited school leadership, it wasn’t lost that the real bottom line was ensuring students succeeded both at school and home.

Listening to different voices opens your perspective.

Educational events often bring together individuals from various backgrounds, industries, and cultures, offering opportunities for leaders to broaden their worldview and develop empathy. By engaging with diverse viewpoints, leaders can gain new insights, challenge their assumptions, and cultivate a more inclusive leadership style.  

This understanding of diversity and inclusion is crucial for effective leadership in today’s interconnected and multicultural world, enabling leaders to build strong, collaborative teams and foster an environment where all individuals feel valued and empowered to contribute their unique talents and perspectives. 

3. Convening is important. 

We saw up close that leadership in education wants to get together. Not only to learn from sessions or roundtables, but to forge connections and refine strategies with colleagues. By interacting with others in the field, attendees can gain new perspectives, discover innovative teaching methods, and build professional relationships that can benefit their students and their own professional development. 

The opportunity to network and exchange insights with peers is invaluable. These connections can serve as a support system for ongoing collaboration, idea-sharing, and problem-solving. The experience can inspire innovative approaches to addressing challenges and improving student outcomes. It underscores the value of ongoing learning and the power of community in the field of education.

Overall, attending a conference tailored to education leaders can reinforce the importance of collaboration, innovation, and continuous learning in driving positive outcomes for students, families, and schools. 

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