On the Blog…May 2021

Power Summit Edition

Our 2nd annual Code Breaker Power Summit took place at the end of April. Leaders in education from across the globe took the virtual stage to motivate and inspire!

Over the course of 2 days, 19 hrs, and 23 sessions, we were challenged to change our thinking, inspired to be better, and motivated to keep going. The weekend wrapped up as Brian Aspinall recapped two incredible days of learning and growing…

Our Summit opened with keynote Jennifer George of Rube Goldberg Inc., who introduced us to her grandfather, Rube Goldberg himself and told the story of the birth of STEM before STEM was even a thing!

Charles Williams spoke to problem with colour blindness. He reminded us that if we don’t see colour then we are missing a lot of cultural capital. His session allowed a great opportunity for reflection as attendees spoke to their journeys and wanting to move past where they are.

In her Amplifying Thinking Routines session, Debbie Tannenbaum showed us so many ways to slow down and THINK; Reminding us that whatever we think is never perfect or wrong; it is just a moment in time.

Peter LeBlanc joined us from Belgium with his session, Lessons Behind the Gates. Peter inspired us to take risks and try difficult things. He reminds us that there is opportunity in being outside of our comfort zone, that being human is making tough decisions, and that being vulnerable is not weakness.

Lauren Watkins and Deb Dixon from Unruly Splats, through kinesthetic coding, demonstrated that collaboration helps us grow and gives us confidence to try more.

Dr. Frank Rudnesky spoke about the 5 Domains of Fired Up Leadership. He reminded us of the importance of self-talk and that love is the most powerful thing we can offer ourselves. A session highlight was when participants were asked to set a calendar date in their phones to check in with themselves, encouraging us to ask, “Am I where I want to be?” His closing thought…DREAM SO BIG, IT SCARES PEOPLE!

Chad LeDune took us through Discomfort by Design. He challenged us to live through what we cannot control. He shared personal and professional stories that drove home the idea that personal growth is the best kind of success.

Barb Schwamman shared the enormous growth that she and her district have accomplished in computer science. There was no denying her passion and enthusiasm as she took us through the development of the CS ed. programs and the opportunities these programs have afforded her staff and students.

In her session Mental Health in Schools, Christine Ravesi-Weinstein helped us all reflect on how we are dealing with anxiety in our students. She spoke to the how and why of anxiety and offered strategies for supporting our students and their families. She shared her own personal story of mental health and reminded us that as with anything we may not understand, the key is to ask questions.

The EduSisters spoke very passionately in their session surrounding Historical Empathy. They shared that learning history through feelings will help us to understand and empathize in the world in which we live today.

Dr. Darrin Peppard closed our first day with his session, Educators Matter. He wore his heart on his sleeve as he shared personal stories that allowed us to reflect on our impact. He reminded us that our job comes with challenges and hardships but to never forget that we matter. Our day ended in tears of gratitude.

Day two opened up with Dr. Matthew X. Joseph asking a very poignant question: What are you going to do today to change your tomorrow? In his session on the Power of Connections, Matt drove home the point that the connections we make are our choice. And with all things, be authentic and unapologetically you.

In their session Preventing Polarization, Michelle Blanchet and Brian Deters shared some amazing skills we all should focus on more to be able to have constructive dialogue about tough subjects to elicit change in the future.

Georgina Dean and Shannon Moore reminded us that creativity belongs to every human and that it only takes one person to spread the seed for others to give in to growth. 

Dr. Brandon Beck in his session Unlocking Unlimited Potential, moved us all with his beautiful tribute to his brother-in-law, reminding us that the time is fleeting. If you don’t love what you are doing, get out of your own way and live now! 

Pav Wander and Chey Cheney of the Staffroom Podcast encouraged everyone to rediscover their voice through self-directed PD in a podcast. Archiving leads to accountability and better reflection.

Brian Lamb from Swivl spoke of the evolution of A.I. and that the skills of today are not enough for the future. We need those skills with value.

Roman Nowak inspired all of us to never stop questioning and that leading with HOPE will allow us to transform our current realities.

Bradlee W. Skinner left us speechless and searching for Kleenex. In his brilliant session Answering the Call, he validated what we were all feeling, teaching is hard. He reminded us of the importance of supporting one another as we grow and learn.

Andrew Canlé’s 10 step credo, Mindset Moments, is an excellent way to concentrate on the things we can do to get to where we want to be.

Monte Syrie serenaded us with his Smiles and Frowns song, modelling one of his idols, Fred Rogers. He even changed into his sweater as he reminded us that grades are not what’s important. It is our influence as educators, not power, that will allow us to continue to “Break Better”.

Alice Aspinall spoke passionately about the need for growth mindset in all things math. By changing the narrative of what math is, we can change the mindset of what math can be for our students.

This year’s Summit was sponsored by Robotical, Unruly Splats, Logics Academy, Swivl, Wipebook, and Rube Goldberg Inc.

Thank you to all who attended and to our sponsors for their generous donations. See you all next year!