The 2006 ISACS conference in St. Louis was wonderful. There were many big name speakers - including Matt Montagne! Here is a summary of my favorite sessions:
Advisories In Action - Two teachers from a school in St. Louis presented an excellent workshop on improving a middle school advisory program. This was a timely session since we are looking at updating our program. Their program is based on the book, The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, by David Niven, PHd. The high interest activities were developed by the teachers. The program is based on positive psychology or learned optimism which is the most popular course at Harvard. It's the best middle school advisory program I have seen.
Modern Dads: What Schools Need To Know About the Next Generation of Men - A great session on how to get dads more involved in school life. I have noticed that our parent education program attracts a lot of moms. Should we design programs around the needs of dads? John Badalament spoke about modern fatherhood. He would be a great parent education speaker for USM sometime in the future.
Sexuality Education - Author and teacher, Deborah M. Roffman, spoke about this difficult topic. In her book Sex & Sensibility she attempts to help us reshape the ways in which we deal with our children, from toddlers to 20-year-olds, with respect to sex and sexuality. She offers ways to see, ways to listen, and ways to talk and behave so that our children learn how to make wise and happy choices about all things sexual. ic. I have a couple handouts if interested. Her website: http://www.sexandsensibility.net/home.html
Mirror Neurons - Noted brain researcher and professor, Robert Sylwester, spoke about human mirror neurons. Dr. Sylwester thinks this is the most important scientific discovery since DNA. He feels much more will be discovered and written about mirror neurons in the future. He also believes this research will have major educational implications. Dr. Sylwester loves to get emails from students interested in learning more about the human brain. He would be a great person to contact for science projects etc. If interested, I have an easy to read handout on this topic.