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When I left New York City on Sunday morning, it was 3 degrees celsius, wind chill making it feel like minus 3. I arrived home to Seattle to 50 degrees and daffodils blooming in my yard. Yes, it is still winter, and yet somehow, spring is on its way. As the darker, slower days of winter here in the northern hemisphere turn to the brighter, busier days of spring, I find myself reflecting on a few recent professional gatherings.

My week in the New York region began with attendance at the National Coalition of Girls' Schools Global Forum, where I co-facilitated a session about a new global endorsement project initiated by the Global Education Benchmark Group, of which I am a board member. This conference was a first for me and I enjoyed it immensely. I have been aware of the transformative power of girls’ education around the world for some time, but to see so many people from so many countries in one place to support girls and women was very inspiring. Gloria Steinem, whom I have followed since she started Ms. Magazine in the 1970s, gave the opening address, and I was struck by her lifetime commitment to activism and her call to us to engage the world at whatever level we can. Arianna Huffington, another person I admire for her accomplishments and her philosophy, challenged us to take better care of ourselves, to repute the notion that success requires burnout, and invited us instead to sleep more, rest more, act mindfully. Dina Habib Powell, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, taught us about the 10,000 Women Project supporting women entrepreneurs around the world through small business endeavors that change their communities in huge ways. Those 10,000 are about to scale to 100,000 through exciting new partnerships forged from the success of the first group. The closing speaker was Kakenya Ntaiya, a Kenyan woman who negotiated with her father for her education and returned to her rural homeland to start a boarding school for girls. Each of these speakers energized and inspired me in my work and life -- to act, to rest, to support, to give back.

I also had the opportunity to lead two workshops for faculty at the Hun School of Princeton in New Jersey. Hun’s current strategic plan calls for a number of global education initiatives. I have been helping their school as they create a global strategic plan, and this workshop was the next step in the process. Faculty spent time in departmental and mixed groups, exploring and developing the elements of global education they will incorporate into their classes. I was once again struck by how exciting it is to hear teachers talking with each other about teaching; and how, sadly, that doesn’t happen nearly often enough in schools.

My final stop was to facilitate a session at the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. I worked with participants to connect the concept of citizenship to the teaching of world languages. It was great fun to work with educators who came from Egypt, Poland, Mexico, the Philippines, Taiwan and the US, teaching in preschools to colleges, and public, private, international and charter schools. As we examined our own citizenship and culture through the Cultural Iceberg exercise, we celebrated difference and commonality, sharing how we would take the learning back to our students.

At all three of my New York stops, I met up with old friends and colleagues, met new people and thoroughly enjoyed the exchange among educators promoting global education, language learning, classroom practice, and connections around the world. I came home reflecting on winter and energized for the increased pace of spring, committed to good self care as I act and serve. I wish you the same.


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Anthology Career Stories Podcast

Last month I reflected on my career on a podcast called Anthology. It provided the opportunity to revisit my life thus far: jobs I have held, places I have lived, people I have worked with and projects I have been passionate about. I invite you to listen to it here

National Coalition of Girls' Schools

I really enjoyed the National Coalition of Girls' Schools Global forum. If you're interested in learning more, consider looking into their upcoming symposium: 
Educating Girls Symposium
Developing Leadership Through Wellness and Mindfulness
April 15th, 2016  
Madeira School in McLean, VA.

The topic, Developing Leadership Through Wellness and Mindfulness, a fitting theme given the Arianna Huffington talk I mentioned earlier!

Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

If you're interested in checking out the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the 2017 conference dates are already set: 
Strengthening World Language Education: Standards for Success
February 9 – 11, 2017
NY Hilton Midtown

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