Welcome to Chicago!

In just a matter of hours, members of the ASCD Leadership Team will participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that will officially signal the start of the #Empower19 Conference. With “Synthesize” being the theme of this year’s education extravaganza, many in attendance (myself included) will be looking to visit sessions on various educational strategies that, when incorporated into the classroom setting, will allow for the whole child to achieve academic and social success. Judging by the excitement that permeated throughout the Main Registration area during tonight’s Welcome Reception, educators from across the world are gearing up for a monumental weekend of learning.

Making the Most of Each Session

At the conclusion of tomorrow morning’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, learning sessions will commence and, so to, will the learning. With so many options to choose from, it’s important for attendees to have a plan of attack. Which sessions most appeal to you? Why? Is the topic something that will benefit you as an educator and, more importantly, benefit the students in your classroom?

Once you’ve identified the presentations you’d like to attend, make the most of your time in each session by committing to being present. After you’ve listened to the speaker, ponder the implications of what was discussed and ask clarifying questions. The ultimate goal for all of us should be to leave each session with at least one clear takeaway. Keep a notebook or an electronic device at arm’s length and, as you depart the session, jot down what you’ve learned. Your notes will be beneficial when you’re reflecting on day from the comfort of your hotel room.

Day 1 Sessions Worth Your Consideration


  • Inquiring Minds: Teaching and Learning with Good Questions (W192a)
  • Learning Transformed: Eight Keys for Designing Tomorrow’s Schools Today (W375a)
  • Eliminating Teacher Burnout Through Inspiration (W196b)
  • Engaging Families and Communities for Equitable School Improvement (W178b)
  • Supporting our Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Youth (W180)


  • Make Vulnerability Your Next Superpower (W185d)
  • Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom (W196b)
  • Breaking Down Barriers to Build Bridges: Eliminating the School-to-Prison Pipeline (W178a)
  • #NeverAgain: Using Common Core State Standards to Critically Examine Student Acts of Social Justice (W192c)
  • Without Conflict, There Can Be No Leadership (W196a)


  • Learn on Me: Creating Effective Mentorship Programs (W181c)
  • Schoolwide Systems and Individual Approaches to Prevent and Intervene with Chronic Absenteeism (W184a)
  • Personalized Principal Leadership Practices: Leading Schools Where Black and Latino Students Excel (W178a)
  • My Name is Not B—-: Bullying and Relational Aggression Solutions for African American and Latina Girls (W192c)

Featured Panel 3:30pm-5:00pm

  • Trauma and Equity Panel (W375b)


  • Critical Race Theory: Uncovering Racism in Education (W181b)

It’s going to be a jam-packed Day 1 at Empower19! Be sure to leave a comment below and share your takeaways from the day.

So without further ado…

Let’s. Get. Learning.

Have a great day!