A Look Inside NIET’s 2022 National Conference

February 28, 2022

A Look Inside NIET’s 2022 National Conference

Each year, the NIET National Conference brings together educators from different parts of the country who share a mission to elevate strong instructional practices and improve student achievement. While the conference has looked different over the past two years, on March 10-11, NIET will be with educators again in person to explore how we accelerate our impact as teachers and leaders.

NIET's National Conference will offer hands-on, interactive training, and educators will collaborate and learn with NIET specialists and peers through a variety of professional learning sessions. In every session across the six learning strands, educators will be trained on tools and techniques they can use right away. Here’s a peek into what to expect in each strand.

Accelerating Educator Impact through: Equitable Access to Rigorous Learning

As educators, our core belief is that every student can succeed and deserves individualized support to reach our high expectations. This strand will offer sessions that explore how to accelerate learning by maximizing existing structures to ensure equitable opportunities for all students. Sessions will specifically cover:

  • the connection between NIET's Teaching and Learning Standards, equity, and learning acceleration; 
  • examining student access to rigorous instruction through equity walks; and 
  • analyzing student work through an equity lens. 

Accelerating Educator Impact through: Strong School Culture, Character, and Environment

The culture and environment we create in our schools and classrooms plays a key role in fostering student learning. We know how important it is after the past two years to ensure that we intentionally cultivate an environment for our teachers and students that empowers their success and growth as individuals. In this strand, conference participants will have the opportunity to learn: 

  • how to leverage the NIET Teaching and Learning Standards Rubric to increase students’ intrinsic motivation and drive student ownership, 
  • how to foster student ownership and an inclusive environment, and 
  • practices for principals to cultivate a strong school environment.

Accelerating Educator Impact through: Excellent Instruction and Student Ownership

Students' ownership of their learning is the fullest expression of great teaching. Student ownership takes us to a level beyond engagement. In student ownership, students articulate what they are learning, why they are learning, strategies that support their learning, and how they will use these strategies in the future. That is what we want to see in every classroom. Through these sessions, participants will explore: 

  • what student ownership and learning acceleration look like, 
  • how to establish student ownership culture using success criteria, and 
  • the role that leadership teams play in cultivating student ownership.

Accelerating Educator Impact through: Leadership and Collaborative Learning

The success of every school starts with its leadership, and the learning in these sessions will help participants fully realize the power of their teams. This strand is designed to help participants build skills to strategically leverage their leadership team’s ability to accelerate learning and target student needs. Sessions will specifically focus on providing support that: 

  • engages all leaders to impact classroom practices, 
  • builds capacity and collective efficacy, and 
  • aligns work across all levels of the school system to focus on students. 

Accelerating Educator Impact through: Effective Use of Instructional Materials and Curriculum

We know learning acceleration cannot happen without high-quality, curricular materials that are implemented well. Leaders can help educators connect what to teach with how to teach it. In this strand, participants will have the opportunity to explore the role curriculum plays in learning acceleration. The three sessions will focus on: 

  • leader practices that strengthen high-quality curriculum implementation, 
  • the role student work plays in diagnosing teacher strengths and opportunities, and 
  • how to use PLCs to empower teachers with planning using high-quality curriculum.

Accelerating Educator Impact through: Building New and Aspiring Teacher Supports

Creating a strong pathway from teacher preparation into the classroom is vital to the future success of our schools. Strengthening this pipeline is work that is shared by both higher education leaders and by school leaders. It is especially critical that we deepen our support as we support teachers who have had a disrupted preparation experience over the past two years. In this series, participants will have the opportunity to learn more about: 

  • coaching aspiring and new teachers, 
  • maximizing mentorship programs, and
  • strengthening partnerships between teacher preparation programs and K-12. 

These sessions will support both those in higher education that prepare teachers, as well as those in schools and districts who support and coach novice teachers. 

Bubble Sessions and Panel Discussions

In addition to the six strands of learning, participants will also have an opportunity to attend "bubble" sessions, where they will observe fellow district and school leaders model best practices in collaborative meetings. Panel discussions will feature NIET staff and partners, and these discussions will span the topics of high-quality curriculum implementation, leadership on learning acceleration strategies, networking for instructional improvement, and more.

NIET's National Conference also includes general sessions that spotlight stories of success and share ideas that other schools can consider to advance their progress. This year will be no different. Opening sessions will feature reflections from NIET Chairman and Founder Lowell Milken, NIET Co-President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Joshua Barnett, NIET Co-President Laura Encalade, as well as NIET's partners. On Thursday, NIET will present the 2022 Founder's Award to a top-performing NIET partner school. 

We look forward to seeing more than 1,200 educators in Dallas on March 10-11. Look for takeaways on social media using the hashtag #NIET2022.