Nationally renowned educator, speaker and ‘Bold School’ author Weston Kieschnick shares his ideas for building positive relationships with students during his ‘CCSD Ed Talks’ address to a crowd of nearly 3,000 CCSD educators on Friday.
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Cherokee County School District educators today gathered together as a whole for the first time in 26 years.
Nearly 3,000 educators, administrators and other staff attended CCSD’s first “CCSD Ed Talks” professional development session held at First Baptist Church of Woodstock. Not since 1993 have all of CCSD’s teachers, administrators and education support staff attended such an event together.
The two-hour program, entitled “A Celebration of Teaching and Learning,” included brief remarks by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and a keynote address by nationally renowned educator, speaker and “Bold School” author Weston Kieschnick. Both spoke about the importance of relationships and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).
Dr. Hightower said the national movement in support of SEL to ensure students’ emotional and mental health and well-being is valued as much as their academic success is exciting and inspiring.
“When I was a teacher, it was all about ‘teaching to the whole child,’” he said, noting that public education then was overtaken by demands for more and more testing and increased pressure to improve those results. “We’re talking about the whole child again, and it’s so awesome… kids are not data points. Our kids are so much more.”
Mr. Kieschnick, who taught high school for 15 years before beginning his full-time career as an author and speaker, emphasized the importance of building positive relationships with students to encourage success. As part of his session, he outlined 12 classroom strategies and encouraged interaction among audience members.
“Our character manifests itself in the words we say to kids,” said Mr. Kieschnick, who was thanked by the crowd with a standing ovation. “There is an incredible amount of power in a single sentence.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower speaks to nearly 3,000 educators who were gathered Friday for the first event of its kind in 26 years.
Mr. Kieschnick asks the audience to think about perspective when connecting with students.
Ann Ussery, left, and Sayo Aybar, special education teachers at Oak Grove Preschool participate as part of Mr. Kieschnick’s interactive session.
The audience rose for a standing ovation to thank Mr. Kieschnick for his presentation.