Bringing New Hampshire Educators Together

What makes New Hampshire Learning Initiative’s Powerful Learning Conference so powerful? Three days of incredible professional development presented by some of the state’s best teachers, school leaders, thought leaders, and change agents, led by NHLI executive director Ellen Hume-Howard, who architected an amazing experience for attendees and presenters alike. Hume-Howard’s commitment to ensuring meaningful professional development for educators is reflected in the powerful network she has forged with Southern New Hampshire University to award graduate credit for the valuable work educators do as they develop the knowledge and skills needed to address student learning.  

In school systems nationwide, today’s educators have to do more with less. Fewer resources, less time, and less money do not prevent an ever-growing expectation of “more” –– including higher test scores and increased social and emotional support –– all while educators are preparing their students to be successful in jobs that likely don’t even exist yet. Nothing is more empowering for today’s overburdened educators than meaningful and engaging professional development. Research has shown that teaching quality and school leadership are the most important factors in raising student achievement. 

It’s Who You Know

One of the most powerful presentations at the conference was the opening keynote by Julia Freeland Fisher, author of Who You Know: Unlocking Innovations That Expand Students’ Networks, an excellent book exploring the importance of helping students build social connections that open doors to new opportunities. 

“Relationships,” says Freeland Fisher, “…are at once buffers against risk and conduits to opportunity.”

“A supportive and diverse network predicts higher levels of college completion, not to mention more professional opportunity once students hit the job market.” 

Freeland Fisher’s research has had a profound impact on many working to transform education across the state. Steve Kossaloski, founder and CEO of the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS), quoted Freeland Fisher at a recent Business Leader Summit he hosted to encourage networking and to cultivate professional business relationships for New Hampshire students. He did this not just because she references VLACS in the second half of her book, but because he agrees with her views and thus works to build opportunities for students, like many educational leaders do, to build the support networks that they need –– that we all need –– to be successful.

Powerful Learning. Stronger Relationships.

The Powerful Learning Conference brought together similarly invested educators looking for a way to help students build stronger relationships within their academic experience. During the three-day conference, educators explored solutions to some of the most pressing issues surrounding education, such as equity, social and emotional learning, innovation, and how to lead through change. Attendees left with a deeper understanding, strengthened skills, and an enhanced network of their own. 

The future of education is indeed strong when the focus centers on providing quality professional development for educators who work tirelessly to provide the best instruction possible. 

Motivis Learning is proud to support the New Hampshire Learning Initiative as well as VLACS in the innovative work they do to support educators and learners. 

Watch Motivis Learning’s Director of Education, Emily Dustin, recap NHLI’s Powerful Learning Conference 2019 below.