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Speaking to Listen in the Age of Emojis

Date: Tuesday - February 07, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Location:  Steelcase WorkLife Center

The skill of effective communication has powerful influence in shaping school culture. Teachers, students and leadership are surrounded by feedback on a daily basis from the classroom to meetings to the playing field.

Understanding how to communicate can be the difference between listening to react and listening to understand. How one hears, processes and delivers feedback can be powerful in shaping the tone of personal and professional relationships. In this workshop, theory, practice and your experiences will be used to examine what it takes to host effective and productive conversations with colleagues and students.

This seminar, for teachers and administrators of all grades,  will prepare participants to initiate better and more productive conversations with their colleagues, students, and parents. We will introduce a series of frameworks and skillsets which will enhance the way we speak and listen to each other.

This session includes:

  • Identifying types of feedback
  • Identifying perspective of knowings
  • Supporting different ways of knowing
  • Methods of hearing and giving feedback (even when you don’t want to)
  • Empathic Listening:an exercise is listening
  • Amygdala Hijack: identifying your triggers for grounded conversations
  • Four-fold Practice: a framework for mindful conversations
  • Levels of Speaking and Listening from Theory U: A framework for moving conversations to a co-generative space)
  • World Cafe: Creating a space for conversations leading to invested action


9:00 – 9:30

Circle Practice

9:30 –12:00

  • Theory U, Levels of Speaking and Listening
  • Identifying types of feedback
  • Identifying & supporting perspective of knowings
  • Four-fold Practice: a framework for mindful conversations
  • Empathetic Listening Activity

12:00 –1:00


1:00 – 3:30

  • Form a World Cafe to create a conversational space to exercise to try out their new skills.
  • Consider how participants can translate these new skills into their own personal context.
  • Amygdala Hijack
  • Check Out/Closing Circle


Karen Blumberg has been teaching and coordinating technology since 1996. She is thrilled to be the K-12 Technology Coordinator at The Brearley School in New York City working with faculty and students to integrate technology academically, creatively, and responsibly. Previously, she was an educational technologist at The School at Columbia University, a technology integrator at Sacred Heart teaching robotics and programming, a math teacher at The Dalton School, and a math teacher for The School District of Philadelphia. Karen is a proud co-founder and organizer of TEDxNYED, TEDxYouth@TheSchool, EdcampNYC, EdcampMumbai, EdcampBKK, the Robo Expo, and other events for educators, children, and families. She is also a past president of the New York Consortium of Independent School Technologists (NYCIST), and she has presented at conferences both domestically and internationally about her work with students and teachers: Navigating social media, crafting digital projects that embrace new media literacies, building a PLN, supporting faculty’s professional growth, and launching a variety of original curricular projects which integrate STEAM and innovative technologies. Among other awards, Karen was recognized by the National Association of Independent Schools as a Teacher of the Future for the 2013-2014 school year. Karen is passionate about photography, traveling, tinkering, bargain shopping, and good eats. She keeps of her professional endeavors on her website:

Diana Potts has been teaching and working in technology for over fifteen years. She currently works at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School as the Instructional Technology Integrator at Fieldston Lower. Before moving to New York City in 2014 she worked in New Jersey schools as a science and social studies teacher in grades four through six. Her background in the .com industry lead her to a special interest in supporting curriculum with technology and helping teachers use technology for workflow and instruction. Diana helped craft and deliver numerous workshops as a consultant for the New Jersey Education Association on topics ranging from Problem Based Learning, STEAM education and integrative technologies. Diana has organized EdCamps, Hackathons and presented at multiple conferences including Educon. She is currently pursuing her doctorate at Hofstra University. Topics of research thus far include effective communication practices in education, interdisciplinary learning, supportive mentoring practices for elementary science education and inequities in the K-12 STEM pipeline. In her free time Diana finds solace in cooking, absorbing useless facts, hiking and road trips to the mountains. You can read more about her here: and follow her on twitter @D_L_Potts .

Mike Ritzius began a 14 year career as a science teacher at Camden County Technical School in New Jersey after leaving the world of biomedical research. In 2010, he and nine of his colleagues founded Edcamp – the grassroots, participant driven, professional development model that has swept across the globe. To further this work, the Edcamp Foundation was established, of which he was founding board member. Mike has served as a founding organizer of Edcamp Philly, Leadership, STEAM, and at the US Department of Education. Most recently, Mike has left the classroom to become an advocate for teachers and the profession, serving as Associate Director of Professional Development and Instructional Issues for the New Jersey Education Association. In this role, he specializes in designing professional learning experiences, serves as a leading expert in teacher evaluation, and works to empower and organize members, students, and community members to advocate for inclusive and effective schools. Mike has been an invited speaker to a variety of national conferences including ASCD, ISTE, and Building Learning Communities. Mike enjoys hiking and skiing, major DIY home projects, and he cooks a mean roasted chicken. You can follow him on twitter @mritzius

Register Here

Fee includes Continental breakfast, lunch and all materials.

Group Discounts for 5 or more registering together.

Regular Registration Fees apply within 2 weeks of the event

  • NYSAIS members - $200.00
  • Non-members - $235.00

Early Discount of $20.00 will apply until 2 weeks before the event

Late Fee of $10.00 will appily within 2 days of the event.

* Note: Payment is by credit card only

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17 Elk Street (First Floor)     Albany, NY 12207     Tel: 518-694-5500     Fax: 518-694-5501

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