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NHSAA Hosts Successful 2022 Best Practices Conference on Social-Emotional Learning

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Executive Director Dr. Carl Ladd is pleased to announce that the New Hampshire School Administrators Association hosted a successful 2022 Best Practices Conference on Social-Emotional Learning.

The conference was held Tuesday, Sept. 20 and Wednesday, Sept. 21 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, with about 60 people in attendance.

The two-day conference hosted a variety of vendors, presenters, and keynote speakers who discussed ways in which students can learn and grow within their school community based on their social-emotional learning needs.

Keynote speakers were comprised of administrative educators from across New Hampshire who were able to share insight and experiences with participants. Speakers included Dr. Jessica Huizenga, who opened the conference with her presentation,
“Promoting Student Self-Efficiency Through Social Emotional Learning.” Dr. Huizenga, a former superintendent, now Managing Director for Latinos in Education and Discovery Education Consultant, spoke about several ways administrators can build and sustain a school community through self-efficiency.

This included how using credible communication tools and feedback, teachers can motivate students. By creating an empowering environment between administrators and educators and between educators and students, each part of the school district will be able to meet educational and personal goals.

Another example of this is using the tools that students see in the world today. The internet is being used everyday and social and digital media have a large impact on students. Educators can use these tools to their advantage by showing videos or using the interactive web-based learning for lessons.

“As leaders we have to believe that it can be done and show that it can be done,” said Dr. Huizenga.

Other keynote speakers included Daniel Joseph, President of Competency-Based Education Solutions President and Manchester School District Assistant Superintendent Amy Allen, who presented “SEL – It’s Not Just Another Thing! CBE Design & Delivery for Learner Agency.” The presentation touched upon experiences within school districts, as well as how school districts can embed social-emotional learning in their policies and organizational structures to best support learners.

CBE Solutions President Joseph explained that by promoting change, engaging stakeholders, building competency through continuous improvement and intentional instruction, school districts can work towards promoting achievement and meeting student needs.

Educators and administrators spent the day sharing insights, asking questions, and learning new ways to connect with students through implementing innovative ideas into their curriculum and overall school community.

“This conference is a great opportunity for educators to come together to recharge,” said NHSAA Event Marketing Manager Kymra Kurinskas. “It reinforces that they are doing this for a reason; that they are doing this for students.”

Educators from across the state presented on topics including educator burnout, poverty and trauma and the effects it has on education, empowering students, positive practices that support learning, and implementing desired outcomes.

The focus of the conference was to share experiences and ideas with other educators about meeting the needs of students, not just within a curriculum, but within the school community, and how environmental factors can impact a student’s growth. These topics highlighted that by empowering students through social-emotional learning they can grow both inside and outside of the classroom.

“We deeply thank our speakers for sharing their expertise and vision,” Executive Director Ladd said. “Educators across the state want to continue to grow as professionals, and they will use this knowledge to help their students grow.”

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