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  • Writer's pictureJim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip: 9/5/17 - 11th Annual National SAM Conference.


Registration opened yesterday for the 11th Annual National SAM Conference.

If you’ve attended a national SAM conference you know how special and different they are from any other conference in the country. NSIP Director and founder Mark Shellinger designed the conference to honor SAM teams—to make attendees feel like they work for Apple Computer rather than a school district.

Why? Because you do the most important work in the nation. You are building the future of this country every day in a place where all kids are equal and get continuous opportunities to learn and be better every day. America is great country because of public education. SAM teams make their schools better places for kids every single day.

Mark makes a point to find keynote speakers who will push your thinking. He selects the best from three fields: educational leadership, business leadership and psychology. This year he has five keynote speakers lined up who will not just push your thinking but elevate and inspire:

Featured Keynote Speakers:

• Amy Herman, Art of Perception Think you can learn something from art that will improve your ability to work with others? Amy works with every Navy SEAL,

Homeland Security, NYC Detectives and others who want to be better observers of people. Her session is remarkable and comes with a book you can use every day.

• Valorie Burton, Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable Valorie is inspirational, funny and forces you to think and then act to improve your impact when working with others. Her work, aimed at women leaders, has important applications for every guy, too, who wants to help others succeed. You will get her book, too, at the conference so make sure to leave room in your carry on.

• John Antonnetti, 17,000 Classroom Visits Georgia comes to the SAM conference in the form of John Anotnnetti, a former principal who can’t help but make people laugh and learn.. .and then laugh and learn some more. His book, 17,000 Classroom Visits, will be one you will treasure. Of course, you will receive a copy of this book, too!

• Catherine Steiner-Adair, The Big Disconnect Is it possible that tech is changing how kids learn and adults teach in a negative way as well as positive? Psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair’s work is sobering and may make you reconsider how tech is used in classrooms.. .and by you with the adults you work and family you love. She recognizes the good of tech but cautions the unintended consequences are dangerous. Her work has garnered national attention and has set off alarm bells in education and family circles. A national movement to limit tech for children under 14 is catching on as the data shows we may be doing more damage than good. Yes. You get her book too. Hard copy. Not in digital form, of course.

• Joseph Grenny, Crucial Conversations From the world of business leadership, Joseph is back! He wowed SAM teams at the Tucson national conference two years ago as he shared his book Influencer. This year he will focus on Crucial Conversations, his newest book, and how SAM teams can use his techniques to improve their impact.

If you haven’t registered for the conference yet go to and do so today. This year’s conference will be at a brand new five star resort in South Florida; JW Marriott Marco Island, adjacent to Naples and Fort Myers. Mark has reserved every one of the 750 rooms in this resort for SAM teams—all with ocean views. Once we reach the limit on rooms a waiting list will be started. Last year we started the waiting list for the conference before Thanksgiving. The lesson: don’t wait. Register now!!

Keep in mind that the conference is for SAMs and principals or the district leaders doing the SAM process. Keep in mind, too, that you must be doing the SAM process with efficacy in order to attend. Even if you register early you will be bumped to the waiting list if you are not scheduling in advance, using TimeTrack and having your SAM Daily Meeting.

When you have your SAM Daily Meeting today be sure to take time to register.. ..right after you get in the Green for tomorrow!

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