- Dynamism. Some schools finally are changing in significant, far-reaching ways. even shattering some traditional models. I want to sense an upsurge in that sort of energy. It has to propel us to create a system in which we constantly are re-thinking, re-designing, re-birthing ourselves.
- Courage. Whether in the development of truly innovative programs (as suggested above) or in creating safe havens for people who feel threatened, I crave stories that embolden us. I want new heroes to venerate.
- Vulnerability. Tied to courage, I want to know the struggles, the failures, the fears. Risk, if it's worthwhile, entails amenability. Too often in sharing our triumphs we gloss over this. But it's in staring it down and proceeding that we grow stronger.
- Serendipity. If we remain open to possibilities, the chances of serendipity increase. Where and when might you hear some amazing idea? What old friend might you meet up with? What new connection might you make?
- Gasp-worthy. At least once I want to be truly awed, to feel that visceral "Wow!". That would be the gem, each facet radiant with the previous four bullets.
Ultimately, all these point to what we all want to find every year at annual conference: an injection of inspiration, right into an artery through which it surges to the very tips of our fingers and toes and neurons. Inspiration which nourishes us with those essential vitamins and minerals of school leadership, oft-depleted at this time of year. Yet one of the most amazing things about this conference is that while it pulls together hundreds of folks who need this inspiration, they manage at the same time to provide so much of it.