Navigator Blog

#RelationshipsMatter: 4 Takeaways from the Annual Event

September 28, 2022

1. Relationships with students matter

Mr. Dwayne Reed brings high energy opening keynote to Annual Event

The Annual Event started with a dynamic keynote speaker, Mr. Dwayne Reed. Mr. Reed, who proclaims himself as America’s Favorite Rapping Teacher, brought his brand of enthusiasm, inspiration, and empowerment to the educators in attendance. 

Mr. Reed is known for his YouTube series “Mr. Reed Reads.” His work has been featured on “Good Morning America,” in The Washington Post, Time magazine, and more. He challenged EdLeader21 Network members to be the educators their students need and emphasized how much relationships matter.  

“It’s the heart and the health needs before the head,” he offered, focusing on how much mental health and well-being matter. At the end of his keynote, he boldly proclaimed, “I know it’s called Battelle for Kids, but this is a battle for kids.” 

His personal stories and call to give students something to love about their schools were appreciated by the crowd, who stood at their feet and applauded after Mr. Reed’s keynote. 

2. “As a nation, we are seeking a unifying, hopeful vision for the future of education.”

It has been two years since the last Annual Event, and registration soared—nearly 600 educators, thought leaders, and more have gathered in Houston to unify, inspire, and lead. This vibrant group of education leaders is committed to advancing 21st century, deeper learning for every student. 

Battelle for Kids President and CEO Karen Garza welcomed a large crowd during today’s opening session. She rallied them around the shared aspiration that powers the network: to transform education systems so that a hopeful, collective vision inspires every educator, and every student is well prepared as lifelong learners and contributors.

3. Networks can empower and inspire educators

After several inspiring professional learning sessions, Annual Event attendees connected during job-a-like sessions. These sessions aligned with educators’ roles within their school system and allowed them to share successes, grow personal networks, and develop relationships that will help fuel deeper learning outcomes.  

Many educators shared how excited they were to connect and expand their network because everyone is on the same journey of implementing deeper learning for all students. They feel empowered to continue their work, knowing they have the support of fellow network members across the country.  

4. A hopeful future begins with community conversations

Annual Event attendees also participated in the FuturesCoLab Prototype Experience, getting an exclusive first look at a new offering from Battelle for Kids and offering feedback, so it’s responsive to their needs. The innovative new service can reignite a community conversation around a district’s vision for 21st century, deeper learning – a Portrait of a Graduate. Participants discussed the landscape shifts in society and how school systems can adapt to a rapidly-changing world.

Do you have a 21st century, deeper learning vision – a Portrait of a Graduate? Our professional learning experiences can help you bring it to life for every student.