When Passion & Purpose Collide, Progress is Made: ASCD Empower18

“Without leaps of imagination, we lose the excitement of possibilities.”

Gloria Steinem

You know how you get full of anticipation when you see a date on the calendar representing an event, or receive an invite to a party, or your favorite holiday is coming? Well, when I saw @CrowdCompass opened up, allowing me to see @ASCD  #Empower18 options…I got that feeling. So, with the Black Eyed Peas “Let’s get it started” song in my head, I began looking through options to create my schedule. When I think about “excitement”, I think about words we can use to express our “excitement”.  For example:

  • amazing
  • awesome
  • thrilled
  • delighted
  • charged
  • exhilarated
  • enthusiastic
  • overjoyed
  • ecstatic

Excitement is a feeling you get when you know something is about to happen.  You look forward to that something. You don’t seem to ever stop talking about it. For me, excitement for ASCD’s Empower 18 started with thinking about all the possibilities for connections and new learning. I  quickly messaged my PLN to see if they are going.

Excitement creates action! Have you registered, yet? ASCD will empower you to increase learning, challenge yours and other’s thinking and most importantly, have fun while doing so. Start each one of your  days with the mindset of  “I am going learn something new today”. Then, reflect and share your learning with others. How will you share YOUR excitement? If you decide to join the conversation on Twitter, others would love to read those reflections and learn alongside you! Tweet to Massachusetts ASCD (@MASCD) to share your learning, and make connections.

Be strategic as you channel your purpose and passion during the conference.  In the spirit of collaboration I wanted to share a few of my own strategic growth areas (in bold) as I plan for ASCD’s Empower18 and continue my learning.

Challenge myself at ASCD

Many people like being the smartest person in the room. Think about it; if you are the smartest person in your session, you should change sessions!  Do you personally gain from knowing more about the session than the presenter and interjecting your own experience? If you know everything in a session, move to another session to challenge yourself and grow.

Be Motivated

By challenging yourself to meet a new goal, you’ll be motivated to continue. I always set goals as high as possible, taking the mindset “if someone doesn’t laugh at my goal, it is not set high enough”. Be motivated during this event and push yourself to set a goal.. Maybe start a blog to write about new learning.  Tweet something daily (or more). Keep a video record of thoughts on @flipgrid. Make a new connection by building your professional learning network (#PLN).

As @MASCD’s Social Media Ambassador, my goal and motivation is to ensure my learning doesn’t slow down and to Tweet a wide variety of topics and content to share and be an active learner.

Embrace the Unknown

If you challenge yourself and find new (or renewed) motivation, you will find yourself in unfamiliar situations.  That’s a GOOD thing! Push the boundaries of your comfort zone! Allow yourself to become more innovative, experimental , and more inventive! We don’t learn  much in our comfort zones, so move along into the learning zone. When you expand your thinking, you also increase opportunities to share this knowledge with your PLN.

Boost My Belief in Innovation

Setting goals and challenging yourself to meet them while celebrating your small achievements along the way will do more than make you more successful. It will boost your confidence and remove any negativity that surrounds your abilities. Your time at ASCD’s Empower18 could include  anything from learning a new app, buying a new book, networking with people across the county (or outside of it), or rewriting your PD plan with new ideas learned at Empower 18. Small changes and celebrations will make you feel like you’re progressing and help you maximize your abilities.

Increase my PLN

This is self-explanatory, but being at ASCD gives us all  an opportunity to broaden our perspective by meeting tons of new people. It’s inevitable! You’ll find yourself talking to many educators who will strengthen and diversify your PLN. That’s another perk to having confidence: people will be drawn to you… and then the collaboration begins!

I am excited to have an opportunity to present and share at the #Empower18 Learning Tables about school culture.  Here is an overview of what I am doing and time and location of sessions. Stop by and introduce yourself!

I hope you find (or expand) your passion and purpose at ASCD.  Moreover, I hope you share that growth with others as we all continue to build and grow our learning and partnerships. Feel free to Tweet me (@MatthewXJoseph) your ideas, challenges, or thoughts! Keep checking in to @MASCD to collaborate, learn, and share.  I look forward to writing a mid-event blog post for MASCD as well as a wrap up.

See you in Boston!

As you scroll through your session possibilities, check out some of these MASCD members at #Empower18!


1132 – Empowering Educators with Legislative Support

IKZAdvisors, LLC

  • Isa Kaftal Zimmerman
  • Josh Zakim
  • Jay Kaufman
  • Harriette L. Chandler

1335 – Beyond Proficient: Reflective Practices for Effective Growth

  • Suzy Brooks: Mashpee Public Schools

1426 – MASCD: Igniting the Learning of the Whole Child in Massachusetts

    • Martin Geoghegan: John T. Nichols Jr. Middle School
    • Suzy Brooks: Mashpee Public Schools
    • Aubrie Rojee: Medway Public Schools
    • Donna Noonan: John W. Decas Elementary School


  • Emily Parks: Westwood Public Schools


EC01 – Edcamp – Callahan & Miles

  • Dan Callahan: Massachusetts Teachers Association
  • Christine Miles: New Jersey Education Association


EC02 – Edcamp – Callahan & Miles

  • Dan Callahan: Massachusetts Teachers Association
  • Christine Miles: New Jersey Education Association

2315 – Alchemy of Social Media to Transform Your Leadership

  • Martin Geoghegan: John T. Nichols Jr. Middle School
  • Brian McCann: Joseph Case High School


3105 – Accelerating the Curve for Young School Leaders

  • Kerry Gallagher: ConnectSafely and St. John’s Prep
  • Natalie Franzi: ASCD Emerging Leader, Somerville Public Schools
  • Amy N. MacCrindle: ASCD Emerging Leader


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