From the Field
2023 NASDTEC Conference Highlights
By Aleka Calsoyas published on Jun 23, 2023
min read
Aleka, CEO & Co-founder, sitting at the Torace table at the 2023 NASDTEC Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

What a terrific conference! Team Torace enjoyed all the new connections made and great conversations about how to support the work of educators across the country. Here are three highlights:

#1 The Teacher Labor Market

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Dan Goldhaber shared a lot of powerful data on the teacher labor market (TLM), including an important headline directly related to our mission: “K12’s Partnerships with Teacher Preparation Programs Offer Low-hanging Fruit for Addressing TLM Problems That’s Often Overlooked!” For instance, better alignment between a student teacher’s clinical practice experience and first job can improve feeling of preparedness, performance in years one through three, and retention rates. Only about 3% of teachers host student teachers, increasing the pool of highly qualified, willing hosts can make aligned matches easier and can help get student teachers ready to excel in higher needs assignments.

More about Dan here:

#2 Nurturing Educator Wellbeing

Image credit: @NASDTEC, Twitter

It was nice to pause and take a breath with Silvana Gorton and Debb Oliver. The session, “SEADing Recruitment Efforts That Nurture Educator Wellbeing,” started off with minute of “just being” followed by 30 seconds of reflection and table sharing. It is always interesting to hear the diversity of perspectives—some folks thought the minute seemed long and other short, some felt it was restful and others were anxious. It’s a great reminder that something as simple as a shared 60 seconds of silence can be experienced in such different ways, and was in and of itself a moment of shared learning.

#3 Experiencing Phoenix

Image credit: Christina Ung

Team Torace also enjoyed this year’s NASDTEC location and took advantage of the experiences Phoenix had to offer! We took a driverless car to a vegetarian restaurant! And of course, I got a little skating in, taking my Heelys (yes, grown people can play too!) for a roll around the gardens near the conference venue and had a lovely impromptu twilight chat with a fellow conference goer.

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