AUSL’s LiberatED Way brought more than 80 school leaders from across the country to Chicago for their second annual LiberatED Leaders LinkUp (L3). The three-day event began with a sunset cruise along the Chicago River for the leaders to connect over dinner and views of the city. The workshops and discussions continued at The Metropolitan, lifestyle and business club on the 67th floor of Willis Tower.
Taking on the style of an Unconference, the LiberatED Way team developed the sessions based on input from the attendees. The L3 Unconference centered Gen Z, the trailblazing generation of current K-12 students and young teachers. Expert facilitators guided school leaders through sessions on reaching, teaching, and leading Gen Z.
Throughout the Unconference, leaders chose small-group discussions to dive into topics most relevant to their work.
“One of the key takeaways from the Unconference was the reaffirmation of the importance of cultivating inclusive and student-centered learning environments,” said Ulric Shannon, Director of Purpose at LiberatED Way. “The discussions emphasized the need to create spaces where every student’s voice is valued, where their identities are celebrated, and where their individual strengths are nurtured.”
Other topics ranged from managing workload and teacher mindset to engaging school families and communities. The attendees, from 10 school districts across 5 states, reflected on challenges and shared solutions to best serve each of their school communities.
Chief of Community Engagement at Kids First Chicago, Dr. Natalie Neris, delivered the L3 keynote address emphasizing the importance of authenticity and curiosity in relationship-building. LiberatED Way invited a panel of six Gen Z students and a panel of seven Gen Z teachers who shared insights on how to support them for an excellent education environment. Exchanging values across generations refreshed leaders’ perspectives on fostering community.
“By investing in the professional development of educators, we aim to amplify our impact and create a ripple effect that positively influences the broader education community,” Shannon said. “We are excited about the positive impact we can make on education as we implement our next steps.”
To learn more about how to engage with LiberatED Way, contact Martin Green, Advisory Services General Manager [email protected].