Each year, as I sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with my wife, children, and grandchildren to give thanks for our health and our loved ones, I can’t help but reflect on the things I’m thankful for professionally as well.
This year, I’m thankful for ASCD’s global community of educators and I am honored to be CEO of such an impactful organization. At ASCD, we are constantly innovating and revolutionizing our programs, products, and services to support the success of each child on a global scale.
As many of you already know, I’m passionate about international travel and sharing best practices with fellow educators around the world. In 2013 alone, I have been fortunate to meet with educators on behalf of ASCD in countries such as the United States, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and beyond. In each country I enter, I am inspired by local practitioners who care deeply about their students and are always trying to improve their craft.
In August, I attended a conference at Silpakorn University in Bangkok, as well as the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) World Conference in Pattaya, Thailand. At the IUHPE meetings, I was surrounded by health and education experts from countries ranging from Finland to India and Scotland to Bhutan. We spent time together at the conference discussing the importance of health in education, a topic which is a large part of ASCD’s whole child work. I’m thankful to be a part of the international conversation that advocates for children, and I’m thankful that the leaders in countries across the world are listening and making improvements.
Earlier this month, I also traveled to Doha, Qatar with the ASCD Board of Directors to hold a board meeting and explore future partnerships with education leaders. While we were in Saudi Arabia, I signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Saudi Arabia–based Tatweer Company for Educational Services (T4EDU). This MOU will facilitate the development of a comprehensive plan to support education improvement initiatives in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Growing ASCD’s scope internationally is of utmost importance as the virtual distance between countries shrinks. Learning, teaching, and leading are becoming more dynamic and global each day, and I’m thankful that ASCD is an active participant in this global phenomenon.
Though nothing will ever surpass my grandchildren on the list of things I’m thankful for, ASCD and the opportunities we can provide educators worldwide come pretty close. Here’s wishing you and yours a happy holiday season.