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13 Nov 2018
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On the Dot 2018 Recap

I have been trying to figure out the best way to encapsulate all of the awesomeness that was jammed into one day of “On the Dot”s inaugural “See it to Be It Success Summit” and I think the best way is a list and a blog post. First, I feel like I should mention what this conference was NOT. It was not a conference designed for educators per se, nor one that directly focused on students or education. What this conference DID HAVE was a gathering of women focused around supporting each other and achieving success.

As I work at a high school that is focused on CASEL’s Social Emotional Learning skills and partners with Stanford’s Challenge Success program AND I spend a fair amount of time supporting students in our CTE (Career and Technology Education) courses like Mentorship and the Incubator, I felt like this conference had some answers to questions that we might be asking in education… but may not find in traditional events designed by educators and geared solely to educators. That is not to say that I don’t attend educational conferences. I do and I thoroughly enjoy them and learn so much from them. I have posted links to many of my recaps of those events here. What I am saying is that broadening our scope and connecting with businesses and entrepreneurs allows us to interact with people and ideas that we may not have been able to glean otherwise.

What follows is a little inspiration, a little instruction, and a little insight from some of the amazing women I connected with. And so, Lisa’s Listicle of Lovely Learning commences… ūüėČ

On The Dot

First and foremost… you have to visit On the Dot’s site. They have amazing blog posts with tips on a variety of topics ranging from entrepreneurship and STEM to Health/Wellness and Politics and Activism. They also have two kick butt podcasts. “Four Minutes with On the Dot”¬†and “On the Spot with Melinda Garvey”. Both highlight successful and inspiring women and provide a large range of topics to binge on. If you are social, follow On the Dot on Instagram and Twitter.

Quips, Tips, and Quotes

There were so many great tips, lessons learned, and quotes and I have been struggling to find the best way to share those out in a meaningful way. Recently, I started playing with Adobe Spark Post to highlight some of my favorite quotes from the books I have read this year. This seemed like a great way to share out some of my favorite quips, tips, and quotes as well. And it gives you a broad range of people and ideas to connect with. Feel free to share these quotes and images on social media or print them and post them around your classroom or campus to brighten someone’s day. The link to all of these graphics is here.

I am also including their social media info if you would like to connect with them that way too and/or to support women owned businesses:

Own Every Room

Lisa Mitchell did a fantastic workshop. She is a Body Language and Communication expert as well as a Certified Forensics Interviewer. You can connect with her on Instagram and Twitter and find her website here. She shared a couple of tips for interacting with people (versus transacting). While they were mostly geared towards businesswomen, I think there are some take-aways that could be meaningful to our educational practice:

  • Be Intentional: Set Your Intention – If I were to meet you in 30 seconds, what 3 words would you want me to use to describe you. For me, it might be competent, trustworthy, and creativity or kind. Lisa also mentioned that there might be 3 different words if you were walking into work vs. your house. Her tip was to set these 3 words before you walk into a room and think about what those mean for your interactions.
  • Take Control of Your First Impression and Gain Their Trust – Within 7 seconds of being seen, a first impression is made. Are you a threat? A friend? Neutral? Would someone have confidence in you? Something as simple as smiling, acknowledging others, keeping your head high, and not being on your phone when you walk into a room (or a classroom) are simple ways to gain trust.¬†And speaking of trust… Lisa talked about keeping your hands visible (as opposed to behind your back). These seem obvious but I work in a support role with students and staff so these were a nice reminder.

Millennials and The Future

The year you were born corresponds to a label. For me, I am smack dab in the edge of ¬†two of these labels… Gen X and Millennial. Perhaps I am a Xennial… who knows? I digress (if you want to fall deeper down this rabbit hole, here is an article that delineates this better). Millennials are very much in the work force and in education. Generation Z would basically be one of my children (the one in middle school) and the younger… Gen Alpha (the children of millennials)… which are in our classrooms as well… though mostly in elementary. I swear I am getting to a point. Deloitte did a survey of 10,000 millennials across 36 countries and 1,800 generation Z’ers from 6 countries.

  • Parents Shape Students: The students in our classrooms (elementary and middle school) are the parents of these Gen Z and Millenials and we all know that parents help to shape the values of their children so I think at the very least an awareness of what those values is important.
  • Importance of Flexibility and Business Ethics:¬†Some of the findings brought to light that these generations are more concerned with the ethics of businesses and flexibility within the workplace than in previous generations.
  • Lack of Soft Skills Preparation: They also feel less prepared for work in Industry 4.0 and are looking to businesses to develop soft skills like creativity and interpersonal skills.

Their quick video does a better job of describing these findings (linked here) and embedded below. This will come as no surprise to any of you that incorporate social emotional learning skills, flexible seating, problem based learning, or design thinking into your classroom BUT it is a helpful reminder nonetheless.

I am fairly certain this won’t be the last time you hear me talk about On The Dot, soft skills, or college and career readiness skills. I hope this post inspires you to connect with these amazing women, ideas, and resources. And please feel free to reach out to me¬†¬†if there are additional topics you would like me to dig deeper into or share more of on

But Wait… There’s More…

If you are interested in additional conference recaps, I have provided some links below:


If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email

And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ