Heads Carolina, Tails California

Well it has been awhile since posting to this blog…but as they say, better late than never.  Growing up in rural America, there was always a country song on somewhere nearby.  However, despite this, I didn’t really grow up a country fan. It might have been my rebellious spirit to not conform into what everyone else was doing. However, I remember really liking a song written by Jo De Messina, Heads Carolina Tails California.

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The chorus is:

Heads Carolina, tails California
Somewhere greener, somewhere warmer
Up in the mountains, down by the ocean
Where don’t matter long as we’re goin’
Somewhere together, I got a quarter
Heads Carolina, tails California

If you want to hear the entire song, head here.

The past summer, I spent a week with a team of teachers from our school at the PBL World Conference in American Canyon, California. This conference was sponsored by PBL Works! (formerly known as Buck Institute for Education). When I talk to some about the experience, I have been asked about going all the way to California?  From my own research for my dissertation, I have discovered the power of learning when immersing a group for a deep dive into learning and then following with sustained professional learning.  The reason for our travels all the way to California?  The answer is easy…PBLWorks!  PBLWorks is a world leading organization dedicated to providing access for all students to high quality Project Based Learning.  Every year they host the PBL World Conference where hundreds of educators and leaders gather to learn from each other, network, and feel inspired.  This is why we went to California!


Not only did we spend time as a group, but we met so many amazing PBL’ers from across the world.  One of the highlights was the keynote from Pedro Noguera! To see his keynote, please go to this tweet.

I felt so fortunate to spend my three days in a deep dive on PBL Leadership with Dori Berg and Matt Best.  Both of these leaders were fantastic in helping our team process new ideas and plan for further PBL implementation in our school. I remember walking away each day mentally exhausted, but at the same time feeling exhilarated. I still remember having the opportunity as an evening networking event to spend time talking with Ron Berger.  Ron was one of the keynote speakers and has been a champion of PBL and Deeper Learning for years.

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Unlike a traditional conference where there are short sessions spread throughout the day, PBL World is designed to give participants a 3-day immersive experience in offering such as PBL 101, PBL 201, and PBL Leadership. This allowed our team of school leaders to take a deep dive into our next steps and it allowed our teachers to immerse themselves in the learning and connecting with other teachers…simply put it is a fantastic way to set up a conference aimed at supporting our own learning.

If you want to know more about our experiences, please feel free to reach out to me at any time!

But at the end of the day, I am glad we chose “Heads” as it took us to California…and we were all together!

One thought on “Heads Carolina, Tails California”

  1. The experience coupled with your passion for PBL made this learning experience memorable! Thanks for the continued support to our staff, students and families!


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