I am really looking forward to the Virtual Leadership Retreat, and hope that many of my colleagues will participate. Given the high costs of traveling to conferences, the possibility of using technology in this way is a real boost to our community. To be able to virtually “attend” conferences for a nominal fee, from home and at a time that is convenient for each person, must be practical as well as cost-effective for everyone. Could there be an easier way to recharge our collective batteries?!

The main drawback to a virtual conference is the lack of face-to-face interaction and sharing of ideas. Here in Southern Ontario, we are planning to get small groups of area teachers together at one person’s home to watch certain presentations, and follow the video with coffee and discussion. In this way, the Virtual Leadership Retreat can be both local, and international. It will be a wonderful opportunity to build relationships on the local level, and since many teachers have never been to a Suzuki conference, I expect that it will be an opportunity to inspire those who haven’t yet been, to think of going to the 2010 conference.

I’d like to suggest that other teachers actively promote this idea in their area, to ensure that the VLR is a success.

Thanks for this innovative idea!