This year has seen a dramatic change in my professional development. I made the decision last summer that I need to take more control of what I was learning and I needed to share more as a way to learn more. I really felt stuck in a rut. One of the manifestations of that decision has been that I have attended more conferences this year than I have attended in many years combined. It started with the Rock Star Teacher Camp at Minaretts High School. Talk about getting out of a rut! I also attended CUE in Palm Springs for the first time in a really, really long time. Most recently I attended the SVCUE event last weekend in San Jose. (That is a really good way to get to attend for free!) This year I also attended or presented at events in Monterrey, Napa, Modesto, and North Hollywood. And I am not done yet.
The results? I am much more comfortable presenting to other professionals than I have been. I think this is an important ability for an experienced teacher. I think it important to be able to discuss what I do, and why I do it. Presenting at conferences forces me to really think about this. It holds me more accountable.
I also am much more aware of how many really awesome teachers there are out there who have their students doing amazing things. If I hadn’t gone to these conferences I simply wouldn’t know. I wouldn’t know what I should be expecting of my students. I wouldn’t know what I should be expecting of me. But I do know now. I know even more awesome teachers. I have more ideas for awesome things my kids can be doing.
Prepare for awesomeness.