So You Went to a Great Conference…Now What?
I had a wonderful opportunity to attend the IAG (Indiana Association for the Gifted) conference for the past two days, and my brain is stuffed. You’ve probably had the same sensation after a conference as well. You are filled with inspiration and ideas, but now what? What do you do when you return to school the next day? Here are some thoughts.
Try one thing now. – You heard a lot of ideas, and for some of these ideas, your energy will never be higher. As soon as you get back to class, try it! Even if your colleagues don’t understand your thinking and even if you don’t fully understanding your thinking, give it a go. If you can’t do it that day, put it in your plans for the next week. If you don’t, there’s a chance you might never regain the energy to try it again.
Give yourself permission to let things go. – Again, you heard a lot of ideas, and right now, you have this idyllic visualization of doing every single thing you learned about. This redesign of your entire room and curriculum would be amazing. This is great in theory, but it’s simply not realistic. We have to allow ourselves to say, “That’s cool, but I’m not ready for it now. Maybe one day.” This allows you to rejoin your classroom and not feel like a failure later in the week.
Check out the websites. – Chance are that at your conference you heard about numerous websites others love. Even though you can’t incorporate everything you saw into your classroom, spend twenty minutes clicking through each one. Join the free ones. Watch the video tutorials and think about how they might be useful later on. If you do this now, it will be part of your website repertoire you can call upon in a few weeks, months, or years when you are looking for that perfect site to improve one of your units.
Connect with one person you met. – Maybe it was a presenter, maybe it was another attendee, or maybe it was someone you just heard about. Either way, reach out to them. Finding them on Twitter is easiest, but do whatever is necessary to build a relationship. Even if you don’t need this person’s expertise immediately, you might in the future. Beginning this relationship now will make it more likely this person will respond when you really need it.
I hope you had a great conference!