How to Conference

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Warren ISD Faculty attend TCEA Tots

Conferences are an absolute must for growing and recharging; however, they can be extremely overwhelming if you are not careful. The following conference “rules” will help you navigate through your sessions smoothly and have a blast along the way.

  1. Take a friend with you – Everything’s better with a friend. This #1 conference rule will fall into many of the categories below as well.
  2. Plan ahead – Seriously. Download the conference’s app and assess what classes you think will be relevant to you. Refer back to rule #1. Choose some classes to go to with your friend. Then divide and conquer on others.
  3. Start a Google Doc – Take notes! Take pictures. Share the Google Doc with your friend from rule #1. This way you have notes from the sessions that you missed.
  4. Don’t waste time – If you are sitting in a class and realize it is not what you wanted – get up and leave. Find a quiet place to sit and go over notes from your previous class. Life is too short not to be learning relevant information at your conference. 🙂
  5. Utilize your Twitter account – Even if you do not tweet on a regular basis, you need to be actively tweeting during a conference. You will be able to see updates, you will be able to get great take aways from other attendees, and you will have a live stream of all the resources that are being shared out. Plus, the power of networking in education is amazing. You will meet other “birds of a feather” and be able to learn, share, and grow with them.
  6. Take a few sessions off – That’s right. I am telling you to “skip class”. I learned this after my first TCEA conference where I tried to squeeze in so much that I left exhausted and overwhelmed. You need to plan a time where you go and recharge – yourself and your devices. Sit and reflect. Sit and talk with your friend from rule #1 on what you have really loved so far. Bounce ideas off of each other. This is one of the most important aspects of growing as an educator.
  7. Make a priority list – Thanks Crystal Fea for this idea. What have you learned at this conference that will be most beneficial and relevant to your students? I suggest starting with just implementing two things to begin with. If those two things go smoothly, then you will be able to add in others as the year goes. If you bomb those two things – OH WELL!. You tried. Move on. Reassess and do not get discouraged. Failing doesn’t make you a failure. It makes you brave.
  8. Prepare to share! Seriously. Do not keep all the neat stuff you learned to yourself. Share it with your co-workers so their classes and students are impacted positively as well.
  9. Keep learning. Plan to attend more conferences. If your school cannot afford to pay for you to go, then it is time to get brave and present. When you present you go for free! Have the mantra #CantStopWontStop – because after all #KidsDeserveIt.

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