We are just weeks away from the biggest conference of the year and I am getting very excited for #SHAPENashville, which will be the third time that I have attended the SHAPE America National Convention. I’ll be making the most of my time there as for what is likely to be the only time, I’ll be in attendance for the duration. So what is it about the National Convention that I think is so great?
Let me share with you my top 5 reasons for attending the conference in Nashville!
1.Investing In Yourself: How often do you get to invest in YOU? With all of the other things that pull on your time, the desire to deliver the best lessons to your students, plus the pull of friends, family and other commitments…getting away from it all and surrounding yourself with professional development opportunities is so rewarding. Aside from earning contact hours or CEU credits, how about the location? Nashville. I’ve never traveled to Tennessee before and am eager to find time to check out the ‘foodie culture’, the vibrant music scene, and read up on the history of this city.
I came to Nashville not to bring inspiration, but to gain inspiration from The Great Movement that has taken place in this community. Dr. Martin Luther King
How apt that at #SHAPENashville you’ll have the opportunity to take inspiration from the #physed community and become a champion for physical activity/healthy lifestyles in your school. Get the latest information on SHAPE America’s national commitment, 50 Million Strong by 2029, aimed at ensuring that all of America’s students develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to enjoy healthy, meaningful physical activity.
2.Becoming Inspired By New Ideas: I will be presenting at the conference with Andy Horne and our session will contain many skills based ideas that have worked for us in the health classroom. We hope that our session will be inspirational and encourage teachers to find one or two ways to incorporate health skills tinto their planning and adapt their instruction for the needs of their students. It will be difficult not to be overwhelmed by the amount of inspiration and so the fact that all resources are shared with attendees via the website or awesome app means that you can immerse yourself in the sessions without having to take copious notes. With each thought provoking session being research and evidence based you can’t help but be inspired.
I am VERY EXCITED to see National Hall of Fame inductee Deb Tackmann deliver her Friday General Session address. I’ve never met Deb but her reputation has spread to every state at which I have presented and I’m ALWAYS asked “Have you met Deb Tackmann”. The answer is “not yet!”.
3.Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Learning in a new environment is invigorating. It’s almost too easy nowadays to access free professional development by listening to a podcast on a treadmill, or reading a blog post during a planning period at school. Being at a conference and immersing yourself in each session gets you out of that comfort zone and makes the whole experience more enjoyable and easier to remember. I’m not overly confident when it comes to yoga and mindfulness but I’ll always seek out sessions from the awesome Victoria Otto (Don’t miss ‘Mindful Moments Mixer’. Friday 23rd. 11:15am) and one of my favorite sessions from #SHAPEBoston was playing Netball with Shrehan Lynch (I’ll be at her ‘Developing Social Justice in PE Teacher Education’ session Thursday 22nd. 3:30pm) and Dr. Stephen Harvey (‘How and Why Physical Educators Use Twitter. Friday 23rd. 2:45pm). Learning in a new space can be daunting and a first time attendee might be blown away by the size of the conference, the number of people, and the immensity of the vendor expo but the experience of a national conference is unforgettable.
4.The Networking Opportunities: Being present, in the same location, with so many passionate educators can not be beat. The buzz and energy in the room is second to none. Without the restriction of 140 characters, or the Voxer app there is nothing better than meeting teachers face to face, hearing their stories and trading ideas. I maintain that the best take aways from a conference don’t come from the scheduled sessions, but from conversations in an elevator, in the Uber to a social event, or grabbing a bite to eat with teachers from across the country. I look forward to meeting and greeting members of my PLN for the first time, many of whom I have communicated and collaborated over the past year, not with a polite handshake, but with a hug. #SHAPENashville will be a great way to develop new relationships and form new friendships.
Follow the #SHAPENashville hashtag on your favorite social media sites!
5.Improving Your Program: There can be no better opportunity to get ideas, learn skills, and find new ways to motivate and empower your students. Additionally, check out the session from Jamie Sparks entitled ‘Take Action in Your State: Success Stories From Advocacy Champions’ . This session will include SHAPE America advocates who will share examples of successful advocacy campaigns, activities, and lessons learned, and will give you access to free resources to support your program and students. Attend to ensure that your voice will be heard on the national, state and local level! Learn about the Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart programs. Teachers of the Year, experienced presenters, and dynamic educators will offer sessions on standards-based instruction and assessments that will help your students develop physical and health literacy skills. Your students have diverse needs and #SHAPENashville will inspire you to try something new with them as soon as you return back to school.
Check Out The Convention Schedule: And then save it in your Google Drive so that you have it with you. The conference is paperless!
Convention Schedule at a Glance (PDF)
Convention Schedule (Tuesday) (PDF)
Convention Schedule (Wednesday) (PDF)
Convention Schedule (Thursday) (PDF)
Convention Schedule (Friday) (PDF)
Convention Schedule (Saturday) (PDF)
Other blog posts you might like:
Anatomy of the Trip A post written just before I attended my first national conference. Here’s how I prepared so that I was best equipped for #SHAPEMinneapolis.
We Did It Again! Read how the #physed & #healthed community helped to send two teachers to the #SHAPENashville conference!
Shameless plug! Will you be seen in a #sendateacher item at #SHAPENashville? If so, consider purchasing an item from the #sendateacher initiative at www.sendateacher.com. The profit from every purchase goes towards sending a teacher to next years #SHAPETampa conference. Check out the stories of the TWO teachers who will be receiving this years funds.