It takes effort, time and money to attend workshops and conferences. Sometimes our lives prevent us from being able to attend for these reasons. I go to stay relevant. Here are my top three reasons you should attend a workshop or conference.
The main reason to attend any professional development is to learn new content, this is no shock. We learn best practices, new ideas/content, technology and classroom management. Somewhere along my career I realized that I was a lifelong learner. I need to constantly learn new things. I’ve missed going to conferences a few times in my career and that was when I felt the most stagnant. We need to focus on learning new content in order…
Twenty years ago I would attend topics/sessions that I loved. You would frequently see me attend basketball sessions or team building activities. Sadly, I wouldn’t always get much out of these sessions since much of the content felt “old” to me. I was challenged to go to a session that scared me. I started to grow more. I’ve attended sessions for dance, gymnastics, assessment, standard based grading and advocacy. All of these topics scare me. Attending sessions that get me out of my comfort zone helps me to grow. Taking time to grasp a new concept and incorporate it into your teaching takes time. The growth can take weeks, months or even years to fully develop. Learning and growth are important but the best part is when I’m able…
In the last few years I’ve especially realized that the most important part of workshops are the connections I’ve made. Due to COVID, many conferences and workshops have been online in recent years. I was still able to learn and grow but I struggled to connect. After connecting with my first group of educators it took me less than five minutes at a state conference before I bumped into one of my friends. It made me feel at home, like I belonged. The connections make me feel a part of something bigger than myself. It made it easier to stay in sessions or stick around for the keynotes. We would talk anywhere from the hallways, lunch, dinner or our famous #calicrew ice cream runs. Our connections focus on families, goals, work, hobbies and much more. Conversations refocus on work and we share about our work. This is when the connections make the biggest impact. Words of encouragement, suggestions or confirmation that you are not alone makes the biggest difference. This is also the perfect time to push someone out of their comfort zone. I guess I have a reputation for doing this.
As we are looking to wrap up the 2022 school year in the next month or two it’s time to look toward a summer workshop or conference. This summer is especially important to reconnect with my professional family. I need to re-engage myself with the best-of-the-best as teaching has been so very different the last two years. This is the time, more than ever, to get my mind back into the game. I need to learn, grow and reconnect while I laugh, cry and hug my #physed family. This summer I will be attending the K-8 Elementary Physical Education Workshop in July. It’s an extra cost and I will lose some time away from my family. However, it sets me up for a positive 2022-2023 school year. Attending EPEW will drive me to be the BEST TEACHER for my students. They deserve it. The students are the reason why I attend.
The 49th Annual EPEW Conference takes place on July 13th-16th. More details can be found here.
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Pair this blog post with the following:
Dear Parents by Matthew Bassett
Why Attend Your State Conference? by Andy Milne
Free, Contactless, Maskless, Personalized Professional Development by Andy Milne