My Ideal Conference/Learning Experience #youredustory

I am so thankful for this blogging challenge.  It’s been a tumultuous month or so and I haven’t been able to put fingers to keyboard effectively.  Just like our students, a blank piece of paper can be daunting but a prompt can put thought to motion.  Thank you Jo-Ann Fox for this perfect nudge.

My recent experience as faculty for #cuerockstar Petaluma could put that format high on my list of criteria.  2 hour blocks, fewer session, long, collaboration filled lunch=exponential learning and connecting.

With that said, I have gained valuable insight and skill though one hour sessions as well.  Michael Niehoff‘s #cue15 session, Transformative Leadership, is a good example.  Structured shared, reflection, sharing… good stuff.

The face to face connecting at conferences is a huge part of the realtime and longterm learning.  It’s so exciting to meet a Voxer or Twitter colleague.  Solidified relationships that are already deep and meaningful.  One of my favorite aspects of a conference.

Can’t not bring #isf into the mix.  IntegratEd is more about the thinking BEHIND the doing.  Does that make sense?  Session are long (at least 2 hours, I recall).  The focus is on the thinking, rationale, pedagogy with some of the doing embedded.  Educon is a dream of mine; one day, I will get there.  My experience with #isf brings what I’ve read and followed of #educon to mind.  Similar?  I’ll find out eventually.

So to answer the question.  My ideal conference:

  • no more than 4 sessions in a day (more like 3)
  • some long, some short
  • equal parts talking/thinking/sharing with doing
  • long lunch for face to face collaboration
  • lots of sharing on Twitter (love to include the home-attendees, often it’s me attending from home)

Next up on my conference calendar: #NAESP First time attender.  Can’t wait!

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This is the Sweet Spot; don’t miss it.

A brief observation:

So much of any given school year is spent straddling the current and future year.  Right now, in these precious few months, things are running, back-to-school stuff is done, and we’re in the sweet spot of here and now.  It doesn’t last long.

Shortly after the holidays end, the straddling time between 14-15 and 15-16 begins.  Where my mind is in constant flux between current planning and future planning, enrollment, kindergarten tours, budget wrap up and budget projection, staffing and facilities’ needs over summer break….

I enjoy this time as much as possible.  It’s the simplest time of year for me.  <holding back hysterical laughter>  Evaluations are chugging along, classroom visits happen with regularity, students come and go, learning and laughing together, parents are finishing conferences with their student’s teacher and everyone is looking forward to the holidays.

To keep myself grounded and enjoying this time of year, I’m reading The Happiness Advantage and Quiet Leadership.  Some inspiring words to buoy me through to 2015.