(any twitter handles you see in this post you should follow immediately!)
I work hard on the weekdays, eight hours a day of helping, troubleshooting and innovating, and I find myself most Fridays looking forward to some rest and relaxation on the weekends to help charge my batteries up for the coming week. In the teaching profession though, we know that the weekend can bring more work in the way of grading and planning and prepping for the weeks to come. It is just the life of a teacher.
But this weekend, my time was spent travelling almost 200 miles and taking part on some of the best and most rejuvenating part of my job, presenting and attending conference.
On Saturday, I took TOSAs Talking Tech on a roadshow with my cohost, Michael Jephcott @techmikebusd , to the Inland Area CUE Tech Fair. It was a day of learning, sharing and fun out near Lake Perris, CA. We presented one session on Audio in the Classroom, and then ran our Poster Session/Road Show for the rest of the day. It was great to be able to share our audio passion with teachers like Eddie Simoneau @simonometry and Brian Carnes @edtechamatics from CVUSD. They have started their own podcast after attending one of our sessions at SGVCUE and it was awesome to see their growth and talk shop. We got to interview some awesome people like Jedidiah Butler @mathbutler and Jonathan Brubaker @mrjbrubaker from the IACUE board and have them participate in our manic minute. Mostly, it was about seeing about 200 educators come together on a Saturday to learn and grown and take part in an awesome PLN. We met lots of awesome teachers who are passionate about their craft and have given up their time with family to come learn for a day. Some came from far away, like Katherine Goyette @kat_goyette and Adam Juarez @techcoachjuarez, travelling from Visalia to come and present and share. It was also great to see some of my Twitter PLN IRL (in real life). It is always awesome to meet someone you have been following online and learning from and with. It was an awesome day and an awesome event I definitely want to come back for next year.
On Sunday, I attended the CUE Rockstar TOSA camp in Agoura Hills. I have blogged about my Rockstar Experiences before, and if you have not been to a rockstar camp, I cannot recommend them enough. Rockstar is about the hands-on practical learning that I can bring back and use on Monday. This Rockstar was focused on TOSAs (Teachers on Special Assignment) and had 4 TOSA superstars presenting: Ben Cogswell @cogswell_ben, Jody Green @peerlessgreen, Ann Kozma @annkozma723 and Ryan O’Donnell @creativeedtech. Other than great presenters, I met some more of my PLN IRL, like Denise Douglas @dougiefreshteach, Cynthia Nixon @teachingtechnix, Lisa Bieler @mrsbieler, Dustin Ellis @dustin772, Nicole Beardsley @beardleyteach, Cate Tolnai @catetolnai, and Cori Orlando @coriorlando1. I also got to extend my PLN with some new awesome educators like Katie Rush @mrsrushocsa, Kimber Johnston @kimber_johnston, Jose Ramirez @josedtech, and Jill Kraft @j_craftca.
The sessions I attended that day are already having an impact on my growth and day to day work. Thanks Ryan for the awesome ways to make PD not something I have people sit through, but an interactive and productive part of the learning cycle. I am already rewriting PDs to offer a “full course meal” of options and not just the sit-and-get that we are so used to. I am also thankful for the resources you have shared on incorporating games into both PD and the classroom to make learning fun and memorable. Also big thanks to Ann
for giving us some tools to help with focusing and refining our work as learning professionals. The FIND strategy and Innovator’s Compass you shared are already making the wheels in my head turn to see how I can make our practice better.
Sunday night I found myself physically tied from the 16 hours of learning and the 200 miles of driving, but also cognitively refreshed, energized and motivated to get to work Monday and put to use the awesome tools, tips, tricks, techniques and protocols I learned this weekend. I may need some naps this week to let my body catch up, but if that is the price for this wonderful feeling of rejuvenation and re-energizing, I will gladly pay.