Have you attended an educational conference? Let me be clear, I am not speaking of the conferences your school district puts together when welcoming you back to school in the fall.
I am talking about a national conference that travels city to city with some of your favorite teachers and educators from Instagram and Youtube. If you have not, I strongly encourage you to research conferences that are scheduled to come to a city near you in the upcoming year and find a way to get there.
Whether you are new to the field of education, you are a veteran teacher, a school counselor or maybe you are a teacher assistant, national educational conferences provide workshops that are suitable for all individuals in the education realm where everyone in attendance can take away a wealth of information to be used immediately when they return to work.
Why Should All Educators Attend An Educational Conference?
Attending educational conferences allows educators a chance to connect and network with like-minded individuals.
In my opinion, it takes a special person to become an educator. Some of the best educators are individuals who are selfless and enjoy helping others become the best version of themselves academically as well as socially.
That being said, educators who take time out of their schedule to attend conferences really are dedicated to the cause.
While attending the 2018 Miami Teach Your Heart Out Conference, I had the opportunity to be surrounded by many dedicated educators. The teachers I spent the two days with are teachers who are extremely passionate about their craft. Anyone in their presence is able to see, hear and feel their passion in their conversation and they are able to see proof on their teacher Instagram accounts as well as their Youtube channels.
When you are in the presence of people who are that passionate about their career, they encourage you to get fired up as well. When you are encouraged, you are able to find little tokens in the smallest things to take back to your classroom to implement within your community.
Attending Conferences Fills Your Educational Bucket
Have you heard the term bucket filler? A bucket filler according to Bucket Fillers is an action or word that shows you care about someone, http://www.bucketfillers101.com/faqs.php . To take it a step further, bucket filling is a random act of kindness that you provide to another person.
As an educator, I realize the importance of filling other people’s buckets. I also realize if you are constantly filling other people’s buckets, you need to have your bucket replenished in order to continue filling buckets.
Attending educational conferences is an opportunity for educators to get their buckets filled. These conferences provide teachers with motivational speeches from teachers who are in the trenches who are able to give practical advice as well as an opportunity to laugh, perhaps cry and relate to what the speaker is saying.
Attending Educational Conferences is an Investment
The average cost to attend educational conferences is around $400. The cost usually includes a swag bag that is filled with various items from sponsors of the conference, a pad of paper and a pen to keep notes from the conference and coupons for educational items such as t-shirts, bags, etc.
You’re probably wondering how you will be able to attend a conference of this caliber on a teacher’s salary. Well, there are a few ways that could make it easier for you…
Donors Choose is a website that was created in 2000 by Charles Best, a History Teacher out of the Bronx. The website states they are responsible for “connecting the public to public schools” https://www.donorschoose.org/about.
If you create a project stating what you need and the cost of your project, people are able to contribute to your project and you could potentially get your registration fully funded.
If your school has an amazing PTA, you could write a grant explaining that you would like to gain funding for your registration to attend the conference and how your attendance will directly benefit your classroom community. As long as the PTA is able to see a link between you attending the conference and the academic growth of your classroom, they should be willing to pay a portion of the registration.
Some teachers have administrators who have a budget they are able to pull from and they are willing to make an investment in their teachers. Administrators who recognize the importance in investing in their staff know how much information will be poured into individuals who attend educational conferences. They know that attending conferences with educators who are still in the classroom can greatly benefit their school.
Some teachers who attended the conference paid their full registration out of their income. Teachers who are willing to do that know how important it is to be in attendance and in my eyes are amazing to make the sacrifice and invest in not only themselves but also their students.
Every educator must find a way to attend one of these conferences at least one time in their career, it can be life changing.
Comment below what educational conference you have attended? What conference do you plan to attend in the future? The next conference I have scheduled to attend is the Teacher Self Care Conference in March of 2019. I hope to see you there!