Connections and Collaboration

One of the best things about attending conferences are not always the content that is delivered, but the invaluable connections between people that are made.  Alan Blankstein  states it best when he says “the answer is in the room”.  The experience of being together with educators in setting where everyone is hungry to learn and have experiences to share is amazing.  

One thing I think was great when you were at a conference was the enthusiasm that all the presenters had for their own content. You could  clearly see that they were passionate about what they were presenting over. I also enjoyed the diversity of the topics being covered.  Each presentation that I attended was from a different district in Texas and to see how others have been successful in their own districts is always inspiring.

Making these connections with other educators across Texas is vitally important.  They allow you to form a PLC throughout the world where other educators that are passionate about the same things you are can now be a sounding board for new ideas.  These valued members of your growing PLC could also be a great source of inspiration to any teacher because they can share both struggles and success that they have experienced in their own districts.

The supporting premises that describe New Digital Learning Environment in Creating a New Vision for Public Education articulate the need for a new way of learning and being connected.

  • I. C. The potential of learning anywhere, anytime, “any path, any pace” must be embraced. Future learning will be a combination of learning at school, virtual learning, learning at home, and in the community

The knowledge is out there for us to use, to be inspired and to help make our schools better.  We just need to connect! The standard does not just simply apply to students.  We as teachers also need to be lifelong learners, we need to embrace all the different ways we can learn, not only through our own district professional development and PLC’s but also from different connections across the state.

One of the best things that we can do as educators is to share our successful projects, lessons or ideas.  Because it could inspire another and then in turn you will not only have influenced your own class or school but that lesson could become a staple lesson across the state.

Some of the great places to experience conferences include the following TCEA, TASA Midwinter, Denton TIA, XSWEDUS, CAMPT,  TCTELA, TCSSSTAT. Explore them all to find great connections across Texas


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