To the non-educator, it may seem odd that I would refer to a professional conference as a transformative step in life, but if you teach kids or work directly with those who do, you know exactly what I mean. Could anyone walk out of the the two amazing keynotes by @adambellow and @gcouros with nothing more than a bag of professional tips and tricks? Was it possible to attend sessions and yet miss all of the inspirational conversations that could be had by simply making eye contact with someone and asking a question? Could one possibly avoid the after-hours social celebrations of new thoughts and ideas, the "I'm gonna try this..." or "We should be doing this when we get home..." discussions? If that was possible for you my friend, then we need to apply some emergency resuscitation to your educator's heart.
One of the loud, clear messages from NETA 2015 was that it is an exciting and amazing time to be an educator. While this doesn't necessarily make the job easier, it sure does make it more fun! And we need more fun, because our emotional batteries do not run on test scores, standards, or political bargains.
Not only did I get to laugh and cry from inspirational keynotes, I got to see my principal's eyes light up like a kid's after their first roller-coaster ride when he realized the leadership session we presented was meaningful to other administrators. That was fun! I got to watch two of our best young teachers nervously submit and prepare, then flawlessly execute and professionally nail their presentation on their Tessellated Classroom. That was fun! I got to glimpse the meaning of NETA to one of my favorite teachers in the whole world through her video reflection. That was fun! And I get to see the echos of all the conversations and all of the inspired thoughts and ideas in the twitter aftermath and build-up to the next transformational opportunity.
This is so much fun!
So to all of you, my friends and colleagues, presenters, those who've taken the time to listen, to argue, to inspire... thanks for helping me to be more dog!