Sunday, March 27, 2011
This week I got the chance to go with my colleagues to the LEA: Lutheran Education Association Convocation. It was a gathering of around 2,600 educators from all over the US and the world.
I was very excited about the conference because I going to present along with my colleagues (@kevcreutz, @gilmorekendra, and @karacornejo) on Online Student Collaboration. Feel free to check out our wiki of resources leastudentcollaboration.wikispaces.org
The conference in a whole was a very uplifting experience. Getting the chance to be with so many other educators that are in the same situations as myself was reassuring.
Conferences are a chance to grow as an educator. They give you the chance to learn new things and get new resources. I went to lots of great sectionals some helped me gain new resources for my classroom and some helped me personally.
Break out sessions
One that really stuck with me was called The Phoenix Effect presented by Dr. John Oberdeck of Concordia University Wisconsin. The Phoenix like in Harry Potter is a bird that bursts into flame and then rise again and is reborn from the ashes. Many teachers especially Lutheran teachers have a desire to please and do well. This means that these teachers have an inability to say, "no" and are perfectionists. When this happens teachers can experience a burn out or a point which they can't take any more.
We have to be able to recognize the signs that this is happening in ourselves and in others. Burn our can make both our bodies and mind sick. Unrelieved stress is not good on our bodies. When you feel stress you have to ask yourself, "How am I feeling?" "What am I telling myself?" "What is happening in my body?" We have to watch out for others and let them know when we think they are taking on too much.
Face to Face Interactions
My favorite part of the convocation was the face to face interactions that I was able to have with a few of the people that follow on twitter. Getting the chance to meet @dawblack and @coachburk at our tweetup/meetup was a great opportunity to make new connections. Those face to face interactions extended into the sectionals that I attended as I met teachers who wanted to learn more about what I do in my classroom. Through the conference we were also able to get some other teachers to use twitter. Using the #LEA2011 hashtag I was able to find new Lutheran teachers to follow to build my PLN.
The most difficult part of the conference was that wifi was not available in most areas of the convention center due to the cost to the organization. I was able to use the 3G on my ipad to use Twitter but without wife my Tweetdeck columns did not refresh as well as normal. I wasn't able to check on others tweets as easily as I have been able to do at other conferences. It also limited many of my colleagues who did not have access to devices other than their cell phones to get online. When leading our sectional, Online Student Collaboration we weren't able to get our participants online to experience the tools themselves.
Thank you to @gilmorekendra, @karacornejo, @kevcreutz, @bmarolf15, and @NateDomsch for the fun and fellowship on the bus and Thursday and Friday night.
*LEA logo from the LEA website www.lea.org