I’m a conference junkie, but let’s be real…there is only so much time, so many resources, so much energy that we, as educators, can afford to put into attending conferences. Are these conferences really worthwhile or a waste of everyone’s time and money?
In this blog post, I’d like to share my thoughts from a speaker’s perspective, an exhibitor’s perspective and an attendee’s perspective.
As a speaker focusing on the topic of learning challenges, I’m very aware of the task before me – to offer answers and to offer hope! I wonder about my audience—what brought them to this session? Do they have a burning question about their struggling learner that they need answered? Will my content be helpful when they go back to the classroom on Monday morning? That is my goal as I prepare to share what I have learned along the way. It is my intent to be a lifelong learner, and it is my passion to encourage others on their journey of learning. I feel privileged to walk with them!
As an exhibitor, I set up the booth with anticipation of meeting educators and parents of students that are struggling in school. I look forward to hearing their stories, answering their questions, and offering help and hope! I understand that the attendees approach us with their heads already full of information, having listened to the keynote speaker and workshop leaders. But it is in the vendor hall that we, as educators, can find products and services to help us execute the vision shared by the speakers. What an array of opportunity awaits us!
As an attendee, I arrive at the conference with eager expectancy of all that lies before me. I feel like a sponge, ready to be saturated and possibly not even able to take in all of the information. I’m excited to network with like-minded people and hear about their endeavours. I look forward to meeting the experts and mentors face to face. Attending conferences is really a time of rest and reflection; to re-focus on the task at hand!
It is an honour and a privilege to represent NILD Canada, a non-profit organization, in serving educators across this country. As conference season approaches, please check out our website to find out where we will be speaking and/or exhibiting. You are invited to come to our own Spring Conferences and Fall Seminars.
Please seek us out to ask your questions, to share your successes and your struggles. Of course, we don’t have all the answers, but we do want to encourage you on your journey to help students’ be the best they can be!
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