Wednesday, May 06, 2015

TER 2015 - Conference Do's and Don'ts

I was just thinking about something. The Educator's Room Conference is only two months away. I need to start getting ready. There are several things I want to do before the big day arrives. Just to keep my self sane, I am putting together a list of Conference Do's and Don'ts. Hopefully you can get some use out of them as well.

DO (Definitely Do)
* Make some business cards. They don't need to be too fancy, just your name and blog or email for contact information. You never know where new friendships are going to lead! Office Depot sells plenty of options and  your Word programs are usually set up to coordinate with them.
* Make sure you have all of your conference documents in hand. Print out the schedule of the day and the confirmation email to show at the Registration Booth.
* Get there early. Not only to start the day off, but also for the sessions. You don't want all the good seats taken before you make your grand entrance, do you? Being early also affords you some time to check things out. Where are the bathrooms, what kind of concession food will be on hand, will you need to go off site to get something good, are there any vendors present, and the layout of the rooms so you can find your sessions quickly. Wouldn't want to miss anything.
* Bring something to write with (two of them won't hurt either) and to write on. After previewing the sessions, I can already tell that the ideas will just be flowing and you will want to record those that you want to bring back to try out in your own classroom.
* Since I'm on the subject, preview the sessions. Check out the speakers websites and any pertinent information they are already sharing about their talks. This way you will be well informed on the day so that your brain can be thinking of how to best make use of the information instead of, "Huh? What was that? What does she mean?"
* Talk to people. This is called Networking. You will be pleasantly surprised to meet someone who flew all the way from California, or is here from your own backyard. Talking to them can open up new understanding, or even better opportunities. I hung out with some great people at another conference in February and a GA collaborative blog blossomed from there. Talk to others. They are there for the same reason you are.
* If you are attending with other friends, or colleagues, set up a meeting spot for getting back together later. A familiar spot like the entrance is an easy place to remember. This way you have someone to talk to at lunch or dinner.


DON'T (Stay Away)
*You don't want to leave with any questions. Talk to the others who attended your sessions. Ask them to help you understand difficult materials. Make a note of your questions, maybe you can email the speakers after the conference if you aren't able to catch them there.
* Try to do it all. Give your self some down time to let your brain process all the goodness you've crammed into it from your sessions.
* Neglect your Instagram account. Take tons of pictures! They are great reminders once the whirlwind of the day is done.

Are you getting excited as well?

I will be finalizing my sessions next month, so make sure you stay tuned for that!
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