Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NSTOY Conference - Day 1 Reflection

It's 4:30 a.m. here in Phoenix and I'm having a hard time sleeping.  As a parent of two kids - ages 2 years and 10 days- I assure you that there is nothing more frustrating than having an absolutely quiet, totally dark, super comfortable hotel room where I get to rest my head, but in which I can't seem to fall back asleep.  As I laid here for nearly a half hour, desperately trying to find more rest, my head swarmed with ideas and my heart bounded with excitement.  The first day of this prestigious conference is done, and already I am inspired beyond belief.

Yesterday afternoon some of the best teachers from all 50 states and several US Territories came together in sunny Phoenix to share, collaborate, network, and, ultimately, to work together to craft a positive message about the state of education in the United States.  Any time you put more than 50 people together who are motivated, enthusiastic, and opinionated about what is right and wrong in education, you're bound to create conversation.  In fact, most of us have been so captivated by these meetings that we've forgotten the most basic of social graces - remembering someone's name who you have just met.  For now, I can suffice as Vermont, and, I'm sure, most other teachers are happy to represent their state.  We'll work on names later.

In all of this excitement, I am moved by the stories of the people who have come together here.  We come from all walks of life and are working with all sorts of schools, programs, students, and families.  Inevitably, we all end up sharing what we love, and struggle with, in our roles as educators.  It is interesting to learn of the different challenges we all face depending upon our region, state, school, or community.  I find inspiration in each person's ability to create such a difference in the place that they teach.  It is unfortunate, but, as teachers, we don't come together often enough to share and to build a mutual inspiration for what we do.  Having this week to shift my focus totally to the task of collaborating and learning from the best teachers around is just the burst of energy that my teaching needs in these cold, dark days of mid-January.

Now, if I could just make sure that the burst of energy doesn't come at 4 in the morning any longer... I still need to get some sleep.

1 comment:

  1. It is indeed great to meet everyone here and I echo what you said - we all come from different places and backgrounds and can learn so much from each other as we work together to create a positive image of education!