This was my second national conference and I couldn't wait to attend. The learning and connections that took place during the first one proved to be memorable and worth every minute of it. Although I was excited, I have to admit that I was a bit nervous. Just a couple years ago I would attend conferences, learn from the presenters and head back home. Now it is so much more. I want to connect with other principals and build relationships that will help me continue to grow personally and professionally. This though, is out of my comfort zone. I tend to be a pretty quiet person and not really good about putting myself out there. Over the past year I have connected with Principals in Action (PIA) and Moms as Principals (MAPs) via Voxer and Twitter. It's weird when you think about it, but as I flew out to Philly I was anxious and nervous to meet my friends. One who doesn't understand the power of Voxer would have a hard time understanding this...they would ask, what do you mean your friends? If they're your friends, why would you be nervous? Well, as most of you know, it's a lot easier to connect and talk via technology than it is in person (at least for me!).
Fast forward...I survived and it was amazing! From the moment I got there I could feel the energy and excitement. Connecting. Learning. Being Inspired. I really can't put into words the impact the conference had on me. Every session I went to, there was someone there from my MAPs or PIA group; to be able to sit with someone and learn with them is powerful. Learning is much more that hearing the presenter. It's the conversations during the session and the ones that continue after. Lunch breaks and evening time allowed me to continue to connect with others, and even a delayed flight allowed me to continue to collaborate with friends on the way home. Thankful for Jessica Gomez who made the delay seem like nothing. :)
This conference reaffirmed by belief in the power of connections. The belief that everyone needs to continue their own learning, and that everyone needs a little bit of inspiration to get us through. Through PIA and MAPs I have connected with educators who I can truly call my friends. My Tribe.
I continue to learn with them on a daily basis. They support and inspire me to continue to do the work that I love.