Summer. One of my favorite seasons, and not because I'm a teacher and have an unpaid leave from my job. I love summer because of all the opportunities it offers. One of the best I try to take advantage of is the North Dakota Council of Teachers of English conference held every July. I'm sitting in my hotel room typing this post, reflecting on all that has taken place and it makes me smile. Yeah, I've given up three days of my precious leave time, but I've gained so much more.
First I've been able to network and get to know fellow educators outside the confines of my district. A shout out to the West Fargo teachers who always know how to have fun and seem to welcome GF teachers with gusto.
Second, I've been able to connect with others and talk "shop." Nothing bores my husband more than when I get around other educators and we talk about school-related topics exclusively. Here I can have as many of those conversations as I like with no problem.
Third, the conference is just plain fun. Security Ryberg made sure from the onset that the tone of this event was rooted in laughter. I appreciate that. English teachers are a fun bunch, really, we are!
Finally, this conference never stops challenging me and teaching me new ideas or showing me new ways to approach the same material.
This year, due to administrative support, GF brought more teachers than I can remember. That's a good thing. However, not enough English teachers take advantage of this event. And that's a bad thing.
So if you're an English teacher, or any kind, actually, check out your state conference and attend. Invest in yourself. It can make all the difference.