Why it is Important to go to Professional Conferences


I love going to conferences. I love presenting at conferences. If you are like me these days away from the classroom, and being able to meet new people and hear some new topics is invigorating.  Getting the chance to connect with other teachers in my field doesn’t happen very often. So I try to take advantage of it when I go to a conference with other Gifted Education teachers, advocates, and parents.

It is important to go to conferences for several reasons.

  1. To connect with other educators: Sometimes it feels like you may be along. I know for me, I am the only one doing gifted education in my school. So I don’t always get the chance to connect, and share ideas with, or collaborating with.
  2. To hear new information: Many times at conferences there are those who work with state agencies, or with high level administrators at school districts and counties. Thy will share some new information that may have a direct impact on what you do.  So hearing that information and getting the chance to ask the person who is in the know is very helpful.
  3. To buy new products: I like to talk to the venders that go to conferences. They have some great stuff. Look through their booths and buy some new materials that will benefit your students.
  4. To get some teaching ideas: I like to get new teaching ideas, curriculum ideas, and instructional strategies to help me in my classroom. I try not to do the same thing year after year. So going to conferences I can get those new ideas.

This year, I made it a point to do some of the following:

  1. Connect with as many educators as possible.
  2. Went to sessions that had the latest information
  3. Went to sessions that related to my students
  4. Looked for chances to collaborate with other teachers

Social Media has made a large conference much more manageable since many are using hashtags to communicate to its attendees. At this year’s OAGC Conference the hashtag #oagc2016 was in use. If you weren’t able to make the conference go on to Twitter and check out that hashtag. A lot of information was shared using it. I would also suggest you follow the people who posted to it. You may be able to go to a conference in the future and see that person.

Below are the two presentations I was part of. The first one is one I did with Heather Cachat about the #ohiogtchat. The second one is one I did with the the OAGC Teacher Division Committee. Check them out, and let me know what you think.

To see other presentations I have done click the “Talking Points tab above.

What conferences are you planning to go to this year? What are some goals that you are setting as you attend?

 

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4 thoughts on “Why it is Important to go to Professional Conferences

  1. Janelle Wyant

    Do you have any other conference recommendation? I agree with you! I teach sixth grade ELA and Social Studies.

    Reply
  2. Andria

    I’m going to be teaching gifted for the first time this coming September. (I’m gifted, so I do have a good idea of the needs and challenges of gifted students.)I don’t live anywhere near a major city that has these type of events. Can you recommend any websites that have great information or free webinars?

    Reply
    1. Debra Smith

      Hi Andria, check out SENGifted. This is the best place for supporting social and emotional needs for gifted and they have a lot of online webinars that are very good. NAGC is also a great place to start. If you ever have a chance to actually attend the national conference, you will find it empowering and invigorating. Good luck. I love teaching my quirky kids.

      Reply

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