It is always interesting to me to see the buzz build the closer the ISTE conference gets. Then I am at EBC11 and the conference has started and then all of a sudden it is over. Time goes by so quickly once the conference gets started. Yet, there is so much to absorb that I will be pouring over the ISTE website to look at videos of different presentations and keynotes over and over again to try to absorb even more. Of course there is always the #ISTE11 hashtag to take me to other areas of learning as well.
There is never just one take away from this conference because there is always so much to learn to try and do things better. To listen to people and how they make things happen at their schools or districts and to try and figure out how to tweak that to make it happen in my own. So many ways and so many ideas. It almost becomes overwhelming. Overwhelming until I remember one simple thing - it is about the kids.
Many of the discussions that I had during my time in Philly and the ISTE 2011 conference kept bringing me back to the idea of relationship. Relationship with admin, faculty, staff and students. Along with the idea of relationship, we have to TRUST for that relationship to grow. In order to trust we have to let go of some of the things that get us where we are today and part of that letting go is the death grip on ego. Trusting our students allows us to open our networks. Trusting our faculties and staffs to be the professionals they truly are allows us to be about what they need to teach and our students need to learn.
Relationship is so very important in all we do, that this conference continues to be an important encounter for us all. Trust yourself to learn something new with each and every encounter you have even if it is a social encounter, trust that the presentation may well have something you need to hear or know and if not then quietly and respectfully move to another one. Trust that being quiet allows you to hear from someone else, trust that you are here for a reason and you make a difference. Trust that thought you have that has been marinating in your mid is useful and needs to be put out htere. Trust that the feedback you get is important and valuable and not a personal attack.
Thank you to all the people I met for the first time face to face and my sincere apologies to those I missed. Thank you for the time you spent sharing and caring and most especially for the work you do each and every day. You all continue to teach me a lot and for that I am truly thankful and I hope to continue to learn more from you each and every day.
So much to learn and so little time.