I have a lot take-aways from the conference I plan to share, but if I do it all at once, this post will be forever long.
So, I am breaking it down into five parts, part one can be found here, part two here, part three here, part four here, and the final below:
5. The more you give, the more you get.
I was wrong.
Luckily, the friend I mentioned in my post about including first-timers, invited me to become a member when she also invited me to present at my first-ever conference. It was at that time and through the relationships I made as a result, that I found the community I did not even know I was missing and I am so glad I did. MAEA and NAEA offer such awesome support and resources to their membership and I am very proud to not only be a member, but contribute to the organization by actively presenting at conferences.
You might be like how I was about five years ago. I thought I did not need NAEA or my state organization, either, to be successful in my job. And you might be right. But for me, everything clicked once I started getting involved at the State and National Level, not only presenting, but gobbling up the resources offered to members through PD, reading, and the amazing connections with such talented teachers. It helped give me the resources and confidence I needed to survive three pink slips, the crazy amount of self-doubt, and helped spark the tenacity to try and get my students work out there in competitions, exhibitions, and festivals.
If I have learned anything from this year's conference or any other since I have been attending, it is that the more you give, the more you get. I know it is cliche, but it also happens to be true. I am so happy I was able to present again this year and hope I can continue to to contribute to this tradition of sharing and learning and bringing Art Education to a higher level for improving all programs.
Here are some highlights from my time at the sessions this year:
It must the be 14 years of dance class in my background, but there is something very comfortable to me about being on stage and performing in some sense. I feel it when I am teaching students and when I get to share with other teachers about what I get to teach my students. It is even better when teachers share back what they have done with what they have learned at my presentations. I was especially taken with Cassie Stephens' shout out earlier this year after she adapted content from one of my most popular presentations "Dancing on Chairs (and other strategies for student success)."
If you happen to use any of my whacky ideas in your classroom, please share. It makes me and my students happy to know we are not the only crazy ones out there.
I hope my five-part series of #NAEA15 in NOLA was as fun to follow as it was to share. I hope you will all join me in #NAEA16 in Chicago for more dancing!
Until then, see ya on the internets.