For me ISTE is about the face to face meetings of "My People". It's the ability to share what I have learned and to learn from others doing similar and different things. It's about the hugs, the smiles, the conversations and the multiple opportunities to connect with people who get me. ISTE brings together a large collection of people who understand my work, my purpose, and my passions. It's a place where I can truly be me, floating around with the people who get me. It's these same people that push my learning, and make me really think about my why and my purpose. It is through them that I am a stronger educator, a more reflective educator, and hopefully a better educator. For me ISTE is far more about the face to face interactions with people then the sessions that I'm able to attend.
This years ISTE was different for me though. I took on way too much and so I ended up being pretty stressed most of the convention. I had sessions every day and between the workshops I was giving (three 3 hour workshops) , the Ignite and 1:3 adventures and the rehearsal time they required, I presented over 15 hours over the three and a half days of the conference. I didn't get even remotely enough time to connect with many of the people I wanted to connect with. When I saw someone in the convention centre I'd often be able to offer them a little more than a couple of sentences of small talk, but in most cases my reality was that I was off to get to my next obligation. I missed events I was really looking forward to attending but I also needed a lot more time for me. As extroverted most believe I am, I get drained by people and need quiet time to recharge.
In addition I felt like I was being pulled by too many people and constantly letting people down. Despite my logical brain saying "you can't be everywhere with everyone at the same time" it bothered me and made me feel guilty. Eventually I did get stronger at listening to myself and what I needed. I also realized that others were feeling just as I was, being pulled in various directions, wanting to do more than was possible with so many great options happening at the same time. I learned a lot more about myself this year at ISTE. I learned that I love to share with others, but when the sharing takes so much time (and causes me so much unnecessary stress) that I don't have enough time to connect with people who matter most to me, then something is wrong. This year I barely connected with anyone beyond the surface level and that's not something I'm proud of.
|The room for the Ignite|
(I stood in front of the little screen in the middle)
- attending a ballgame with a great crew of people
- connecting with friends from my part of the world
- reconnecting with far away friends from my various learning communities
- meeting on-line friends in real life for the first time!
- connecting with brand new friends
- sharing meals or drinks with people near and dear to my heart
- attending sponsored social events
- connecting with developers creating products I'm very interested in
- eating all types of food from Reading Market
- visiting the String Theory School
- running up the "Rocky Stairs"
- visiting historical sights
- and learning - about coding, robotics, makerspace, minecraft , STEAM, and so much more!