As an educator, you know that the joy of learning and growing is never done, and in fact, you probably hope to keep learning every day of your life. With that in mind, you may have registered for at least one teachers’ conference this summer so that you can have some new ideas and strategies for your classroom once school starts. In today’s blog post, we hope to provide some tips and advice for you as you prepare for your next teachers’ conference so that you can get the most out of the time and money that you are spending on this endeavor.
If you are part of an organization that hosts conferences for teachers, then be sure to check out all that we have to offer at our conference center in Baltimore. The New Psalmist Retreat and Meeting Center (NPRMC) has a variety of meeting spaces, audio/visual capabilities, catering services, and more. Call today to schedule a free tour and discover why we are the best choice for hosting your next conference.
1. Review the Agenda
Studying the conference agenda ahead of time is a good idea because it will allow you to see which sessions you want to make sure to attend. Based on your subject interests, the grade level you teach, challenging student issues, and more, there may be some sessions that will be more appealing or useful than others. Additionally, you may find that a few of your chosen sessions will be more in demand than others, so plan on arriving to the meeting room early to ensure that you can sit where you’d like.
One of the best tips we can offer you is this — divide and conquer. If you are attending the conference with a team of coworkers, then make sure to look at all of the sessions that will be offered that you are interested in. Once you have created a list of the sessions that everyone wants to make sure to attend, you can see if any of them are offered at conflicting times. If this is the case, then making sure that each of you attends different sessions will allow you the opportunity to share your notes with one another so that no one has to miss anything during the conference.
2. Prioritize Networking
As a teacher, you probably already know how helpful it is to bounce ideas off of other teachers and borrow creative teaching approaches that you can tweak to fit your classroom. With that in mind, make sure that you make networking a priority. You never know just how much helpful information you can gather from casual conversations with fellow educators. Sometimes, these conversations are the highlight of the entire conference and can provide you with a renewed sense of excitement for your profession.
3. Pack Necessary Electronics and Chargers
Whether you prefer to take notes on your laptop, mobile device, or tablet, you want to make sure that you plan ahead of time for the electronic devices that you will want to have handy. Once you know which devices you’re taking, you can make sure to pack the appropriate chargers or battery packs so that things run smoothly for you. Whether you plan to share some of your experiences at the conference center on social media or you simply want to take profuse notes to review later at your leisure, nothing could spoil your plans as quickly as realizing that your battery is nearly dead and you have no way of recharging.
4. Dress to Impress
While there really are no dress codes at conferences, it’s good to consider the importance of first impressions. As a professional educator, you want others to treat you with respect and take you seriously. If you’re particularly young, your youth could work against you, so dressing professionally could be in your best interest. Additionally, you never know if you might discover a job opportunity at a conference. If this happens, you will probably feel much more confident about your meeting if you are not dressed in your summer casual clothes.
5. Schedule Free Time
Scheduling free time at a conference is important for a few reasons. One reason would be to take the opportunity to explore the area where the conference is being held. If you traveled to the conference, then you’ll probably want to explore and see a little bit of the area. Another reason for scheduling free time is to allow yourself some time to decompress and process all of the new information that you are taking in from the meetings you have been attending. Lastly, you are likely attending the educators’ conferences with some coworkers with whom you might want to spend time with. If you’re like most teachers, then you probably spend most of your time socializing in five-minute increments during school hours. Take the opportunity to talk about more than work and develop those relationships.
At NPRMC, we are proud to offer the second-largest conference center in Baltimore for your use. If you are in charge of organizing your next conference, then you should be sure to contact us and request a proposal. We’d love to show you all of the amenities that make our conference center stand apart from the others. From catering services and different room sizes to security services and more, we are sure to have everything you need. Call today to schedule your free tour.