Being at a conference always provides an opportunity to reflect. This experience has been great for me as I’ve had an opportunity to present, and then act as an attendee.
When I attend conferences, I’m both thinking about my own practice as a leader and a learner, and thinking about what would be most helpful to the region I serve to help educators meet their needs as a way to better support their students.
What this means is that in the best possible scenario, I have the chance to both share my expertise with others, and build up my own capacity by grabbing the knowledge and skills that others share.
The model for this conference (two presentations the first day, and then enjoying being an attendee the second) has allowed me to merge my thinking in ways that might not be possible otherwise.
In fact, on Saturday, as I was listening to Robert Marzano share what he has learned over the last ten years since the publication of The Art and Science of Teaching, he made a very powerful statement tied to his new book:
One of the best indicators of learning is our ability to merge what we have newly been exposed to with what we already know.
This made me consider the importance of playing multiple roles at learning events like conferences, so I can share what I’ve learned and utilize both the feedback of others as well as the great new ideas they share to further cultivate my own leadership and learning skills.