Halfway though the flight …
I’ve just sat down on the train, on my way to day 2 of the PLANE Festival of Learning. Yesterday I spent the whole day down in the Permission2Play stream, and whilst I loved that so much, there was so much going on everywhere else that I can’t help feeling like I missed out! There were a couple of sessions I missed out on that I really wanted to attend, so I’ll be picking the brains of people who made it to Dan’s session on staff well being, for example.
I really had a great day yesterday, so kudos to the PLANE team …I’m so impressed with the variety of sessions on offer, and the diversity of the learning experiences that we can immerse ourselves in. For me, though, the real value of the festival so far hasn’t been what I’ve learnt in the workshops I’ve attended. It’s been the conversations with other educators. I’ve met people who I’ve never come across before, and that’s always interesting, to hear their experiences in their teaching practice, and to share ideas. There were also a lot of people I caught up with that I feel like I’ve known for ages, but in reality most of them I was meeting in person for the first time yesterday. We have connected on twitter, or yammer, and we’ve come to know each other fairly well. I know about people’s favourite tv shows, and chocolate preferences. I know what they teach. I know their political views sometimes, and I understand their views on or profession. I know what books they love, and whether they are night owls or early birds. Seem of them have become quite good friends in real life, and some of them wonderful familiar faces that I see occasionally at a conference or teachmeet. That for me is the real value of this festival- building connections, and developing networks that are going to continue to support me in my professional practice long after my sides stop hurting from how funny Kitty Flanaghan was.
There are a coupled of incidental takeaways for me too – more personal than professional, but still fairly relevant. I love writing. I love blogging, I want to do it more, but I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, so often I’ll start writing posts and get sidetracked by other stuff, and never get around to posting it because it isn’t quite finished, or I just want to fiddle with it a bit more, or find just the write photo to go with it – both my personal and professional blogs have an embarrassing number of posts sitting in draft, just waiting to be finished. When Jonesy asked me if I’d do some guest blogging for the festival, I decided to just write posts as I was in sessions, rather than taking notes like I usually do, then going back and doing them later. The immediacy of posting means that I am having to let go of some of that “it has to be perfect” mentality that plagues me in many areas of my life …. And I’m ok with it! It actually feels really good to hit submit, then move on. Remember that, Rodgers, it’s important!!!!
So, are you heading to the festival of learning today? Im feeling a little fan-girly at the thought of some of the people I’ll be meeting up with again today …. I’m coining the phrase “teacher-crush” to describe the admiration I have for some of these amazing educators. Totally in awe. I imagine its something like my daughter at the thought of meeting up with One Direction … Although with less squealing and fainting, possibly. I’m incredibly proud to be a part of my profession every day – events like this really solidify that for me. The incredible commitment and passion that people show is really inspiring, and I love that, at the centre of every conversation is a focus on authentic and effective student learning, and how quality teaching practice can support that. Truly inspiring.