For some language arts, social studies, and science teachers, it’s conference season—which means, in the next month or so, they’ll be taking one of those rare breaks from the classroom to focus on their own learning.
If you’re one of these teachers, we’ve compiled tips to help you make the most of your time away, so you can return with new and improved ideas and tools to share with your students and colleagues.
(If you have your own tips, let us hear ‘em. We’ll add them to the list!)
#1: Business cards are for educators, too. While not as commonplace among educators as in other professions, having business cards on hand at a conference will allow those brief but meaningful connections you make over coffee or in the hallway between sessions to live on. In addition to your name, position, location, and email, include your social media handles. You can even personalize them with a quote or motto that expresses your teaching philosophy—or, keep it electronic with this app.
#2: Alert your network. Conferences are a great place to grow your network, but it starts with reaching out to your existing network. If you let your current and former colleagues know what you’re doing, they can schedule time for in-person jam sessions and/or arrange for you to meet their connections who’ll also be attending.
#3: Talk to your mentor, coach, or administrator about areas of focus. You’ll probably want (or need) to balance out all that networking with some targeted professional development. You’re likely already aware of where you should invest time, but go ahead and invite those who know you best for their input as well.