Oops! I got behind… but here’s week 2!
I can’t see how you would have ended up here without knowing the prompt, but here it is:
- Discuss the role that attending conferences plays in your professional learning.
- Reflect on one valuable conference experience you had and discuss why you found it valuable.
- Let us know what happens once your conference experience is over. Do you share what you’ve learned and, if so, how and with whom?
Hooray! This is not fluffy. This is practical and related to what I love the most – professional learning!
Conferences don’t play too large a role in my professional learning. Mostly because of how they are scheduled – I’m a complete control freak in my classes and don’t like leaving my students to anyone else. So I miss out on most conferences because they are during the school year and overlap with classes. I guess that other educators use their summers for actual vacation or something. I usually prefer a day-long workshop or a webinar or just checking up on some #MTBoS blogs to get my professional learning on.
Anyway I’ve been lucky enough to attend AMATYC for the last two years in a row. To me the most valuable part of a conference is the ability to meet, network, and share ideas with other people passionate about helping students. At AMATYC 2017, I was able to reconnect with a bunch of colleagues and find out what was happening at their colleges and departments. At AMATYC 2018, I was able to meet a bunch of professors from other schools as well as some of my stats idols pictured below.
My biggest problem with a conference (and why I prefer workshops or webinars) is that I have too many takeaways. A good problem to have, I guess. Except that I feel like I end up not doing any of them. With a single workshop / webinar, I can find a gem to use in my classes immediately without being overwhelmed.
I realize I’m skirting the second bullet point of the prompt, but I can’t pin down one valuable experience. Talks I had with Tammi Marshall, Beth Powell, Cindy Anfinson, Mark Clark, Beth Chance… were all highlights from AMAYTC 2018. Chatting with people from other campuses to see how they were planning to address AB705 was pretty awesome and something I wish happened more often.
Our department has experimented with lots of options for sharing and ‘closing the loop’ on professional development that we send out faculty to:
- Presentations at department meetings: https://prezi.com/djyyhxdqgafc/
Separate course-specific meetings where participants share what they learned over lunch
- Blog posts: https://sdmesamath.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/basic-skills-retreat/ (not actually about a conference, but I haven’t posted the one for AMATYC 2018 yet)