What are we doing to help kids achieve?
I’ll cut to the chase. Here is one thing you can do for both yourself and your students to start the new year. Consider attending BCCE 2018 this year. Why attend? There are many reasons.
Great Professional Development. It is difficult, especially this time of the year, to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Professional conferences such as this one is kind of like rocket fuel for the professional development soul. You get to totally geek out and submerge yourself with other people who are in the same boat. Each time you sit next to someone different at this conference just ask one question…”What is the favorite lab or activity you do in the classroom?” It will be impossible not to get at least five new great ideas to try out to energize your teaching and your students.
The Wardrobe. I have multiple mole day shirts. I have four periodic table ties and a periodic table bow tie. I have custom-made periodic table shoes. I have multiple t-shirts with science themes and periodic tables. I have a mole day tie. I can wear them ALL and fit right in! I won’t have a single one of my kids rolling their eyes and saying “Daaaddd…..” and trying to walk twenty steps in front of me or twenty steps in back because they will be a couple hundred miles away. It is a little slice of heaven….
Great Friends. There are some awesome people that we probably all follow on twitter or on ChemedX. It is one thing to email them. It is something else to actually get to see them and talk to them. It is great to be in a place without bells ringing to talk about ideas in a relaxed atmosphere with others who really care about kids and their profession.
Time to ‘Tweak’ activities that you have been working on. We all have those days when an activity or lab goes well but it just was not “great”. Something about the day could have gone better. We say the we will “get to it” or “fix it” when we have time. Keep it on a Post-it-Note and bring it to the conference. That is the perfect time to “fix it” and get help from others.
You are smarter than you think. If you are reading this, you are probably a chemistry teaching rock star in your own right….you just don’t realize it yet. You really do have super powers. There are ways that you reach kids that you do without even thinking. People need to hear your story. We need your expertise and passion so we can pass that on to our students. Please do not be afraid to share. You are and can be a continued inspiration to others.
Getting the cost covered. Money can be a factor. Here are a few ideas that tend to work. First, think about applying for a Hach Grant. Ask your local ACS section, PTO and/or your principal. You are a professional who is seeking your own professional development on your own time and you are ultimately trying to help kids. You would be surprised what you can get if you just ask.
It is a second honeymoon. “Honey, how would you like to go on a second honeymoon? I thought we could go to Notre Dame this summer and spend a long weekend on a college campus with about a couple hundred of my fellow science teaching friends from all over the world. Yes, it is home to a nationally ranked college football team who unfortunately won’t be there playing any games. But there will be something better...a cool cover band called ‘Al D. Hyde and the Ketones’. O.K...this last one is a bit of a stretch……but the band is real and they are pretty good. They have a killer horn section.
Hopefully, this has peaked your interest. I know you might have another worry. “What if I go and I just can’t find a good session to go to?” I personally think this is impossible. But to help ease your fears, I have you covered. I plan to attend and present in a symposium hosted by ChemEd X along with others that have contributed to ChemEd X. My presentation is still in the preliminary stage. I want you, the reader, to pick my topic. I have created a POLL listing a few items that you might find helpful. Pick the one that interests you the most. I will base my presentation on the topic with the most votes. I hope to hear from you soon...and I can’t wait to meet you at BCCE 2018.
P.S. I have a tendency to get a little too excited about this conference. I may make too many promises and just might be double booked and in a little bit of trouble. I am seriously thinking of selling (at cost of course) “Save Chad” T-shirts…….stay tuned….