Conferences, INSETs and TeachMeets

Today I led a workshop at the annual Optimus Education Improving Outcomes for Looked After Children in Birmingham. One of the major benefits in being a part of this kind of event is that I regularly get to listen to others that are presenting. Either as chairperson, keynote speaker or inspirational address. (Click here to see other events that I am presenting at later this academic year.)

Today, I came away with so much more than normal. (Aside from the amazing lunch and free pens!) I left with affirmation. I drove away thinking that I am on the right path. I hummed with a sense of relief and a feeling of ‘wonderfulness!’

(I know many of you may believe I think like that all the time, but I really do not!)

So what was different at this event to some of the others I have been to?

Well, reflect on how many times you have heard people say…

It was really good, BUT I did not learn anything!
OR
I would love to do all those things, but I just do not have the time!
OR
I can not believe how little support I have!

I have personally bemoaned all of the above points. I have stormed out (quietly) feeling, thinking, well there was nothing new, there was too much to take in and/or I can not possible do that in my context.

I have silently expressed via coded tweets that although there was great intention there was nothing for me to sink my teeth in to or too much for me to even make a dent.

However, after today, having spoken to many of the delegates as I usually do, I realise there is most definitely a place for conferences and events to provide us with this pat on the back. For them to give us that lift of encouragement. Today, I think I may have realised why people return to annual conferences where the messages are more or less the same.

Somebody from the audience approached me and said…

What you are doing now is the journey my school were on 3-4 years ago. It is really 
impressive, keep in there. The students will benefit.

So, think about the next event you go to, if you know most/all the information, have heard of most/all the websites suggested and doing the ‘must do’s’ then, simply, well done!

Here is my presentation from the event. (If the embedded document doesn’t work- click on the link below it.)

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