Wrap it up

March: a month and also a command. I Marched. I marched.

Three conferences in three cities between March first and thirty-first. More travel than I am accustomed to. More school days missed than normal. More public speaking than ever. Today marks the end of a streak and it’s time to come down.

Here are some thoughts:

  • Conferences can be sites of professional learning but they don’t have to be. Meaning that, both how folks show up and decide to contribute (or not) is contingent on too many factors to count. Conferences are collected, curated offerings. Participants choose what they will do with the information and experience.
  • I’m not convinced that speaking is my jam. Facilitation definitely is. That means I make every speaking invitation into a facilitation opportunity. That’s how I roll.
  • Of all the types of vigorous social interaction that I participated in, attentive pair or small group dinner/lunch conversations are my faves. I call myself a situational introvert and I tend to feel the need to withdraw quickly after lots of large group activities.
  • Shout out to my physical education colleagues who really know how to make conferences joyful learning experiences! We talk and PLAY! It’s really what sets PE conferences apart from other educator gatherings. We practice, share, and laugh. We open ourselves to each other in session after session by doing the thing. Having #ECISPE2023 at the end of my conference run felt like a genuine reward.
  • At two of the three conferences, students were visible and involved in a number of sessions. More, much more of this, please!
  • Meeting my online friends and colleagues in person continues to be one of my favorite genres of conference delight.
  • Conference attire can vary. Comfort, warmth, functionality trump all the other stuff in my book. I’m getting better at focusing on my needs, rather than imagined public expectations.
  • Carry-on travel requires practice but I’m getting the hang of minimizing my volume of clothing.
  • I got to do two movement things in one talk and the thought of that makes me pretty happy.

Throughout the month I also took part in the Slice of Life Challenge. It’s a blog-every-day-for-a-month event hosted by Two Writing Teachers (a website team, by now, of about 8). This was year five for me and although I had lots of other things going, I didn’t want to leave it out. So I wrote a little something every day and commented on at least 3 other blogs in the community. It was lovely and fortifying and a welcome release valve on occasion. The positive comments received, as well as the steady community building that ensued, provided reason enough to keep that commitment and enjoy it.

Tumbling into April there’s plenty to celebrate and also a need for recovery. A break is right around the corner. I’ll need the time to process March as noun and verb.

Large screen on stage with colored background (yellow, orange, pink)
"Begin with dominant culture"
Specific to our context: Physical Education teachers in English-speaking international schools (that's us, right?)
below in left corner, Slim Black woman in black t-shirt points up towards screen. in audience heads of several listeners.

image via @MrsV_MM10

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