Just got home early this morning from the Teacher Self Care Conference in Houston and I wanted to jot down some of my reflections before the moment escapes me.
I’ve presented for this conference four or five times and each time I am able to go and share, I am blessed by it. It makes me ever more thankful for the longevity I have experienced and the deepening of my purpose and passion for this craft.
After a busy day at school with my thirds, I flew out from Orlando on a direct flight to Houston. I was able to spend the evening in an AirB and B with my roommate Laila, a math coach from Southern California. She was presenting on Imposter Syndrome. A lovely teacher with tons of passion and heart for her learners and authentic community. I was happy to be matched with her for the night. In the morning we hit the road early to head to the hotel where we were presenting. The breakfast at the Hilton was delicious!
My session was in the first round of four sessions for the day. This season, I am presenting on ‘How to Teach for 20 years and Still Love It.’ It’s a blend of real talk, humor, and practical tips from my personal reflections of my own career. I enjoy sharing it with folks! After my session, I saw my friend Alexis present on ‘Rethinking the Good Teacher Narrative’. One of the most gripping parts were the statistics that she had us gallery walk and then discuss. In order to really understand burnout, Alexis has us consider the tropes that are common for good teaching. We spent time dismantling that and then charting a new course forward. It was so impactful!
After Alexis was lunch and a panel discussion! I slipped out to go to the bathroom and I ran into the most glorious person! Sara Amick is the most realest deal. We chatted for most of lunch and it was good times! I plan on checking out her session on the Enneagram in St. Louis. I think the best part of the conference is the conversations and relationships that develop from the conference. Everyone is honestly there to grow and get better. It really feels good to be a part of something that is positive and affirming. After lunch, I went to Cristina’s session on self care for Latinx teachers.
Y’all. I have never felt so seen. There were many Latinx teachers in the room and we were able to share our experiences. It was a healing and reflective time for me. So much of what I feel that I require in this season of teaching is connectivity and understanding. Being in a room with other educators that can relate to what I am feeling helps me in a really deep way.
Cristina had her two daughters there with her for the day and we were able to chat with her about legacy and how she is raising her kids in a way that gives them freedom to accept their identities as Latinas and also Americans. It was a deeply meaningful time. My last session was with Danna. She shared her story as a Baltimore based elementary school teacher. The burnout she experienced. The heartache of advocacy gone unheard. The struggle to teach in oppressive circumstance. It was in this context that her need for authentic community and light emerged as the Happy Teacher Revolution. For our session, we held a powerful meeting with other teachers in the room. Of course, that space is sacrosanct, and I can’t tell you the stories I heard. It is sufficient to say that my people were in that room and it was a moving way to finish out my conference experience this year.
We wrapped the conference with affirmations and some intentional connectivity. It was fantastic! At the end, my sweet friend Michelle from @ignitedteach came to pick me up and we went out to dinner with a group of ladies from the conference. What a blessing it was. At the end, Meredith Newlin gave me a copy of her book Captured Fireflies to encourage me! What a sweet gesture. I can not wait to read it and tell you how it helps!
If you are in need of encouragement, support, community? You need to find a Teacher Self Care Conference near you to attend. There are also scholarships available if you are concerned about finances. Teaching is hard work. It really shouldn’t be done alone. Find your folks at the Teacher Self Care Conference!
Looking for a ticket to the Self Care Conference in St. Louis? Click on the picture, or click HERE for more information.