The AOE Conference Challenge
Ok you guys, now that we know each other a little bit better, I feel like I can tell you my deepest, darkest art ed secret. Eek! I’m nervous. Ok, here it goes…I haven’t been to an art education conference since I was in college. What’s worse is that I don’t even have a good excuse. I haven’t been living abroad or working two jobs or taking care of a big family. I don’t even have a pet. The biggest reason I haven’t attended a conference is that I am full of lame excuses. These range from the semi-reasonable, “Three hours is a long way to drive,” to the extremely childish, “What if I don’t know anybody?”
I’m guessing that some of you have had similar thoughts, which is why I’d like to share the three things that made me want to attend my conference this year.
1. I actually opened the conference brochure when it came in the mail.
Because of the excuses running through my head, I was used to throwing my conference brochure in the recycle bin. But this year, I decided to open it. Oh my goodness. It was AWESOME. I had forgotten how many cool sessions there were to attend. I’m happy to say that I am signed up for sessions about blogging for art educators, using art therapy in the classroom, and exploring new book making techniques. Yeah!
2. I was lured by the promise of free stuff.
Let’s be honest, a great part of going conferences is coming home with a bag full of free swag. Did you know that if you attend an art ed conference you can pick up free samples of just about any art material? It’s true and oh so fun. For someone that loves a good bargain, free can’t be beat.
3. I decided that I would no longer be scared of attending an awesome event with like-minded people.
I mean really, what am I so afraid of? Learning new things about my profession? Being inspired by others? Meeting awesome art teachers from my own state? I can definitely handle these situations and will, in all likelihood, very much enjoy them. I even invited one of my art teacher friends from another district so I’ll have a buddy to eat lunch with.
So AOE readers, let’s step out of our comfort zones together. Here is the challenge: Attend a local art conference this fall or shoot for the National Conference this spring in Fort Worth! As Cassidy mentioned yesterday, there are so many reasons to attend. If I can do it, so can you!
P.S. If you’re a Wisconsin Art Educator attending the WAEA, make sure to say hello! Also, stop by the awesome AOE booth in the vendor section to meet Jessica!
Will you be attending your local conference this year?
If you’re a seasoned veteran, what advice do you have for first-time attendees?