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Sunday, July 8, 2012

That Left Out Feeling

http://www.flickr.com/photos/letsbook/
     Ah, summer.  That time when teachers pack up their classrooms and move to the pool or the beach.  They are out there hiking, fly fishing, and sailing.  Isn't it great only working about 40 weeks of the year!  That's 12 weeks of kicking back and doing nothing.

     If only that were true.  Yes, there are some teachers who will take an elaborate (and well-deserved) vacation during the summer.  But most will find time to relax and reload with their immediate families.  They will do some much needed yard work or house repairs.  They will work on that one project that they've been meaning to do since last summer.  It really isn't that glamorous.  And, more and more, teachers are spending a huge part of their summer getting smarter.

     Many are taking graduate classes.  Many are taking part in conferences and professional development (PD).  Some of this training is required by their district.  And some are just teachers wanting to be the best they can be and recognizing that learning the latest techniques or being involved in conversations about the latest in educational topics will help them attain that goal.

     And, that's where this post is coming from - I'm envious of many of those educators who have been able to attend really great conferences or PD's and have shared what they have experienced on twitter (got to follow that hashtag!), on Google+ (gosh I wish they hadn't shared that with me - wish I were there too), or in a Blog Post (Wow!  They really brought that conference to life.  That must have been awesome!)

     Wouldn't it be great if airlines gave away "tickets to anywhere" for educators to use during the summer to attend these events?  All we would have to do is show our teacher ID and the attendance confirmation and "poof" we were on the next flight out.

     This summer's big sigh, for me, was ISTE12.  It seemed like everyone I know was there.  And, they were all romping around in my old stomping grounds - San Diego.   They were kayaking, visiting the zoo, and watching the sun set over the ocean.  And, most importantly, they were discussing the latest topics and learning from each other.  They now have shared experiences which make them seem closer sounding in their tweets.  They sound like old buddies on Google+.  Heck, as I see it, the entire future of education was decided by these few hundred people.  And all this was happening 1300 miles from my home.  It might as well have been happening on Pluto (and, as we know, that's not even a planet any more!)

     So, I will re-tweet their hash tags with a smile.  I will give them a + on a well written account of what they discussed at their silly conference.  And I will leave a pleasant comment on their very descriptive blog post; thanking them for telling us all about it and telling them how much I enjoyed the post.  Even though I want to tell them that I hate them!  What right do they have for traveling to places I can't afford to travel to?  Why do they have to enjoy themselves and then tell us about it?  

     Well, I'll show them!  I'll be there at EdcampDallas and I'll be there at TechForum Austin.  And then I'll save my pennies and I"ll head to Educon 2.5.  And, after that I'll be at TCEA 2013 and SXSWEdu 2013!  And finally, next summer, ISTE comes to San Antonio!  I'll be tweeting the heck out of those conferences.  They'll see!  Then we'll see who's envious.  Those guys will really feel left out of the loop.  I'll tell them about my speaker proposals, and my acceptance of the proposals , and my travel plans, and my parties that I accept invitations to, and my tweetups, and .......

      Hey, things are looking up already!  What a great summer....