Sunday, April 10, 2016

Set the Stage to Engage

I have been meaning to write this post for a few weeks, but it just hasn't happened until now. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to attend the "Get Your Teach On" Conference in Orlando, FL, with Deanna Jump and Hope King. I was like a little kid on Christmas Eve, and could barely sleep the night before. Before I share a few takeaways from the conference, let me just say, it was gold! More dates and locations were just announced, so I would highly suggest getting right on that.

The first thing that I took away from this conference, was to find time to do the extraordinary. You've probably seen teachers like Hope King and Holly Ehle who flip their classrooms. I haven't attempted this yet, but this is one way that you can go above and beyond. These ladies not only transform their classroom to go along with what they are teaching, but they make sure the content is there. There isn't any point to flipping your classroom if the content isn't there! Yes, it makes great pictures for social media, but I'm a big believer in having a purpose for EVERYTHING!

Another thing that I learned was that YOU ultimately are the person who sets the stage. You are the person who shows enthusiasm for a lesson. You are the person who can get your kiddos excited about ANYTHING! I've learned that if I make it applicable to my kiddos and hook them with my intro, that's when the lesson goes well. That's when I have complete engagement, my kiddos think learning is FUN, and they get something out of the lesson that they will continue to remember.

I also took away that you need to be positive. Not only with your kiddos, but with those you work with, and with yourself. Part of keeping others engaged and making people want to pay attention to you is being excited about life AND teaching. Even if you aren't having the best day. Even if you're stuck in a work environment that tears you down. Even if you have THAT kiddo that is driving you crazy, you build report and relationships with everyone. Make it your mission to get to know your students individually. If your kiddos think you hate them, they aren't going to pay much attention to you, or give you an ounce of respect. If you respect them, and take the time to get to know them, THAT is when they will listen to you, stay engaged, and buy in to what you are doing!

Now that I'm off my soap box, I had a blast at this conference. I had never been to Orlando and never
taken a solo vacation, so it was kind of a big deal for me. I ordered room service, read, and enjoyed something out of the norm. I also met some new friends and took pictures with a few people I love. (Side note: Wade King left a selfie on my phone when he was taking a pic of Hope and I, so its only fair that I post it.) I am happy to say that this conference was one that gave me a renewed zeal for teaching and made me want to "set the stage to engage!"


  1. The Kings are so amazing. I hope you are off to a great school year.

  2. The Kings are so amazing. I hope you are off to a great school year.