A Summer of Conferences, WHY?

by Ariel Jankord

When posting on twitter that I had arrived at the StuVoiceCon18, hosted by Flipgrid, I received the response… “what is this, your 4th conference this summer?”

Yes, yes it is! Y’all being an innovative teachers is a hard road, definitely the road less traveled. When you spend 10 months of the year surrounded by “we can’t do that” or “we don’t do that” you NEED to be filled with “YES WE CAN!” I want to tell you why I attend conferences.


By the time I leave a conference, I have created new connections that run deeper than a follow on Twitter. These become my people, or my tribe (as trendy people may say). These new family members are the ones who carry me through the next 10 months. When I feel like throwing in the towel, I can count on my Professional Learning Network to encourage me to keep my head up.


It is VERY easy to become content and settle in for a long winter’s nap. To always be creating is exhausting, so sometimes we fall into the trap of being stultified. When you step out of that bubble, out of that comfort zone, you can’t help but be inspired. I consider myself an innovative teacher, a teacher that is riding against the waves, a teacher that is advocating for change. BUT when I attend a conference, like StuVoiceCon18, METC, and Podstock, I get to see the amazing things educators are doing around the world. It challenges and pushes my thinking. It grows a passion inside of me and replinishes the energy I need to keep creating.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou.

Share the good news

The above quote has recently become my motto. In order to grow in our profession, we have to be willing to share what’s happening in our classroom. By verbalizing what’s happening in my classroom, I can collaborate with others to improve my practice. I love to share what’s happening in my classroom, because just like I gain so much from others, I believe others can gain new insight from me as well. So many educators have poured support and encouragement into me. I feel it is my responsibility to pass it on.

Let’s send POSITIVE messages about education into the world!