This is a guest blog by TCEA member Tosh McGaughy, a Digital Learning Specialist in Birdville ISD.
I am new to a position in Digital Learning this year in my district between Ft. Worth and Dallas. Coming straight out of the classroom, I am unique in my department in that I am the only person who has never attended a TCEA convention before today! When my secret was revealed, they were all very encouraging and full of advice and tips. Their guidance and mentoring has brought me to this moment, as I sit, well-caffeinated, in a hotel ballroom listening to music as I wait for my academy to start. Here is an abbreviated list of their TCEA convention wisdom.
- Avoid sessions taught by vendors only.
- Leave time for touring exhibits.
- Read session descriptions and look for presenters that you want to hear, no matter what the topic.
- Bring portable snacks and drinks to carry with you because lunch is often on-the-go or in a session.
- Bring comfy shoes and all of your chargers.
- Map out your sessions at the hotel and ask for help if you get anything on that tricky Mezzanine level at the convention center.
- Be early to all your sessions.
- Make friends.
- Tweet a lot.
- “Feed your brain.”
- Support your colleagues who are presenting.
- Eat at Gordoughs, Hula Hut, Max’s Wine Dive, that Crepe place, etc. etc. etc. etc….
- Share resources in shared folder and in GroupMe.
As I sit here now, I am eager to start this week of learning. My teenaged children back home have texted me. I’ve had two strong coffees. I slept well. My devices are all fully charged, and I’m connected to the WiFi. My first TCEA convention is something I have been looking forward to for many months, and now it is all about to begin. Bring on the learning!