Reflecting on #MACUL17
That Moment When You See Your Online PLN in Person
I had been very excited to attend MACUL this year. I have never been when it was held in Detroit and I missed last year’s conference in Grand Rapids, so this year I decided if I made the commitment to present I would be sure to keep the conference as a priority on my calendar.
As February moved quickly to March and my calendar became filled with so many other important events and activities at Pinewood and with my family, I more than once looked at my MACUL trip with anxiety and hesitation. It seemed to me like MACUL was an “extra” that wasn’t a necessity in an already chaotic month. In my building the term “March Madness” is used frequently with no connection to basketball; from March is Reading Month to Parent Teacher conferences and everything in between March is a busy month.
On Thursday morning as I was leaving my hotel to head to the Cobo, my elevator stopped and became stuck. In my head I was panicking thinking how I never should have added one more thing to my calendar and how I traveled all this way and was going to miss seeing Sir Ken. I felt like it was a bad sign. Luckily the elevator was only stuck for about 15 minutes and I was able to have a fun conversation with my new elevator friends. I made it on the shuttle and took a deep breath and decided no matter what I was going to focus on the conference, stay mindful in the moment where I was and not worry about my building.
When I entered the Cobo I saw and heard someone who I had only really connected with on Twitter and Voxer but I had heard his voice so many times through vox messages I felt like I was hearing an old friend. I immediately ran up and greeted him with a hug, which surprised both of us. Over the course of the next two days I had multiple interactions like that putting physical faces and names with individuals who had helped an inspired me online constantly.
I learned so much from the sessions I attended, who couldn’t with amazing presenters like Sir Ken Robinson, Steve Dembo, and Jennie Magiera. But I also learned a ton from just taking the time to sit and talk with other educational leaders.
Conferences like MACUL are not “extras” they truly are a necessity for me. They help me build a support system of other positive educational leaders, they remind me how amazing our jobs are, they let me share my passion, and they inspire me to do more and be better for every student and staff member in my building.
I think Hall Davidson put it best….
Global Connections and Sharing a Positive Story presented by myself and Principal Stager
Global Connections Breaking Down the Walls of Your Classroom
This session was great we had over 50 participants. The best part was our skype sessions. Theresa had a wonderful teacher share about a project that connected her students to experts in their community. And I had Peter Reynolds the amazing author join us. Peter shared all about Dot Day and showed us his art and writing studio.
The Power of Positive Communication
This session also went well, we were excited to have Jason Gribble join us and add all of the great ways he uses social media to benefit his school. We discussed various social media tools and how each can build relationships and benefit your school community.
SIR KENNETH ROBINSON
– Reminds all educators what our jobs are all about.
– Inspires us with her love of education and Michigan.
– Matt Miller from Ditch that Text Book, sketches one of the most impacting statements from Sir Kenneth Robinson’s key note.
More Great Resources from MACUL 17
- Steve Dembo’s: You can find all of Steve’s tools here he had some great apps from digital story telling to picture editors.
- Matt Miller: Pirate Hooks, Mystery Skype
- Sara Trotter: Mindfulness
- Principal Stager: Working Smarter Not Harder
- Hall Davidson: Scroll down to middle of first page on this link for notes on all of Hall’s sessions including VR
This article was originally posted into a smore flyer: https://www.smore.com/say2f.
Rachael Postle-Brown (@): Rachael is a Elementary Principal and Science Curriculum leader in Jenison Public Schools, Michigan.