I attended the IPPN conference this weekend. I was accompanying my sister who’s a deputy principal. It was useful from a professional development point of view, and for networking. The most exciting part of the conference for me was the Expo’s hall. There were all different companies with lots of samples on show. More on that later!
The first seminar I attended was on multi-grade teaching. I thought it would be useful as I have 5th and 6th class combined, though my sister who has junior infants- second class doesn’t view my situation as multi-grade at all! The seminar was brilliant, but I was disappointed as it focused entirely on thematic teaching rather than advice for managing multi-grade classrooms. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and I came out of it with lots of new ideas, but it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for.
There was a delicious dinner in the evening which proved to be a good opportunity to speak to other teachers and discuss ideas.
The next morning I attended a talk on School Self Evaluation. I know as a substitute teacher it may have been unnecessary for me to go to a talk about SSE, but I was simply curious to learn more about what it involves. Apparently it involves a lot! It was a brilliant talk , and I already feel more confident and experienced in this area simply from listening to such a professional discuss it.
My third and final seminar was entitled ‘Taking care with touch’. It was held by two extremely experienced teachers, and I was enthralled from beginning to end. They gave loads of practical advice on how to deal with certain situations which may arise. They presented a great presentation with sample incident reports, how to write them, advice on training courses , advice on managing scenarios and so on. I came out of the seminar with my head literally spinning from information over drive, so I just scribbled everything down in case I forgot it!
All in all, it was a really enjoyable day and a half. I have loads of new ideas to bring back to my classroom, and some brilliant tips on applying for jobs too!
I also spoke to many companies about my website, which will hopefully bring exciting partnerships in the future. Many teachers I meet ask about my website and I always feel awkward discussing it, I don’t know why. I suppose it is an Irish thing, we find it difficult to accept praise! Anyway, my sister kept urging me to talk to the Expo people about it but I just couldn’t put myself forward like that. The next morning though I forced myself to bring it up while talking to them, and they were most interested. They were very impressed by the site and asked for advertising space, reviews and so on, and I got lots of free resources for school-hurrah! Sometimes it is important to try put yourself out there. I am just full of inspiration and aspirations after the two days. Also I came home with a ridiculous amount of books. Now to get them into the house without Tom seeing them!