Monday, June 13, 2016

Are You Addicted To Ed Conferences? I Can Help!

Although conferences go on all year long, it seems as though there are a large number of them in the summer. It seems my Twitter feed is loaded with conference information or excitement. Or, it could be that I just have time to notice when I am on summer break.

Do you find yourself addicted to conferences? Do you spend an unusual amount of time driving to EdCamps, Teachmeets and/or named conferences? Do you keep an eye on your social media feeds to see what conferences others are attending and spend way too much time reading their posts? If you think you have a problem, I am here to help! Here are seven ways to help you break out of your addiction:

1) Don't get into meaningful conversations at the conferences. The most addicting part of conference attendance is the rush of adrenaline you get when you have deep, meaningful conversations that stimulate your thinking and drive you to explore and innovate.

2) Only attend sessions that are titled '10 Best _________'. These sessions emphasize tools or methods that are easily found online without help. We all like to walk out of 'professional development' with something we can use immediately in the classroom. After all, it is these tools that keep our students engaged!

3) Eat by yourself, don't make eye contact. Break times, hallway times, and lunch times are very dangerous for the conference addict. If you try really hard you may be able to continue to be alone throughout these times and thereby avoid number 1. This may be hard for those of you who are extroverts, but in the end the effort is worth breaking that addiction!

4) Complain loudly and often about the quantity and quality of the freebies available. If you work at it hard enough, you might even be able to convince yourself that this is the real reason you attend the conferences. I mean, is it really a successful conference if all you get is to take home is a lanyard and some stickers?

5) Make sure you spend your session times reading email, checking Facebook or Twitter and surfing the net (maybe throw in some shopping on Amazon while you are at it!) These are wonderful ways to keep your brain from engaging in the session topic. Paying attention may lead to engagement which will only fuel your addiction!

6) Don't go to keynotes. Keynotes are typically made to get people emotionally ready to learn and share (both of which we identify as fueling the addiction.) You would be much better off sleeping in for that morning keynote or leaving early to go to the outlet malls during the afternoon one. That way you will beat the rush of people leaving the parking lot as well!

7) Don't go to the sessions. Your room has HBO so catch up on Game of Thrones. Head to the pool and work on your tan. Get an even earlier start on those outlet malls. Visit the local points of interest. Do anything that will keep you from the temptation of engaging at the conference.

If you have any other tips or tricks that you use to keep from enjoying and engaging at education conferences please leave them below. Remember, teachers deserve it!


  1. You, sir, are a riot! I'm looking forward to meeting up with you at a conference this summer.