My enthusiasm tank was super low, and I was in serious need of a fuel up...

I'm not going to lie to you, there was a point during this summer that I was not looking forward to going back to school. If you know me, you know that I love my profession and my job. I think there were a lot of factors that contributed to this temporary lack of enthusiasm... some of my close friends and allies on my coach team at work are moving on to new opportunities, there is a lot of change in leadership in my district and I'm unsure of what things will look like, but mostly it was that I didn't slow down at all this summer and do the things that I usually do like spend copious amounts of time with my #miniman. All of these things combined left my enthusiasm tank super low, and I was in serious need of a fuel up.

Angela Maiers with #leydenpride students 
Last week I spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday fueling up at the Leyden 1:1 Symposium. The conference kicked off with the awesome Leyden team sharing their story with a Star Wars twist, which I of course shared with my #miniman when I got home later that night (I'm pretty sure he wants to go to school there now.) Then Dean Shareski (who I'm not sure how I haven't seen him yet, but he was totally on my bucket list) keynoted on "What ever happened to joy?" And I sat in the audience nodding like a bobble head and tweeting away. My friend +Michael Johnson sitting next to me nudged me and whispered that everything Dean was saying in his keynote, needed to be my battle cry this year. He is so right, so I'm taking Shareski's four conditions for joy in schools to heart this year: 1. wonder 2. be interesting 3. share it 4. be grateful. After Dean jumped off stage, literally, there are pictures to prove it the wonderful day continued learning about making in schools and formative assessments. It was so great to hear other educators share the things that they were doing in their schools and districts that echoed my beliefs. Day two included an awesome keynote by the very talented and engaging Jennie Magiera, if you have never had the opportunity to see her speak you're missing out. She does a great job of making you want to get out of your seat and change the world. Later that day I was able to try and engage my own audience and share some of the things that I do in two different presentations. I spent most of Day 3 listening to Angela Maiers and her awesome #choose2matter message reminding us that we matter and so does every person we come across in our lives, especially our students. One of my favorite parts of the whole conference was the student panel at the end.

The Leyden 1:1 Symposium was exactly what I needed. It was a great feeling to be surrounded by so many great educators, with so much positive energy, and with such and important focus. It reminded me why I became a teacher in the first place, why I show up for work every day ... for the students.

I'm grateful for this experience! Thanks to everyone I met and interacted with, to the Leyden guys for putting on a great event, and especially to the #leydenpride students. I am SO much more excited to go back to school!

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