Sunday, March 22, 2015

MACUL Hangover: Conference Day 1
First let me explain what a MACUL Hangover is. A MACUL hangover occurs approximately the minute you leave MACUL. It is brought on by the pure exhaustion of learning. Over the past three days your brain had been filled, your body is tired from all the brisk walking to make sure you get a seat in the session you want to attend, if you were presenting there is the relief that it is over, and you may be sleep deprived because you stayed up way too late each night connecting with friends and colleagues. Yet, you have been SO inspired over the past three days that your brain is spinning with all the great ideas you have to take back to your school, and you want to email every administrator your know to tell them all your great ideas, that they should just let you start on Monday!! I like to call this drinking the MACUL-Aid.
Warning: It gives you a hangover.

One year ago as I sat in snowy Grand Rapids, MI at the  EdTech Rally held as a MACUL pre-conference (thanks to Rachel Verschaeve for the invite) I quickly realized that I had found my people. Everyone at this rally was so friendly, helpful, innovative, and inspirational.  

Picture by Brad Wilson 
As I participated in the roundtable sessions I was able to connect with educators from all over the state, even a few I had not seen since college (Andrew Pratley). We had meaningful, positive, conversations that allowed us to ask questions, problem-solve, and reflect openly with one another. I walked away feeling so pumped!
Picture by Brad Wilson 

On that same day, I was introduced to this group called #miched. This group, many of whom I was sitting next to, participated in a Twitter chat held on Wednesday nights at 8pm. It sounded interesting. I had just recently resurrected my Twitter account and made a note of it...

Thanks Lauren Villaluz  
Fast forward to this year, again at the EdTech Rally MACUL pre-conference. A few things made this year different, of course, it was held in Detroit, and I have shorter hair. The passion, innovation, inspiration, and the meaningful, positive conversation was still there. However, all this was enhanced by the connections I had made throughout the year. When I walk into a room and I am greeted with smiles and hugs from people I may have only met in a #miched chat or quickly at one of the other rallies or conferences I know I am in the right place, with all the right people.

Over the past year, I have made some great connections with some pretty amazing educators throughout the state of MI because of #miched.  I have visited their schools, attended their conferences, and learned from their blogs, websites, and tweets. When I restarted my Twitter account last year I really thought it would just be used to find new ideas for the classroom. Little did I know the connections I would make and the inspiration I would gain.

This year MACUL allowed me to meet and connect with these wonderful educators face to face and they are all exactly what I expected!

Picture by Brad Wilson 

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