The food was terrific at the conference, except for breakfast. The breakfast was a continental meal in the hotel lobby. I definitely could have went for some protein in the morning, but I was too cheap to go to the attached restaurant and buy something. Lunch and dinner more than filled me and was delicious, so having a muffin and/ or danish in the morning to tide me over really wasn't a problem.
So... did I learn anything? I sure did! Funny, I learned more about myself and relationships than I did in the class sessions, but I don't think that is a problem. We don't always come away from experiences with the planned lesson. Sometimes life has a different plan in mind.
As I mentioned, I rode to the conference with another teacher. Having never been to something like this I was a little nervous and stuck close by. Unfortunately her idea of a good time and mine didn't exactly match, so I had to find a way to do activities that were interesting to me. When we woke up on the second day I was ready to take off on my own. I went to the break-out sessions that were relevant and interesting to me instead of joining the group in the collective decision. I think I got a lot more out of the conference that way than many of my fellow teachers did. And, I wasn't alone anywhere I went! If one of the teachers from my school wasn't in a particular session I would simply strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to me. I met lots of people from sister schools and learned a lot about our organization this way.
I can't wait to try some of the classroom management techniques I learned and some of the cooperative learning games I picked up. I am now more confident about the interactions I have and will have with parents who are of a different culture than that which I am familiar. Overall I do believe the conference has helped me to become a better teacher. At the very least I am charged up and ready to go. Right after I finish enjoying this week long Fall Break!