Monday, July 18, 2016

TpT Orlando 2016: Five Things I Learned at My First Conference

Mrs. Irvin's Toolbox
I just got back from a week in Orlando attending my first TPT conference. Oh my goodness! If you ever have the opportunity to attend a TPT conference, don't second-guess it, just GO! 
I could easily make a list of 100 things I got out of this experience, really! When I got home, I couldn't stop chattering about it - my poor husband! It took me a whole day and night to come down from the "TPT-high" I was on! I wanted to run to my computer and start sharing, but I intentionally stayed away from writing a blog post because I probably would've sounded like a crazy person, and I certainly would NOT have made any sense. 

So, now that I've recovered and organized my thoughts, here's my list of 5 things I learned at the TPT conference: 
Mrs. Irvin's Toolbox
5. TEACHER-SELLERS ARE AWESOME! Being with hundreds of other Teacher-Sellers is invigorating! I knew it would be a little intimidating at first, but that lasted about 10 minutes. The rest of the week was jam-packed with talking to some of the nicest and inspirational people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. From TPT newbies to veterans like Deanna Jump, everyone had something valuable to share. We've all seen the top sellers in videos and blog posts, but meeting them in person confirmed that they are just as sweet and funny up-close as they are online. I felt at-home with everyone there. 
Mrs. Irvin's Toolbox
4. THE TPT STAFF IS AMAZING! At our opening session, we heard from Amy, our "Director of Seller Happiness" (love her title), and Adam, TPT's CEO. Not only are they the most approachable people you could ever meet, they are chock-full of valuable information that they want to share with everyone. They are encouraging and empowering and confirmed for me that I was at the right place at the right time. 
Mrs. Irvin's toolbox
My traveling buddy and roommate at the TPT conference! 
3. COLLABORATION IS KEY! We hear it all the time, teamwork, connecting... all the buzzwords. But there really is nothing like being with other like-minded people and feeling that energy! It truly is contagious. I attended so many great sessions (I'd have to begin my list of 100 to even start explaining) but one of the things I came away most excited about was a class I took about "Meet-Ups" and how to host them (presented by Brain Waves Instruction and Literary Sherri). I immediately started working on planning a local meet-up and am so excited about the response I'm already getting! Can't wait to share more about that later! 
Mrs. Irvin's Toolbox


2. I AM NOT ALONE! Did you know that the struggle is real for everyone?? Haha! I mean, we hear everyone joke about it, but to hear people like Deanna Jump, Laura Candler, Miss DeCarbo, Jen Bengel, Rachel Lynette, Erica Bohrer, Deedee Wills... all mentioning the same issues that I am having? What?? Well, then maybe I am on the right track. We are all struggling with schedules, time management issues, learning curves and juggling just too many balls in the air at times. It's great to hear that they were NOT overnight successes (as it seems) and that they really did have to work hard for YEARS to meet some of their goals and that they are still working hard. Clearly, I am not the only one wondering if all of this hard work will ever come to fruition. 
1. I LOVE MY PROFESSION! Teaching is hard. There are times when I feel like I can't do it anymore and I'd rather go serve popcorn at the movie theater (no offense to popcorn servers reading this). But teachers are some of the hardiest people out there! We do what needs to be done and if we don't know how, we figure it out. We never stop learning. We support one another and lift each other up. We work hard because we love what we do. In the end, it is all for the children and young adults we serve. We hope to change the world and make it a better place, each of us in our own corner of the world. 

This conference confirmed for me that there are so many ways for us to make a difference. We just have to stick together and keep moving forward. 

See you at the next conference! 

5 comments:

  1. Love your writing and insights Dania! And you hit the nail on the head. I had no idea what to expect before going to this conference, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. I came home invigorated and very glad I went.

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  2. So glad you enjoyed the conference! Looking forward to hearing more about it!

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  3. Delightful blog, Dania, my husband can certainly relate to your husband and your description of the "TPT-High."

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  4. Thank you so much for posting this! As someone who is newly getting involved with selling on TPT, I am so excited to hear about the conference from those who were able to attend. Thank you for sharing these tidbits with us.

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  5. Loved your recap!! The conferences are the best! :)

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