This year we took 5 students and one graduate to Orlando, Florida. When people asked where we were going I usually told them under my breath because when you mention the city of the big mouse everyone tends to think you are going on a vacation rather than a professional trip.
I spent a lot of time in workshops but all I learned did not happen while in sessions. Many things can be learned simply from the environment. Here are some things that I learned:
- Early childhood teachers love Vera Bradley bags...I have never seen so many patterns in all my life!
- Early childhood teachers will sit anywhere at anytime. I bet if you attended a banking conference you wouldn't find bank presidents sitting in the concourses eating lunch on the floor.
- The freebies in the exhibit hall are like gold...much like the swag bags given away at the award shows for presenters.
- Preschool teachers will throw elbows for a free pen, piece of chocolate, or post it note pad.
- A bar full of preschool teachers is an interesting sight.
- Give a child care provider a free frisbee and she will try to get 9 more to give to her kiddos or make a cool game.
- Early childhood people are not afraid to stand up and sing and dance in a session or again to get more free stuff.
- Although we tell our children not to talk to strangers, early childhood teachers make new friends quite quickly.
- Early childhood people will talk about poop, pee, and boogers to anyone.
- Only preschool teachers would be concerned about people with peanut allergies when the nuts are passed out on the airplane.
- Early childhood people are still amazed at Mentos and Diet Coke...thank you Steve Spangler!
- It is possible to obtain over 10 pounds of freebies in the exhibit hall...and preschool teachers know how to do the math to insure that their bag still doesn't weigh over 50 pounds for the return flight home.