Wow! I have just experienced one of the (if not THE) most magical weeks of my life. For five days, I have had the privilege of working with passionate educators from all over the US and Canade (eh!). We had a two day conference, one day unconference, endless hours of networking, team building, reflections, and more. There were tears when we left and friendships created. This past week, I was at the Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute in Burlington, VT. If you have never attended one, add that to your bucket list! It is truly unlike anything else you will ever experience.
Still in the air somewhere between Cleveland and Houston, I haven't fully finished processing all my thoughts and learning. Most likely, it will take weeks to think it all through. At this exact moment, there is one thought that has my total attention.
"Don't skip any opportunity presented to you."
Similar to other events, there was a schedule of things to do this past week and plans for getting X, Y, and Z done. Great! Do those things and participate fully. But when you are given a moment to connect with someone, have a five minute side conversation, or just be with them to get to know them better, grab it with both hands. Those connections are what make us better and stronger. So very many times this past week, I watched that happen and even participated in some myself. Having the time built in for networking and team building was the launching pad for everything else we did. It created a safe environment where we trusted one another, relied on each other, and became a family. We each brought value, ideas, and a unique talent to the table. It was a coordinated chaos that changed me as a person and an educator forever.
Though to be honest, I do leave with some regrets. Not for anything I did do. No, it is regrets for things I didn't do. There were some opportunities I didn't take full advantage of and thinking back I really wish I had. From things I wish I had done to thoughts I wish I had shared, I regret only that I didn't do more. But we all have to make decisions and we can't live in the world of should of, could of, would ofs. We can only do better next time. Jump on the opportunities that land in your lap and leave with no regrets :-)