I believe I did a blog along these lines about this time last year—about The Teacher Professor Conference (this year June 5-7 in Washington, D.C., info at www.teachingprofessor.com). We would love to have you join us. We work very hard to make it a great event, and so far I’ve been very proud of how these conferences have turned out. There’s a variety of sessions, all carefully selected, many of which participants tells us are over-the-top excellent. We bring some big names to the conference—people you can really learn from as well as vendors with resources on teaching and learning. It’s a short compact schedule and by most standards, it’s not an expensive conference.
But we know how tight things are in higher education right now. It’s not a pretty time. Unfortunately, sometimes the things that shouldn’t be cut are the first to go—like travel, especially travel to a teaching conference. Bad economy or not, your instructional health still needs to be taken care of, so lobby hard, if there’s a chance it will make a difference.
Of course, our first choice is having you attend our conference, but if not ours, then some event at which you can glean new ideas and inspiration. And if you are unable to attend an event, consider organizing a teacher renewal event of your own. After the end of semester rush is over, before folks get too involved with summer activities, invite three or four colleagues to spend a couple of hours with you (I’m thinking lemonade, cookies, and a nice shade tree). Ask them to come having read several good articles on teaching or learning. You can pick some of your favorites or ask colleagues to share some of theirs. Relax and settle in for a couple of hours learning from and with each other. You won’t be disappointed.
Meanwhile, I have my fingers crossed that some of you will be with us for the conference. I’d love to meet you and have us discover yet again why teaching is so worthy a profession.