Seeing all my friend’s social media and blog posts, I noticed we were all talking about appreciating the people around us. I especially appreciated Sarah Thomas’s approach to ISTE in her recent post “One Thing I Did Differently at #ISTE19” where she explains how she prioritized her own needs by saying “maybe” to all social invites, and not pressuring herself to attend anything.
This year, my personal ISTE theme was relationships! I spent the majority of my time with old and new friends. There were so many hugs, squeals of excitement, and selfies!
It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to find all the people, especially the educelebrities (oy, that word makes me cringe, sorry y’all). Find the people who are going to stretch your thinking and build you up, not the people selling you their brand.
I filled my ISTE time with social events and meetups. I loved having a Fueled by Coffee and Love authors and friends meet-up. I got to meet some of the authors in person for the first time, and share some exciting new things coming for the book project (follow @fbcalbook, announcements coming soon!)
This year, I intentionally limited my presentations to just one, and reserved the rest of the time for informal learning moments. While it can be fun to be super busy, this year I chose to build relationships, not my portfolio. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with presenting multiple times and being super involved. This year, that style of ISTE wasn’t for me, and I had to respect my own energy.
What matters most to me is the quality of people around me; I love my friends, and I know they always have my best interests at heart. After the year I’ve had, I spent many conversations talking about the changes in my professional and personal life, and where I’m going from here. I heard so many words of encouragement from my friends, and it means the world to me to have these quality people around! Personally or professionally, there’s nothing better than a friend saying, “I’ve been there, I got through it and so will you.”
Seriously, I love y’all so much! See you next year in Anaheim!