Things I Realized About Me (During SCKC)

Southern California Kindergarten Conference 2015
I have just returned from two very long (but very productive and inspiring) days at the Southern California Kindergarten Conference in Pasadena, and I find myself reflecting on a few things that I've realized/newly remembered about myself over these past few days:

My chair during the last session,
with all my bags spread out
around me on the floor.
  1. I like to spread out.  Like, literally.  I use up a lot of physical space.  Well, I'd like to think I'm not that huge, but all the junk I carry around with me certainly is.  From the two bags around my feet (my purse aka Mary Poppins' carpet bag, along with my bright red conference freebie tote) and my Staedtler 20 pack of marker pens, laptop, & Starbucks cup taking up the seat next to me, and my notebook filled with notes splayed across my lap as I wrote, my fellow conference-goers were tripping all over me and my stuff before and after every session!  It was a tinnnyy bit embarrassing.  
  2. I heart handouts.  I just love, love, love them.  Even though I'm taking copious notes anyway, I want to see all the major points outlined in a clear way, and in an adorable font.  Handouts help me follow along with the presentation better, even if they're just bullet points on what's being discussed.  And if there's a teaching idea being shared that can be copied and put in the packet, I want that as well so I can remember it later.  Which brings me to my next point:
  3. I have always been, and am still very much, a visual learner.  I must see it to learn it and to remember it.  If I just sat and listened to each session's presentation without taking any notes this weekend, I'm not sure how much I would retain by the time I got home.  I just don't remember things that I hear as well as things that I see or read.  (Which is probably one of the reasons I love handouts.  See how everything just fits together?)  I have to take notes so I can review them later and remind myself what I learned.  Which segues perfectly into point # four: 

    This photograph really covers bullet
    points 2, 3, and 4, doesn't it?
  4. I am a fantastic note-taker.  Taking notes is my jam.  I love using all different colors, lines,  and boxes to separate ideas and outline my thoughts.  I really enjoy making each page look pretty, while still being useful.  {You could probably say I seek that in all areas of my life: to make things around me simultaneously beautiful and functional.}  
  5. I'm really good at what I do.  Now, I'm most certainly not the best teacher I know, nor the most experienced.  I've learned from some incredible master teachers who still leave me in awe of their talent.  But I am certainly not the worst teacher I know either!  Hearing from some of the most renowned teacher-bloggers, and realizing that I'm already implementing a lot of the ideas they shared, was very encouraging for me and definitely gave me a self-esteem boost.  I don't mean this in a boastful way, but simply as a reminder that as teachers, we all need to remind ourselves of the things we're good at.  I had been feeling like I was in a bit of a teaching slump since returning from Christmas break, discouraged about how far along in the curriculum I've gotten with my current class (as compared to last year's class). But sometimes a day away from school, with other teachers who also love to teach, is all it takes for me to become newly inspired and excited about my profession.  It's easy to forget that this is what I was put on earth to do.  
So on that positive note, it's time for me to begin writing 35 (yes, thirty-five!) report card comments.  Which are due on Tuesday.  And I haven't even started.  Not even a little.  And I have an enormous stack of assessments that also need to be graded and entered into the grade book.  What was I saying before about being excited and inspired???