Did Somebody say CADA?

As I sit here planning my lessons for the time I will be gone for CADA, I can’t help but get excited.  I don’t even know if excited is the right word, I’m downright giddy with anticipation.  I keep thinking about the friends I will see, the new friends I will meet, the hours of professional development with my colleagues, and the opportunity to be around truly positive and creative educators.

My first CADA conference was six years ago.  I felt like a kindergartner walking around the different suites with my CADA backpack on, introducing myself, finding out that, “yes, the food is free, help yourself.”  Where had I landed?  I had only found out about this conference a week before as my principal came up and said, “I can’t go, would like my ticket.”  I had no reason not to go, so I said yes.  And there I was, in the middle of CADA in San Diego looking around me at these energetic people and wondering what they were so hyped up about.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the energy of CADA.  I didn’t know what to do with it exactly, but I loved it.  I went to professional development sessions, I did my new to convention getting business cards and shaking hands along the way.  The funniest moment was running into a former student of my Dad’s – a teacher of 39 years – I guess I made her feel old that day; my Dad just thought it was funny when I told him about her.

After my fifth workshop with about 10 pages of notes I was again lost thinking, “how on earth can I do all of these activities?”  The answer was easy, I couldn’t, but I had a lot of information to work with, and while I did not come back and add a thousand new activities or ideas, I focused on one or two.  I had plenty of notes, so each year I added or two new ideas where they fit, always going back to my folder.

Another side benefit of CADA is how I feel when I get back.  Yes, it is work to plan for the convention: sub plans, getting a good sub, setting up the kids so they can do the work without bothering the sub, and making the sure the school is not crazy while I am gone.  However, the sense of energy, purpose, and accomplishment are almost overwhelming as that Monday after convention I come to school feeling like I did back in August; refreshed and ready to teach the heck out of my students over the rest of the year.

The folks at CADA truly care about kids, and it shows.  It shows through the interactions these educators have with their students, other teachers, administrators, and school staff.  CADA is about bringing people together, forging relationships, and maintaining those relationships.  Within that model, collaboration and teacher support occurs as great ideas are shared across the state – and even the country – with one goal in mind – let’s do something wonderful for kids.

Get ready for CADA 2010, The Spirit of New Orleans, next week will bring amazing opportunity.

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~ by cadaleaders on February 26, 2010.

One Response to “Did Somebody say CADA?”

  1. Excited to have a booth for the first time at CADA this week! Can’t wait to show everyone our new curriculum. I hope your readers stop by and see us at booth #323. Thanks for the blogging and podcasting and all the great work you do for students and student leadership.

    Rhett Laubach
    PLI, Inc. http://www.PersonalLeadershipInsight.org

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