By raep | November 30, 2009
Since entering the Physical Education Graduate program I have heard the importance of attending both the New York State AAHPERD and national AAHPERD conferences. Now we all know as students money can be tight and you have to ask yourself is it really worth the money to go. Well, I am here to tell you to stop asking yourself that question and start budgeting now — it is worth every penny that you will spend. This is because you will make contacts that can be valuable for your future, learn new and exciting ways to teach a variety of different units, and most importantly, have fun.
During my time at the recent New York State AAHPERD conference I met people from all over the country. Wait, did I say all over the country? Yes, I did. New York State draws presenters from all over to allow students and professionals the best possible education. I was taught a dance class by a teacher from New Jersey, outdoor recreation by a teacher that spent 6 years in Alaska, and pool activities from a teacher from Florida. Each of these presenters not only gave us valuable information, but also their contact information. They were willing to continue to supply their knowledge long after the conference was over. The best part is I was able to have a lengthy conversation with Mrs. Barbara Muller, a teacher from New Jersey, who not only invited me to come to her school to teach a class, but also offered to assist me in my career search if I decided to relocate to her area. I also was able to spend some time with a teacher from right her in Western New York. I knew him enough to say hello since he is a Health teacher at the school I did my student teaching, however we never really got to know each other. Now, we not only know each other better, but he is willing to write me a letter of recommendation. If all I made were contacts at the conference it would have been worth the price of admission. But wait there’s more.
We all know how to teach basketball, baseball, football, hockey, and the list of mainstream sports goes on. However what can you bring to the table that is different from the 300 other applicants seeking that one physical education position? As a result of my attendance at this conference, I can teach a dance, outdoor recreation, and curling unit. The best part of the conference is you pick and choose what seminars you think will benefit you the most. My only complaint is that there were a few sessions that had multiple seminars that I was interested in. My suggestion to this problem, have a friend attend the other session and then you can get together later and share notes.
So now we have the benefits of contacts, and learning, so you’re asking me about the fun part. Well, I can’t give away all the secrets of the conference, so I guess you will have to go and find out how much fun they are on your own. I will say that there are socials, receptions, and even a dinner to attend. Don’t miss them, even if you just stay a short time, because you never know who you may run into. And hey let’s be honest, you’re at a conference, away from home for a few nights, and if you’re like me (kid-free), meet some friends and have a blast. Now if you are still wondering why you should go to a conference, well drop me a line and I’ll explain further.
Topics: Physical Education Initial Certification | Comments Off
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