Monday, April 04, 2005

One-Act Play and NSTA Convention

Last week, I only taught one day of school. Monday we were off for Easter, so I taught on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, we had UIL one-act play competition and then I left for Dallas with my co-teacher Jill for the National Science Teachers Association Convention.

The one-act play has consumed a big chunk of my time for the last several weeks. I've been co-directing the show "Voice of the Prairie" for competition. We advanced from the Zone meet with our show and then competed in the district meet from which we will not advance. Our actors did a fabulous job during the district competition, though, and our lead received the best actor award. Working with the play was exhausting, but also a lot of fun. It was definitely different to be on that side of theatre. In May, I'm going to Austin to watch the state competition so we can see what kind of shows make it to that level.

The NSTA convention was definitely the best professional development that I've ever been to. There were something like 10,000 teachers there and a bajillion sessions going on at any given time. Sure, there were some bad sessions, but it was nice to be able to get up, leave, and go to something more worthwhile. I got several knew ideas for projects, methods of instruction, etc. I also got a ton of free junk from the exhibit hall (absolutely huge!) to give away to students as part of the Opportunity Tickets incentive system. Unfortunately, I did not win the Toyota Prius :(

Jill and I ran into Brent Maddin and James Saunders from the IDEA Academy on the first day, so we spent a lot of time hanging out with them after regular conference hours. Jill's attendance at the conference was paid for by a grant from Exxon/Mobil, so I bummed along to her reception on Saturday night where I ate lots of good food. While Jill was off having her picture taken, I started talking to a guy named Howard, who is a young educational consultant from South Carolina. He ended up inviting Jill and I to use two of his 3 free tickets to the FCDallas MLS soccer game, which we happily accepted. His free tickets were from the star forward, Eddie Johnson, who is a friend of his. After the game, we got to go down on the field and meet Eddie and we even got invited to go out with them that night, but we declined since we had already committed to stop by and see one of Jill's friends.

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