"It sounds great. But it's just not what I'm looking for..."
This was the response of a gentleman who'd asked me to give him the "Coles Notes version" of my session as he was trying to decide whether or not he wanted to attend. Please know, I don't in any way take that personally. I appreciate his honesty. And I understand that attending a conference is quite literally an investment- of time and money. Time away from our family, time away from our school communities. An investment in our students. So I understand that people feel the need to be purposeful in choosing which events and sessions they'd like to attend. And my story is not for everyone. I'm ok with that.
But I've also come to understand over the past several years that much of my best learning happens by accident... It's the impromptu conversations while waiting in line for a coffee. The sessions that I wander into after not being able to find the ones that I originally planned to attend. The chance meetings while waiting for an elevator. I've come to understand that if I allow myself to be open to opportunity, it will find me. Pretty darn cool.
So having recognized that much of my best learning happens by "accident", I'm purposefully less purposeful in seeking out that "perfect" learning opportunity. I've come to realize that in fact, every experience is an opportunity to learn. And that sometimes, even when I think I might know what I want, instead I tend to find exactly what I need...