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Bonnie Bracey Sutton (not verified)

Cynthia and others, I was

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Cynthia and others, I was cutting school, feeling very guilty. Let me explain. I had asked for leave to attend the conference and they told me that I could and then, and then, a month before the conference they decided that I could not attend. So I decided to be ill since I had already bought my ticket to Seattle. I was feeling really guilty and then I heard this man, Wendell Mohling, who was the President of the NSTA complaining that his school system did not want him to attend the conference either. So he was "ill?" It made for a fascinating conversation and instant friendship. Wendell is no longer with us, but we were both so outraged that we had permission withdrawn. Let's hope times and circumstances have changed for others and that permission isn't one of the things teachers have to worry about. I attend several conferences on a regular basis and it is like family. That's the part I forgot to add in my post. Thank you.
Cynthia Lanius (not verified)

Hi Bonnie, Yes, what great

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Hi Bonnie, Yes, what great memories your post brought back. I remember an NCTM conference in Orlando, over 20 years ago, where I heard Heinz Otto-Peitgen talking about fractals (first time I ever heard the word), and it was brilliant and inspiring. I attended a SACNAS conference where I saw young Latinos from all over the country working on STEM PhDs and I knew they were just like MANY of my students, and that raised my horizons for them. I remember my first SC Confernece, I think it was '95, and I thought, if kids could come to this, there'd be no problem getting kids interested in computing. The Hopper and Tapia conferences feel like big family reunions. It would be nice if we could get some big foundation to support every new teacher to attend a confernece of their choice. You know, I bet you that it would reduce attrition! --Cynthia The Math Forum []
Chris O'Neal (not verified)

Bonnie - I felt like I could

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Bonnie - I felt like I could write those same thoughts. That's a great post, which reminds me of my first professional conference years ago - TelEd. I remember I must have had four different entities helping pay for me to go - myself, my principal, our central office, and my mom! Ha. It was an unbelievable experience, and it really made me realize that sometimes "you gotta go to grow" and get out of your four walls to see the outside world. Thanks for the tips! (and I'll see you again at NECC) ~Chris
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Bonnie Bracey Sutton Teacher Agent of Change, Power of US Foundation

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