Over the next few weeks we'll be sharing guest posts from #MSTA12 attendees sharing their thoughts on our 150th convention. Today's post is from School Librarian and MSTA Reading Circle Chair, Brenda Steffens.
I have just returned from the 150th Missouri State Teachers Association Convention in Kansas City and am I glad I was able to be a part of it. The convention started off with free chocolate and free Internet, what more could you want? The Sheraton, which was recently redecorated, was very impressive, but the best part was renewing my friendships with teachers around the state and making new friends. As always, bingo was a lot of fun and the baskets in the silent auction were amazing.
The highlight of the convention for me was the Assembly of Delegates, where we make the decisions on what is important to MSTA and what we will have as our legislative platform for next session. Every delegate has a voice to speak his or her opinion. We may not agree with the other opinion, but we all have a voice in the democratic process. For the last couple of years, our Assembly of Delegates was a little boring with no big discussions, but this year that changed. I was glad to see that the young man from Lee’s Summit had the courage to voice his opinion on changes he felt were needed. I think back to being his age, and I know I didn’t have that same courage. I hope he will be back next year with more opinions.
The exhibits were great. I came home with pencils, stress balls, Band-Aids, a billfold, a purse, and much more. It is always great to see new offerings and of course the standard jewelry, purses and other items for sale. As I worked in the MSTA Reading Circle booth, I was pleased to see how excited everyone was to win a book, so next year we will have even more books to give away. As always, College of the Ozarks brought their SMSTA chapter members to the convention and as a graduate of C of O, I was glad to see them stop by the booth and was excited that they won many books from the booth.
The speaker, Angela Maiers, for the General Session was great. Since attending the General Session, I have tried to call each person by name no matter where I was. When I stopped at a store on the way home, I looked at the name tag and called the person by name and was totally amazed at the reaction. My goal is to make sure my students know they matter, as well as my colleagues each day.
The worst part of convention is that it won’t happen again for another year, but I am looking forward to meeting all my “old” friends, again meeting new ones and of course meeting in a new hotel in Columbia! Thank you to all the MSTA staff for going above and beyond to make the 150th convention so AWESOME! You guys ROCK!!!