I love my job.
No, really - I enjoy the nerdiness, or geekdom, or dorkhood, or whatever term you want to apply to my community of educators. And that's what we are - a community, a congregation of those interested in the minute placement of a comma and the depth attributed to a blue scarf in a piece of writing.
I attended the VATE Conference this weekend, and though I knew only the other person from my school, and was previously acquainted with the VATE president, I felt...home. It was refreshing to see this group of people congregate for the same reasons I went - love of the subject and love of my students, and a passion to serve both well, and an absolute acceptance of myself and my opinions on the subjects. The sessions I attended were chosen for specific reasons, and though I did not feel every single session was what I was expecting nor for which I had hoped, they were all beneficial in some way, and I could take something back to any grade I teach currently or in the future.
The weekend was topped by viewing a production of Henry V, a play I had never seen nor read before, but with my own base knowledge of Shakespeare, and my peers circling me in the theater, or should I say theatre, I was able to follow and enjoyed myself tremendously.
As a side note, I can only say that I feel both pity and joy for those in attendance who were not from the conference - they had to put up with us, and when we congregate, I find we can be rather boisterous. But at the same time, they received a treat that many wouldn't if and when they attended a Shakespearean play - based on the audiences' reactions (mine own, included, when I was caught off guard by a sudden drum roll, and caused my entire row to practically curl in fetal positions laughing so hard), those who weren't teachers, or schooled in Shakespeare, received insight as to what was meant to be humorous, somber, etc. Basically, those not from our community were able to see two shows at the same time.
And the actors - wow - they did a fantastic job with the play! But I can also imagine that for them, performing in front of a room of teachers must be very satisfying.
All in all, I had a rewarding experience at this year's conference, and I regret that I've had too many plates spinning in the past to attend previous conferences. I've come away with an appreciation for Shakespeare's historical plays, with knowledge regarding the direction our SoLs are taking, and numerous other ideas for lessons and units within my classroom, and I've learned that my community is so much larger than I could possibly conceive, with nerdiness welcomed by all.