Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring Teacher Blogger Meet-Up -- Weekend in Review Linky!


That is the word that I'm using to describe the weekend I recently spent with 120 of my blogging besties!

 Imagine a giant ballroom filled with educators from around the country who chose to be there on their own dime and own time.   Educators who are so devoted to being the best teachers they can be, that they spend their “free time” collaborating with other top educators through blogging and professional development events.  Teachers overflowing with creativity.  Educators who create their own incredible teaching resources and share them with others in order to make a difference for kids across the world. 

THIS is what the 
2nd Annual Spring Teacher Blogger Meet-Up 
was all about!

I arrived on Friday afternoon with my girly-girls, Heather (Smack Dab in the Middle) and Brittany (Nifty in First Grade).   

These girls are my positive peeps, who keep me uplifted and encouraged on a daily basis at our school. We unpacked, settled into our room, and then met up with dozens of other teacher bloggers for dinner and teacher-chat!
French Lick Resort is a BEAUTIFUL place, my friends.  As in, breathtaking!  (The picture above, bottom left, is the ceiling of the West Baden atrium lobby!) 

The resort has two main buildings…

If you are looking for a unique vacation experience,
checking out the French Lick Resort is a MUST
This place has an AMAZING history!

Beth Ann and the French Lick staff treat us like royalty! 
We all LOVE-LOVE-LOVE this place!

Check this video out for more info!

As the director of this event, I spent Saturday morning with the most amazing group of friends and HARD WORKERS on the planet in preparation!
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE these girls!

Finally, it was time for the luncheon meet-up event to begin!  
We started the day off with a delicious lunch served by the French Lick staff, then moved right into a fun & creative "Get-To-Know-You" activity where each table decorated a giant letter with words that told all about each teacher.  The letters were colorful, cute and creative...and packed with info about each teacher (blog name, describing word, favorite subject to teach, etc.)  Every table group then came up and shared their letter to introduce everyone. When complete, it came together to spell INSPIRATION! It was great!

After that we hopped right into our Teacher Tool Swap activity!  This is one of my fav parts of the meet up!  Check out more about it HERE.  We all did a blog linky party about the tool swap last week!
Next up came our whole group "Teacher Tips & Tricks" session.   Teachers pre-submitted questions before the meet up, which included topics from classroom instruction and best practices to blogging tech questions and how to improve your TPT sales.  During this time we had a few topical "experts" share their answers and suggestions and also opened it up for anyone to pop up and give their ideas and suggestions too!  
It was GREAT! 

This was followed by a series of "Round Table Discussions!"  Eeks!  Another highlight of the event, in my opinion!  :)  Teachers were invited to choose from a dozen different topics for 15 minute round table discussions, led by the best of the best!  We had three different rotations.   LOVED. THEM.  I lead one on STUDENT ENGAGEMENT with my dear friend, Kim Adsit (KinderGals).  I wish I could have gone to them ALL! 

Finally came the 
BIG Teacher SWAG Give-Away!
Folks, the sponsors were AMAZING!!!
We gave away over $12,000 in teacher goodies!

From Lakeshore STEM classroom kits and HUE document cameras to SDE National Conference tuitions and ESGI memberships... we gave it all away!  #canyousayhappyteachers

EVERY single attendee even went home with his/her own Erin Condren Teacher Planner and Vera Bradley bag!!!!
#truestory #dreamsCANcometrue

 Thank you to our amazing sponsors:
* TPT (
* GoNoodle
* SDE (Staff Staff Development for Educators)
* Lakeshore Learning Materials
Scentos (Love these markers!)
Creative Teaching Press
* Sit Spots
* Scentsy - Ciera Harris
* Orgami Owl - Brenda Hart Frady and Corporate office
* Tallahassee Sunday
* Erin Condren (EVERYONE GOT A PLANNER!!!!!)
*Vera Bradley (EVERYONE GOT A BAG!!!!!)
Schoolgirl Style
Hue Animation Studio
* Claire Marie Designs
* Brain Pop
* Seat Sack
Younique by Dana

After the swag giveaways, everyone's arms were literally OVERFLOWING with teacher we broke up for dinner on our own, and came back together at 9:00pm for...

Thanks to the GENEROUS support of Teachers Pay Teachers and GoNoodle, this night was like none other! 
Seriously, my friends... when it comes to TRULY supporting educators, these companies are committed! We came to them with this crazy idea...and they believed in our vision and helped us make it happen!
{#ipuffyheartTPT  #GoNoodleRocks}

We were spoiled with dozens of varieties of cookies and brownies, pizzas, beverages and even pajama themed cookie take-home-favor bags! Yum! Yum!

We decorated pillow cases, took some epically fun pictures at the photo booth station, and of course, had a GoNoodle DaNcE PaRtY! {Oh, yah. That happened! #rockininourpjs}

We ended the night by gathering together in a circle and doing an "encouragement drawing."  Each teacher had previously submitted their business card into a big paint can, and we passed it around, each taking someone else's card.  Throughout the next year, each teacher will send notes of encouragement and some happy little pick-me-ups to their adopted blogging buddy.  :)  Just another awesome way that we come together as teacher bloggers to support and encourage each other!
Friends... There truly is SOOO much more to share, but I gotta stop somewhere so you have enough time to visit all of the other bloggers' posts about this epic weekend!

I'll admit, planning this event was a ton of work...but it was worth every second!  
And on that note, I have to give a HUGE shout out to my dear blogging friend, Brittany Banister (Mrs. Banister's Kindergarten) for being crazy enough to be my event co-planner!  You are the best!

I'll wrap this up by saying, ENTER the Rafflecopter below to win some of your very own Meet-Up Teacher Swag!!! We are giving away THREE Swag Bags full of these goodies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget to join in the linky hoppin' fun! A huge SHOUT OUT to Brenda Frady (Primary Inspired) for setting up this awesome linky for us!


  1. Holly, you are truly amazing. Thanks again for all the hard work you put into this event. Can't wait for next year. Love ya girl!
    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten

  2. I love you dearly, friend! I'm so happy I could help you! :)

  3. This weekend was flawless! Everyone loved every minute, and I was happy to be a part of it! Love ya!

  4. We love you! Thank you so much for creating such an inspiring weekend! Hope you have a wonderful week!

  5. This is a gorgeous place. The reception area and the waiting room will make you feel special. There is luxury vibes that will welcome you. Aside from this, the meeting room contains many technology and catering options.

  6. I have used strictness with my child in the past, but he generally doesn't need it, and is well-behaved enough to not require such attention. I have observed the way he is spoken to at Phoenix pre-k, from afar when the teachers are unaware that I am there, and it is a very pleasant exchange. (You are who you are when no one is looking!)