Can I make a confession? I’ve never been to a big SLP convention before. But next week(!), that changes, when I board the plane to head to the national ASHA convention in Denver!
I must admit, I am nervous, as I have never flown by myself. (Side note: If you run into me at the CMI, DFW, or DEN airports, please say hi and introduce yourself! You will help distract me and make me feel less nervous. :))
But this year has been all about stepping out of my comfort zone, both professionally and personally. At this time last year, I saw many of my online friends posting pictures and sharing their experiences at the conference, and I made the decision to make it a reality this year.
|My motto this year!|
So why am I choosing to attend the ASHA convention this year?
- To grow professionally. There are so many sessions to choose from on a variety of different topics. As a school SLP with a varied caseload, that is so helpful! I hate to spend all of my continuing ed time for the year on a conference for just one small subset of my caseload. By attending the ASHA convention, I can attend different sessions that will cover the majority of my caseload.
- To connect and network with other SLPs. I have some wonderful SLP friends I have come to know online, but haven’t had the opportunity to spend time with many of them in person. As the only SLP employed by my small district, I sometimes feel isolated. I have come to realize that time connecting with other SLPs is very valuable, and I need to take advantage of the opportunity when it is available. I love learning new ideas and brainstorming ways to meet similar challenges that my fellow SLPs face, too!
- To share some of my own knowledge. Through some of my amazing SLP blogger friends, I have been allowed the opportunity to co-present a session at the convention. Danielle from Sublime Speech, Maureen from the Speech Bubble, Felice from The Dabbling Speechie, CC from Super Power Speech, and I will be presenting on Saturday at 4:00 on “Social Media Resources for Today’s SLP.” (If you know me, you know that public speaking is definitely outside my comfort zone!)
- To meet some of you! I am one of fifteen bloggers who will be spending time at the SLP Blogger Booth #429 in the convention hall. I’m looking forward to meeting more of my online followers - if you are at the convention, make sure you stop by! I will have pens to hand out, as well as postcards with some exclusive freebies. (Make sure to follow my Facebook page and Instagram account to find out what hours I will be at the booth.) We are also hosting a meet up for all SLPs on Thursday night - there will be free dessert and tons of prizes! Find out more and RSVP here.
Have you been to a national or state convention before? What were the best parts for you? What tips do you have for me? I would love to know!