It just occurred to me, as I'm sitting here at my desk racking my brains for some more ideas to add to my first post, that I really can't find anything at all to add from the conference portion. Don't get me wrong, at the workshops I learned a great deal and I enjoyed them for sure, but the panels were just aggravating at times. But then it hit me, I had a "Won't learn from you" moment. It just seemed like they weren't relatable speakers at all. The whole time it felt like "Hey see us up here? There's a reason for that, we're people and power and you are all just the lowly masses." Now I get that may seem a bit radical but in a sense it's what it felt like. Getting back to that point about the student that was pushed aside when he had a legitimate question, it felt like they were there to talk at us not to us. His question brought up a great issue and the panel almost laughed him off to the point of embarrassment. It was like he wasn't important enough to question them at all.
I suppose that's why I couldn't retain much from the panel and even the speaker at lunch. There just seemed to be no personality to relate to as an aspiring teacher. The speakers for the majority of the time just spoke at the crowd with what seemed like questions they practiced and the mayor just seemed like he was speaking at just another political event. I'll be completely honest, there were many times that I just tuned out mentally. I know that's definitely not setting the greatest example in the world but it's the truth. There was no way a student could identify with any of the speakers and it just seemed like "Oh you better listen to these people because they are important". Nothing of real substance was ever answered and without that ability to relate it's almost impossible to retain anything because nothing they say seems important in the grand scheme of things. What are questions without answers? Or how about ideas without actions? These two questions are the main reason why I couldn't learn anything of substance from the combined over three hours of their speaking. It don't want to say it was a waste of time, after all I feel that if anything can make you think critically then it's very far from a waste, but it feels like all of this thought is stemming from the wrong things. I feel this is a legit criticism of what can be improved as a whole. Just find speakers who we as students can identify with, maybe some recent graduates from the school of education. Let them tell their stories, even if they haven't found their dream job yet their speaking would mean so much more to me as a student than some big wig in politics.