Wednesday, July 11, 2012

National FCCLA 2011

I attended the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, CA from July 9-14, 2011 with one of my students and one of our state officers.  I was so pleased that I had two students who qualified for Nationals, and that one of them followed through and attended the conference.  I was honored to chaperone one of our state officers since her chapter and advisor were unable to travel to Nationals this year.  It was such a whirl-wind gathering the paper work and money to be able to go, but now that I have done it once, hopefully future travel with be a bit easier.  I did have one student who was going to attend the conference, and then a week before we were leaving, she backed down.  I was thoroughly disappointed, and never did get her to pay back the difference that she still owed.  The learning here for me was no matter what the circumstance, students must pay a non-refundable deposit in addition to fundraising.  This was my first time attending a National FCCLA conference and it was eye-opening, motivating, and exciting to be a part of it.

The opening general session was professional yet engaging.  I was so impressed with the work that the National Officer Team put in to making this a true “show.”  Everything ran smoothly.  The keynote speaker, Chef Jeff, was extremely motivating.  His stories were about perseverance and reaching your full potential.  I also attended workshops such as: Leadership Bootcamp, Integrating the Planning Process in the Classroom, and the Advisors Recognition Session.  I received some good ideas to take back and use in the classroom.  It was neat to hear Michael Benjamin address the advisors.  He talked said that FACS teachers do not teach basic skills, we teach essential skills, and that the essence of FACS education in to create healthy and sustainable families.  The keynote during the Advisors Recognition session was Cheryl Cran.  Closing Session was a little long for my liking, but I did get some good ideas to share with my chapter.           

I was a room consultant for the Illustrated Talk event and was impressed with most of the projects.  There were a couple that were a little bit shocking that they made it to Nationals.  I enjoyed sitting in the actual room with the judges because then I was able to hear the presentations not just see the portfolios.  In the future I will definitely volunteer to be a room consultant again.  

The students and advisors I was able to connect with over the week was definitely an opportunity for growth and learning.  This conference was worthwhile, and I was so happy to be able to share in this experience with the two students I brought.  I learned a lot about being an advisor and traveling out of state with teenagers.  I was impressed with the professionalism and caliber of the students who attend this conference.  This was a great way to strengthen my skills as a teacher and advisor and a great way for students to develop as leaders. 

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