Weekend in Review {2016 French Lick Blogger Meet-Up}

One of my goals this month was to take some time for myself, and I definitely did that last weekend. I had the most amazing opportunity to attend a blogger meet-up in French Lick, Indiana with around 200 other teacher-bloggers.
Before the event, I was asked to share some of my thoughts. 
In a video. 
To be shared at the meet-up.
I was asked to share was why I liked attending meet-ups and collaborating with other teachers. 
Well.....I kinda shared something else instead.

I was brutally honest and admitted that I DON'T like meeting new people. I am so incredibly shy. And I tend to be pretty bad at small talk. The whole weekend had me freaked out. In fact, I almost didn't go at the last minute because I was so nervous. (Yeah, it was that bad.) But my amazing husband kicked me out of the house and told me not to come back...in the most loving of ways. And when I called him on the way t tell him my headache had gotten worse and I might turn around and head home, he gently reminded me that my house was filled with kids and that I would be much happier if I just kept driving. When I arrived in French Lick, I stopped at a gas station across the street and had to give myself a pep-talk so I wouldn't run away. #thereisdefinitelysomethingwrongwithme

Here is the awesome compilation of LOTS of teacher-bloggers put together by The Male Kindergarten Teacher. Talk about a lot of work! Somewhere around 6 1/2 minutes you can witness my awkwardness firsthand as I tried desperately not to have a panic attack on camera.

I LOVE that Beth Freuh from Adventures of a Schoolmarm starts this whole video out by voicing my feelings exactly! #iamnotalone As I reflect back on the weekend, it makes me laugh to think about how nervous I was.

BUT the truth is that I had fun! Really!
Oh, don't get me wrong, I was sick to my stomach through half of the weekend and my headache never really went away. But I am soooooooooo glad I sucked it up and decided to step outside of my comfort zone.
Reason #1: Elementary Entourage
I really wanted to meet up with the girls (and Greg) that I collaboratively blog with. Not everyone could be there, but it was great to meet up face-to-face with some of these great teacher-bloggers. Such a fun group!
Reason #2: Proof that my online friends are real people
If you're like me, you stalk follow a lot of inspiring teachers and bloggers on social media. I get some of my greatest ideas form other teachers. I also find that if I'm stuck and need some guidance there is always someone willing to help. Facebook might be my favorite for that! I'm a member of a bunch of groups on Facebook and it's so comforting to know that these online communities of teacher-bloggers really DO collaborate (even if it is from different cities, states, or even countries).

Reason #3: Freebies
I wasn't sure how to share this part without sounding "greedy" but EVERY teacher loves some freebies! And there were so many AMAZING sponsors who donated items for door prizes and as part of our swag bags. From digital downloads, to pins and stickers, to paper and lotions. Seriously generous. I came home with so many goodies.

Reason #4: Relax, recharge, and reconnect
There were so many teachers, bloggers, TPT sellers there that I felt like there was something for everyone! It was great to attend the round table discussions and learn how other teachers integrated technology and social media into their classrooms. Such a wealth of information. I even got to meet Amy and Nicole from TeachersPayTeachers. #starstruck
Reason #5: Adding to my t-shirt collection
I got a super cute baseball tee to wear and remember all the fun from the weekend. It says, "TAKE YOUR PASSION AND MAKE IT HAPPEN" which was the theme for the weekend. It's so cute and comfy. And I really AM addicted to t-shirts.

So, if you're wondering whether to attend this event next year or not...
The answer is YES!!!
And if you're thinking that you can't since you aren't a blogger...
Come anyway!
There were actually about 20 teachers who called themselves "blog stalkers" who attended. It was so much fun sharing teaching ideas with ALL of the attendees!


  1. Next year I'm going to come sit by you and we can by shy together! I always have trouble with new situations too! I'm glad you stuck with it though and had such a great time!

    1. You totally should! I'm really bad at small talk. My favorite thing is actually to "people watch"...

  2. There was tons of fun people watching at the retreat! It was wonderful to meet you. So happy so many from the EE family were able to attend and connect.

  3. It was great seeing you again and catching up. I was super nervous at my first meet-up too, so I'm glad you came and had fun too!!!
    Tickled Pink in Primary

    1. I'm glad to hear it isn't just me. It was really good to have you around to help me feel "normal".

  4. We're so glad you didn't turn around - too funny, we had the same thoughts...but then decided we had to go since we might have taken a spot someone else wanted...guilt can be a great motivator! We'll sit with you at the "shy" table next year - #youarenotalone - loved meeting you in person and loved your video as it spoke from the heart what was in many of our hearts! Can't wait until next year, Kim - we'll people watch (and mingle a little just so we can keep the guilt at bay) together!

    1. Awwww. I love you!!!! Thanks for sharing my introvertedness. (Is that even a word?) And I will go again if you all do too!

  5. I loved seeing that EE family picture! I am so sad that I missed you but hope that I catch you someday, at some kind of meetup!!!
    Melissa from The Husky Loving Teacher

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