Isn't that the question we always ask ourselves when we get done with a conference or training. I learned all of this great stuff, now what do I do with it? How do I implement it? Where do I start? What's the best way to incorporate this?
Going to a great conference like UCET often provides us with a lot of resources, but sometimes it often leaves us with a lot of questions. When I go to a conference I always feel so overwhelmed with so much great stuff that I want to start in my classroom, but for some reason or another I tend to falter and I put those ideas on a shelf for another day. Here are some tips that may help you implement some of the ideas you learned about at UCET.
1. Try to focus on one thing that you could implement today and do that thing. I know there were a lot of great sessions, but focus on the one that would be the biggest boost to your teaching right now. The problem we sometimes have is that we want to do everything. That burns you out and you end up not doing any of them. A great mentor teacher of mine once said, "Every year you should add one thing to your teaching that pushes you to become better." I've taken that advice and it's changed my teaching for the better.
2. Don't let perfection interfere with progress. Kevin Honeycutt presented at UCET one year and he mentioned one thing that has stayed with me. Don't feel like you have to be an expert at something before you use it with your class. Half of the time your students will be able to figure it out despite you. Also, it's good to show your students that you don't know everything, but that you are learning all of the time just like they are.
3. Don't go at it alone. Stay in contact with teachers you met at UCET, the presenters, and share your ideas with teachers at your school. It helps to work with others so that you can bounce ideas off of each other.