i usually go to about four workshops a year or so. sometimes, you’re required to log a certain number of hours. luckily, i have five years to meet my numbers. i just have to be sure to get 6 hours of a G/T workshop each year. unfortunately, i haven’t been able to find one that i really want to go to yet this year. sometimes, i’ll just go to a boring one so i can have a paid day off in which i can have adult conversations all day. every teacher does it.
i would suggest bringing your iPad or tablet or phone. anything to keep you informed on what is going on back at school and to entertain you during the workshop. also bring some post-its, pens, and highlighters. you never know what they’ll have on hand for you.
some workshops are great and teach you a TON. others are just plain entertaining and you don’t really get much out of them. and some more are just worthless. i’ve been to probably 30-50 workshops over the years. and i have been to some good ones like thinking maps, TCI, and worksheets don’t grow dendrites.
my first year, i was forced to go to a weeklong “first teacher conference”. while some of the info was helpful, most of it was purely unrealistic. in a way, it handicapped me. i kept thinking over the first few months – my classroom is all wrong! this is not how the workshop said it would be! from that experience, i learned that most workshops are built around a “perfect classroom”. remember that when your in hour 5 of any workshop.
but over time, you’ll figure out which ones to go to in so that you’ll actually learn something useful. and like i said, sometimes you just need a day away from your students to decompress, get some exposure to new things, and maybe learn something.