Last time we talked about lessons learned from conventions, whether the audience is teachers or cosplayers.
I nearly forgot one of the best rewards of attending conferences and meetings . . . the STUFF!
The swag . . . the loot . . . the prizes . . . the souvenirs.
This past weekend I participated in a state teacher conference, and I got a few of the usual convention freebies — posters, books, pens, highlighters, candy, a shirt, and more. Someone I know even won a free corn snake!
The best convention prize I ever got was a children’s book about Buzz Aldrin, signed by the astronaut himself!
This very same weekend I came home and took my family to Marvel Universe Live! (Think “Disney on Ice” with superheroes on motorcycles and high-wire acts.)
The show was full of explosions, stuntmen (and stuntwomen), along with cheesy comic book dialogue. Best of all, it’s the only way (so far) you can see live-action Avengers fight alongside live-action X-Men and Spider-Man.
My kids loved the show (me and the wife, too), and they also loved the souvenirs. Just like conferences and conventions, this event had gobs of stuff to take home. Such trinkets cost money, though.
But where else are you going to get an exclusive Marvel Universe Live! Prelude Comic Book?
Or giant-sized Program Book (with embossed cover)?
Or Captain America Boomerang? (It works, too . . . in theory.)
Or official Marvel Universe Live! cotton candy (with superhero mask)?
My family bought all of these beauties – BONUS!
Another lesson learned from this weekend is that teachers give their students an array of souvenirs over the course of a school year. And I’m not just talking about content knowledge.
Every year, I ask my pre-service teachers to imagine their students at the end of the year. In an ideal world, what will those kids be like? What skills will they possess? What traits, habits, and feelings do they have?
I’ve written about this before in a more scholarly setting. To be brief, the new teachers end up with a short list of about ten items. The same types of traits and skills always emerge.
Teachers want students who are . . .
- Critical Thinkers
- Problem Solvers
- Caring and Kind
- Hard Workers
- Lifelong Learners
- Effective Communicators
And students who possess solid content understanding, of course.
Souvenirs are an important part of comic book conventions, education conferences, superhero stunt shows, and even school classrooms.
Some are free. Others are pricy. Cost does not always correlate with value.
What are your classroom’s best souvenirs?
Consider what “souvenirs” you provide for students over the course of the year. Make sure they are treasures that last a lifetime.