The Gift of Giving

Is it better to give or to receive?

This question has haunted many of us in our souls since we were children. Coming downstairs on Christmas morning to presents left under the tree. That feeling is pretty good when you are young.

As you mature, those presents under the tree become less and less important. The feeling is replaced by the joy you feel when giving presents to your loved ones. If you have kids, the feelings are undeniable. It almost never matters if you, yourself, have presents on Christmas because you are just overwhelmingly happy that your children are so excited to be opening the gifts you gave them.

This is the way I felt as the lead organizer of FlipTech East Coast 2018.

For three years, I have been traveling around the country espousing the benefits of flipped learning. I would discuss with educators mind maps and nonlinear learning models. I was receiving. I know it seems strange, but I was receiving the gift of presenting, on a stage to spread my own ideas.

But the last weekend in June was different. I never once presented anything on flipped learning. What I did was organize. And in doing so, I was able to give.  

I gave a stage to 26 presenters, some of whom have not presented outside of their school.

I gave an auditorium to two powerful keynote speakers, hoping that they would change the audience’s careers like they have changed my own.

I gave the opportunity for any attendee to get college credit for the conference with the always talented Lindsay Stephenson (@MrsStephenson3).

I literally gave.

FlipTech East Coast’s sponsorship chair, Anna Muessig (@MrsMues) was able to accumulate swag from so many different places with the hope of affecting the classrooms of our participants. Books, tools, subscriptions, and tech were all given to participants of the conference.

I gave my Collingswood colleagues a glimpse of the flipped learning world that I am so passionate about.

I gave some folks their first exposure to flipping.

I gave my students the chance to speak to an international crowd. Brian Kulak (@bkulak11, was able to organize an outstanding student panel that may have been the best part of the conference.

I gave energy beyond what I thought was possible to provide a conference that I felt so strongly about.

I gave.

In giving so much over the weekend I put to bed the age old question. It will always be better to give than to receive.


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