I had the amazing opportunity to attend the 2014 education expo in Dallas Texas over the weekend of March 8th. I was asked to attend as a "teacher trendsetter" and rank my top 10 favorite products at the expo. I have so many products to talk about but I thought you might enjoy a good laugh first..
For some strange reason flying has become more difficult as I have gotten older. I start getting anxiety at least a month in advance about what time I need to leave for the airport, how to get to the airport, how long will it take to get through security and will there be a Starbucks in my terminal? The night before I decided to take a taxi to the train and hope on the blue line to get to O'hare.
I probably left my apartment about 3 hours before my flight so I would get to the airport and through security in plenty of time. I am not able to relax until I am sitting at my gate waiting for my plane. One year I went to the wrong airport (O'hare instead of Midway) so I can't relax until I know I have not made that mistake again! Anyways..
I get to O'hare and go to United Airlines to check in. I was surprised NO ONE was at United trying to check in so I was getting worried I was not in the airport. I swiped my ID card and the computer said I did not have a reservation - PANIC ATTACK.. Trying to keep my cool, I ask the person what is wrong and they look at my printed itinerary. Ma'am your flying American Airlines - not United.. Whoops!
I needed to get to a different terminal which meant I had to venture outside. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know Chicago has been a snowy, icy mess since December. Although the sidewalks were clear I noticed they were a little slick. I stopped myself from slipping a couple of times and then the inevitable happened.. Not only did I slip, but I fell practically taking a nose dive into icy mud. My legs, hands and suitcase were covered in salty mud. I tried to jump back up quickly but of course I just kept slipping more. I was so embarrassed and refused to look around to see how many people saw me.
I finally got inside of the correct terminal and checked into the correct airline. All I wanted to do was go to the bathroom to wash off but of course I needed to get through security. If you could only have seen what I looked like walking around - DISGUSTING!
This is my suitcase AFTER wiping it off in the bathroom.
I would like to say that I was stress free when I was finally on the plane but I started wondering how I was going to find the shuttle needed to get to my hotel. My shuttle ticket told me to find a kiosk in the baggage claim to dispatch the shuttle. I could not find the dispatch kiosk so I went outside to find the shuttle. No shuttle- only a sign. I didn't think I would mind standing outside since I could enjoy the warm Dallas air - WRONG. It was SO cold! My fingers were freezing and I could not get a hold of the shuttle company. FINALLY I got a hold of customer service and dispatched a shuttle.
I stayed in downtown Dallas at the beautiful Adolphus Hotel.
I was so happy to have finally arrived at the hotel!
I went to check in and then... "Sorry Liz, we do not have a reservation under Liz Gates but we do have a reservation for Liz Bates". You have got to be kidding me... After another small panic attack we sorted out the mess and I was given a room.
After that day I was seriously considering NEVER traveling again. I went to bed looking forward to a new day and the edexpo!
Walking into the expo I felt like I was at a NCTM conference - I still wish I was going to New Orleans.
When I checked into registration I was told I had a "ribbon" to wear for people to know I was a teacher.
This is NOT a ribbon.
The picture does not do it justice but the "ribbon" was a GIANT button! It was a wonderful conversation starter with many of the booths :)
I was one of a handful of teachers who walked the floor and talked to different companies about their products. After seeing all of the booths I made a top 10 list of products I would want in my classroom. Making the list was very difficult since there were so many great products! Companies that made our top 10 lists were awarded a ribbon (seen below) which was on display for buyers of teacher stores and catalogs to see as they were making orders.
I had so much fun walking around and discovering new products that I NEED for my classroom. I was not allowed to purchase anything at the expo since I was a teacher and the expo is meant for buyers of school stores and catalogs. I will certainly be finding some of these companies when I do my school shopping for next year :)
In the next few weeks I will be posting some of my favorite products found at the expo. I figured it was only appropriate to end this post with one last picture of my messy fall :)
Just in case you were worried - my ankles are not swollen. Leggings bunched around my ankles is not a good look for me :)
Stay tuned for more info from the expo!