Monday, July 13, 2015

Teachers Pay Teachers Conference - Las Vegas - 2015

Turns out, "What happens in Vegas, DOESN'T stay in Vegas!"  The Elementary Entourage has come up with a fun linky party so all will be revealed!

Vegas Baby, Vegas!  Those words ALWAYS come to mind when I hear the words "Las Vegas".  This year I was fortunate enough to attend the TpT Conference at the Venetian hotel.  If you haven't ever been to Vegas, get ready for sensory overload.  It is definitely a fun place, but it is also a little strange.  You are in a hotel/casino that has a very controlled environment.  It doesn't have any windows downstairs so the outside world is a mystery.  There are so many people walking around and it is a great place to people watch.  People are allowed to smoke in the casino area so get ready to smell like smoke as well.  I didn't realize any place allowed smoking indoors anymore.  Teachers took over Vegas this week and it was fun to walk around and recognize people from social media, and the wonderful world of Teachers Pay Teachers.

Just to clarify, my descriptions will be ON TOP of the photos!  And........get ready for a lot of pictures, and #sorrynotsorry, there are a lot of pictures of me!

I was so happy to be rooming with two lovely ladies I met through Instagram.  Alex from The Kindergarten Connection and Becky from The Class Couple are as sweet and fun as can be!  We had a great time spending time together in person after getting to know each other through cyberspace!  We actually stayed at the Palazzo (connected to the Venetian) and the suite was a very large and spacious room.

Becky is the sweetest, and treated me and Alex to a lovely gift bag!  Awwwww!

The Ventian has a canal going through the hotel and you could take a gondola ride if you wish.  We did not do that, but it has a picturesque quality to it.

After arriving to our room and getting dressed, we went out to eat and then to the big blogger Meet-Up.  We got to meet sweet Heather from Recipe for Teaching!  

After the blogger meet-up, Alex and I met some friends and colleagues of mine who were in Vegas for the iTeachK conference!  We went for a walk outside of the hotel and saw the fire show at The Mirage.  

The next day began with a networking session.  Alex, Becky and I got ready with our logos to go greet the day and other TpT folks!

I went to the kindergarten session and ended up running into a former colleague of mine from my very first school in California.  We started working together 17 years ago, and taught kinder for two years together.  I worked on the English side of kindergarten, and she worked on the Spanish side.  What a small world!  It was a really sweet connection!  This is Angelica from Angelica's Resources!

I was also able to meet and chat with Maria Manore from the talented Kindercraze.  She was so kind and gracious and I really enjoyed talking to her.

Next I got to meet Jennifer from First Grade Blue Skies.  She is absolutely adorable! Jennifer is so friendly, down to earth, and very easy to talk to.  She was also so sweet because she wanted a picture of me with her own phone!  See what I mean- adorable!!!!

I was also able to meet Amie, from Glitter Meets Glue, who is one of my favorite clip artists.  She was so kind and handed out free "Glitter Swag" to those of us who uttered those two words.  What a wonderful gift!!!

While I was also able to meet other TpT ladies, I didn't get pictures of everybody.  It was fun to exchange business cards, meet people in person that I "know" from IG and the blogger world, and be able to actually chat in person.

During lunch, Becky and I took advantage of the photo prop that was set up!

Next, we went upstairs where there were many exhibit booths set up.  Here, we were able to meet Mr. Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard!  He was really sweet and showered us with a lanyard, pens and a tote bag!

After lunch our afternoon sessions began.  During the break, I was able to meet Karen Jones from Mrs. Jones Class!  She was really sweet and I was happy to get a chance to tell her how much I adore her ideas.

After the sessions were over, Alex, Becky and I changed for the Go Noodle Meet-Up.  We had a lovely walk to the pool area and enjoyed venturing outside after a long (but fun!) day inside.

After the cabana party, we decided to walk around outside of our hotel for a little bit and find a place to eat.  We ended up in Ceasar's Palace.  We walked around and enjoyed looking at the statues and underwater aquarium.  

After a late night of chatting, we finally went to bed.  But, we had an early morning which started with a continental breakfast.  Here I ran into Chrissie Rissmiller from Undercover Classroom.  She and I started our blogs about the same time.  We both used Blogs Fit for a Queen (highly recommend) and so we have "known" each other since February when our blogs were "born." I wish we would have been able to have more time to chat!

The morning began with the keynote address and it was really awesome and inspirational!  There were quite a few people who talked, but here is a picture of Paul Edelman, founder of Teachers pay Teachers, addressing all of us.  It was a huge room and I believe there were close to 1,000 of us at the conference.  You can *kind* of make him out!

My first session that morning was with Deanna Jump from Mrs. Jumps Class and Deedee Wills from Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten.  They are both so funny and have such a good rapport with each other.  After the session was over, I think everybody stood up and got in line to meet them.  I was very excited to be in that line as well!  They are really kind and it was awesome to meet these two creative ladies in person.  

I just want to say that the sessions were excellent and I learned so much!  At the end of our sessions they had a a Happy Hour for all of us.  It was really nice to meet-up as a large group once again.  They had photo ops set up for us.  Here is one with Laura, from Luv My Kinders.  She is a doll!

Then, we also got to meet Melissa from Jungle Learners.  She is also really nice!  Just to clarify - Becky, me, Alex, Melissa and Heather.

Keep in mind, that if you want to order an adult beverage, you can't get them in "regular" cups.

It was an awesome few days!  I loved it.  It was fun, educational, inspiring, wonderful, and tiring.  I hope to go to another conference in the future and continue to foster the relationships I made.  I also hope to continue to grow as a teacher-author with the new information I learned.

But, as many of you probably feel, though travel is wonderful, it was great to come home to my sweet, sweet husband.  My heart went aflutter when he sent me this text on Friday night!

Be sure to check out the linky party to find out about other TpTers experiences!


  1. Wow, the room at the Venetian looked awesome! I'm glad you had such a great time! It was such a great experience :)

    1. Hey! Our room was actually in the Palazzo, but yes, the rooms were amazing and HUGE! I can't wait to read your blog to find out about your adventures in Vegas!

  2. It looks like you had such an amazing time! Thank you so much for sharing your photos and experiences with us, it's great to catch a glimpse of all the awesomeness that happened!! :-)

    Kindergarten Dragons

    1. Thanks for reading Erin! It was an awesome few days for sure!

  3. I have to say - I totally cracked up when I saw the picture of our beautiful clean room and living area before I decided to unleash the contents of my suitcase all over it..... Messy Marvin here!! ha! Thanks for being such a fabulous roomie!!

    1. Ha! I am glad I got a "before" pic. My things went all over that mantle by my bed. You were a GREAT roomie!!!!

  4. Love this post! You were so good at taking pictures of the hotel and the room! Completely forgot about that part! I loved being your roommate and getting to know you more! I still crack up every time I see that picture of Dave and his note! So sweet! Miss you!

  5. It was so fun getting to meet you and hanging out with you in Vegas! That picture with your husband is so cute! I'm sure you were happy to see him when you got home! I always enjoyed commenting on your blog, but now it's even better since I got to meet you in real life!!! haha!! Thanks for sharing about your trip!
    ~Heather :)