Therapies in the School Conference – Time Well Spent

As the Education Resources team are coming back down to earth from another amazing conference, I wanted to share this wonderful posting I just received from Kathryn, who has attended  the Therapies in the School conference for many years.

It was, yet again, so wonderful to see so many familiar faces, and to hear about what has been happening in your school systems. Wheels are already in motion for 2017!!


For me, the deadline is November 30th. Ever three years, by November 30th, I have to report to the state of New York and indicate that I’ve had 36 hours of continuing education in the past three years. The simple breakdown is 12 hours per year, because, let’s face it, no one wants to try to cram 36 hours into the last few months.

Continuing education is one of those love-hate things that we all have to do. We hate the logistics—time off from work, travel, time away from family. And there’s nothing worse than juggling our daily lives only to go sit in a course that’s a waste of time. On the other hand, I love well-done continuing education. There’s something about learning that I love. I find it invigorating and stimulating. It’s probably no wonder that I’m drawn to working in the schools—I love being a part of the educational environment and want to impart on others the joy that learning brings for me.

For me, the timing of the annual Therapies in the School Conference (the third week in November) falls right into the love-hate thing. This year, my Friday sessions took a hit, and my schedule didn’t allow for make-ups. And, I host Thanksgiving every year, and cleaning my house takes several weeks (cleaning is not a strength of mine).

But for seven of the past eight years, I’ve gotten up freakishly early and driven almost three hours out to the conference. And for seven of the past eight years, I know the logistics, the missed sessions, the planning ahead for the kids, the cleaning to follow—they’re all worth it. What I tell my supervisors (and anyone who will listen, frankly) is that the Therapies in the School Conference is the best conference I’ve ever attended. Even after working in this field for seventeen years, I still learn at this conference. I learn so much. And the best part is that it is 100% applicable to my current job.

After the conference, that purple book accompanies me to treatment sessions and into meetings. I email people about research presented. I educate teachers and principals and parents about the things I’ve learned. I try new things with my kids. As is the purpose of continuing education, I am a better therapist for attending this conference.

If you haven’t yet attended the annual Therapies in the School Conference, you should consider it for next year. If you’ve attended the conference, what is your favorite part? What did you learn? What would you like to learn?

I plan on continuing to review my course materials, as well as view the online course offerings from the break-out sessions I was unable to attend. It sort helps with that now being able to clone myself.

Now if I could just figure out a way to get my house cleaned while I’m at the conference … maybe next year.

~Kathryn Biel, PT, DPT