TaraAs a first time speaker at Fall CUE 2017, it didn’t take long for me to realize I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. First, I was informed the “mountains” I saw were actually foothills. Then, I quickly learned how to navigate a six-lane highway with motorcycles who drove on the white dotted lines between cars. Mind-blown! Needless to say, I learned a lot before ever entering the conference doors.

Fall CUE was outstanding. It was such an honor to share the love of #BookSnaps with my professional learning network. Although, I must say, connecting with like-minded educators was hands down the highlight of the event.

In fact, something I’ve found to be true about educational conferences is no matter the content shared, the atmosphere, or the location; it’s all about the people.

If I were, to sum up, CUE in a three-word phrase, it would be–Collaborative Unified Experience. 


Without the people, how might a conference occur? During Fall CUE, the sessions were spectacular and the content intriguing, but the collaborative conversations with my PLFamily (like PLN but better) were significant. The thirty-minute transitions between each session allowed ample time to engage in meaningful discussions. In fact, I’m still replaying many of those invaluable conversations within my mind today.


Jon Corippo is incredible as is his hardworking staff. The event ran like a fine-greased machine, and the connections with the people had an intimate, family feel. In fact, all of the workers were approachable and greeted others with genuine, friendly smiles and gestures. I loved meeting Cate and Jon for the first time and being welcomed with a huge hug. There is nothing quite like an educational conference that feels more like a family reunion.

Unity is a culture all systems hope to attain, and the CUE team that put this event together ROCKED it. This team might have been small in numbers, but all felt unified. From sharing the CUE Spotify playlist to sending the speakers handwritten thank you notes, the efforts of this team did not go unnoticed. What a testament to the sacrifices they all made to create an atmosphere educators “run to get in and not out”–as Dave Burgess would say.


All aspects of the event were an experience, no doubt. The hands-on workshops taught us the value of new tech tools, and the keynote speakers kept us on the edge of our seats. In fact, the main speakers shared powerful, heartfelt messages that will not soon be forgotten by this girl. Brad Montague had us sing, cry, laugh out loud, and revived our spirit to fly and help others fly. Then, on the last day, we were challenged by Pernille Ripp‘s vulnerable plea to listen to our students and be the educator they deserve.

Fall CUE exceeded all of my expectations. I’m honored to share #BookSnaps at National CUE 2018. Can’t wait and hope to see you there! I have no doubt it will be another invigorating Collaborative Unified Experience.

taraTara Martin is an enthusiastic educator, speaker, and author who thrives on change and refuses to settle for the status quo. Martin’s mission is to invigorate administrators, teachers, and staff members to apply instructional and leadership practices that foster creativity and empower ALL 21st-century learners (adults and students) to lead with passion.
Check out her hashtag #BookSnaps on Twitter and her blog R.E.A.L.



About tmartin