Back in June I wrote a post about walking the talk and taking risks. What I didn't tell was what risk I was taking. I had applied to be a speaker at the CETPA statewide conference that took place last week. (For a little more on CETPA, see my blog from April 2016 or https://cetpa.net) If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I was accepted. It was a combination of joy and nerves to hear that my session was really going to take place.
Fast forward to last week when I went to the conference. I was presenting on Google Classroom, something I know a little about. (See my Oct. 2016 post). Since my presentation wasn't until Thursday morning and the conference started Tuesday afternoon, I was able to take advantage of what other speakers had to share. One of the sessions I attended was on using Rubrics with Google Classroom. It was the perfect companion to my topic, just for more advanced users. I was so happy to learn how I could take my own learning further, but that I would be able to expand the learning of others as well. I decided to step out of my comfort zone (again!) and approach the speaker. I wanted to see if she would be willing to allow me to add her information to the end of the my slideshow. Here I was wanting to collaborate with someone I had met once before (at the CUE conference last spring), but had never spoken to. This was so not the me I am used to. Luckily for me, she was not only happy to speak with me, but she was more than willing to let me add her presentation to mine. This was the collaboration I talk about with my students! (Thanks Sally Adams, @Sally1Adams!)
Thursday morning arrived and I was "first day of school" nervous. It was that "I know what I'm doing and I got this! BUT OMG what was I thinking" kind of nerves. My co-workers were going to support me (Thanks Jamie and Shannon!), my principal was going to cheer me on (Thanks Jenny!) and even some of our IT people showed. I thanked the first person who came that wasn't from my district, joking that he might be the only one and I appreciated his presence! As I began, I discovered that the only teachers in the audience were the ones I came with. I was presenting to a lot of admin and IT people, not what I was used to in any way! About half way through my presentation I got into my groove and realized that the room was pretty full. I was amazed but had to keep going. Apparently I did pretty well. Several people came up to me after to ask questions and share some of what they knew that I didn't, like there IS a way to import grades from Classroom directly into Aeries. Who knew?!
A few hours after the session ended, one of the attendees approached me about wanting to know my YouTube channel. WHAT?? I knew I had one, but wasn't even sure how to get him there. I think we figured it out. He was so happy that I was willing to be collaborative with him and share my knowledge/resources. This was what my taking the risk to present was all about. I want to be part of the group of educators that work with others for what is best for students. Was it worth the months of waiting to hear, the stress of making sure I had the resources to back up or explain what I was doing, and then the nerves leading up to the presentation? Definitely!
What I learned:
- Educators appreciate those who are willing to collaborate.
- Stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to great things.
- I have more to share with others than I thought. :)
20+ year teacher, mother of 2 kids and 2 dogs, wife, lover of all things M&M, interested in tech in the classroom, and changing up my teaching