So I have had the opportunity to share some of the amazing things that I have been doing in my classroom this year. DENapalooza is an event sponsored by Discovery Education and it brings together teachers wanting to learn and share what’s going on in their schools and classrooms. I volunteered to come in and share all the different ways I have been connecting throughout this year. I had done some really fantastic things connecting my class with others this year and thought it would be great to share it. At the time, it did not seem like that big a deal, I talk about it all the time on twitter with my PLN friends, I talk about what I am doing with my friends and colleagues here, so it seemed like the logical next step.
Then I took a look at who is presenting and they are people I greatly admire and respect. They are people who do have amazing stories to share and tell. Then to make matters worse, I saw some of the people who were going to be coming and potentially coming to hear me speak. Again these are people I follow and am in awe of the wonderful things they do in their classrooms. And while I am not belittling what I have to share in any way, I will admit I was and am a little intimidated. Part of me (a BIG part) almost emailed to give an excuse why I would not be able to present after all. I had never done something like that before, gotten up in front of a group of people and spoke about things I am passionate about. I had spoken many times on a smaller scale to friends and colleagues, had multiple conversations on twitter but this step I was about to take, I wondered if I was actually ready for it.
So what made me change my mind and not send that email? A few things actually…. my wonderfully supportive PLN (Kelli, Dana and Zoe you know who you are 🙂 But the other was my kids, my students, my little class of explorers I had taken this journey of connecting with. I had made a video of some of the things we had done this year to give people that come to my presentation a glimpse of the journey my students and I took this year. I explained to them all what was going on and showed the video that I had made. The looks on their faces, the smiles they had as they pointed out things “Remember this….” “Hey I remember that….” really made me stop and ask myself why wouldn’t I be proud to share that. I was not alone on this journey of connections I made this year, I had a mighty contingent of fellow explorers that came with me by my side.
Am I taking a step out of my comfort zone, yes I am. But am I willing to do it anyway, again yes I am. At the end of the day I am very proud of the ways my students have grown this year and some of it is due to the experiences they have had with these connections we have made. I am going to take a deep breath, take that step so that perhaps maybe someone will see what I have done and try taking a step outside their comfort zone.