Updated: May 5
So, many of you might've hear that I did a thing. I went to a conference, and instead of just attend, I actually spoke. Let me just say, it was equally the most terrifying and exciting thing I could've done, and I highly suggest it if ever given the opportunity.
It truly all started when Rae and Jeff asked me to be on their podcast, Teach Better Talk. I instantly jumped at the chance because it seemed like an amazing opportunity in itself. We quickly began chatting away and they brought up the idea of me going to their conference that they would be holding in Akron, Ohio. Of course, being polite I said of course I would go and thought that would be the end of that. Little to my surprise, I got an email a few weeks later asking if I was serious about wanting to go. They even so kindly said they would give me a slot to talk. Me being me, I instantly filled my head with self doubt. You can't go to this conference. I said to myself over and over again. However, something came over me and I agreed to be a part of their first Teach Better Conference.
After the email was sent, I still kept down-playing what I was actually going to be a part of. Something inside kept pushing it off and saying it wasn't going to actually happen. I went on my merry way of teaching, and doing all the things. I kept seeing that november date coming faster than i could even count. Finally, the day appeared and I was hopping on a plane to the much chillier, Akron, Ohio. My presentation was ready, and my nerves were in full swing.
Day 1, I walk into the conference to see Rae standing at the door. Her, Jeff, and the rest of the Teach Better team was just fantastic. We started off the conference from a keynote from the team and then we were on our way. I got my room all set up and then it was go time! It was so amazing to share with educators, my passion for podcasts in the classroom and just nerd out on all things classroom tech. I made so many valuable connections and wouldn't take that trip back for anything. The fact that I was able to discuss classroom strategies with some of the best still brings a smile to my face.
I am going to tell you that if you knew me 5 years ago, heck maybe just last year, I would not have taken up this opportunity. I would've backed out, or not even had said yes in the first place. Last year, I forced myself to push myself out of my comfort zone. I started by doing a small presentation for my district, then my school staff, and now my very first conference. It takes small steps, but I am telling you it is so worth it. Not only have I gained more confidence in myself as a teacher, but as a person as well. Never belittle the amazing things you are doing, and just remember that everyone has a story to tell. So if teaching others about the inspiring things you're doing in your classroom is something you want to do, don't stop trying until you get there. I cannot wait to see where I will be at next year.