One thing I always loved about my school is that PD was always encouraged. In my career, I have had the privilege of seeing Todd Whitaker, Timothy Rasinski, Dr. Jean and attending TAGT when it was in town. Unfortunately, my new administration does not feel PD is worth the financial investment. If you know me at all, you know I have to grow-I am always looking for new ideas, new ways to make sure I am an effective teacher. So this year I had to get a little creative. I applied to present at the Early Childhood Conference that I have always attended in the past. It was completely on a whim. I found out about the process from a tweet and submitted my proposal a week before they were due. But it got accepted and that conference was today.
Presenting was way out of my comfort zone. Last year Ian from Byrdseed fame asked me to present at an event he was having and I just didn't feel like I could do it. It was such a huge honor to me that he even asked, but I couldn't envision myself being able to speak coherently in front of a group of people like that. (One of my big regrets from this year, for sure). I have presented to my staff before but somehow sharing my ideas with other teachers is always scary. I could not physically hide my nervousness-my voice cracks, my hands shake. Your inner thought process is always working--what if I'm showing them things they already do? What if they just don't like the ideas? What if no one shows up to my session? What if I put everyone to sleep? Yesterday, I was just amazed that there were actually people waiting outside the room for the session to begin, I had to turn people away because it was completely full! I thought it went really well. I felt comfortable sharing my ideas, I felt like my passion came across and hopefully, some people left with ideas they can try out in their classrooms.
My advice today is this--do something to step out of your comfort zone! My zodiac sign is a Cancer-we do not like change in any way shape or form. We are fine with being homebodies and doing the same thing every night which doesn't usually involve even leaving the house :). I even like to use the same gas station every week to fill up my car. I know for some people talking to a big crowd is easy, it's never been that way for me. But I am sooooo glad I did it! I don't even think I realized beforehand how beaten down my spirit has become this year. One of the attendees even told me she wished I had been her child's teacher-wow! That meant so much to me. I think I'm still on cloud nine from the experience. :)
So get out there and try something you haven't tried before-you never know how much you will be able to grow!