Saturday, November 12, 2016

Stepping out of my comfort zone...

Good EVENING tribe!

When I started this day, I was completely unsure what I was going to blog about. It was a rough week, friends. I would imagine that each and every one of you (including me) had fires to put out this week. What I needed this weekend was to play catch-up; to grade and lesson plan. What I got instead was attending a conference down south for EdCamp Summit Colorado.

I've always enjoyed attending EdCamps. Whenever I leave, I usually feel overwhelmed with new ideas and thinking, but feel refreshed at the same time because I am around like-minded people. I am around my tribe, my people. So imagine, if you will, my genuine excitement for this weekend. I'm meeting new people, discussing ed and ed tech.

Then imagine my horror when this person walks up on the stage and talks about how he's from an improv group(ish). I had to do improv once for PD at Skyview, and I wanted to slit my throat. I am an introvert at heart and hate looking like a fool in front of anyone. I barely let myself look foolish in front of my close friends and family. It's a curse.

So then imagine my further horror when he tells us that we are doing a group presentation! We have to stand in front of the group, state a problem in education, find a solution, and create a call to action. We are split up into random groups of five where we have to create a Google Slides presentation in thirty minutes.

As we are getting these directions, I am looking for an exit. I am trying to figure out how I can quietly escape the area, hide in my hotel room, and cry myself to sleep. Improv is my personal version of hell, and I CANNOT ESCAPE!

I am incredibly lucky, though. I worked with a fabulous group of ladies. We are looking through the random images that we have to use when one teacher mentions that her students are bringing fart spray to her classroom. Apparently, they have farts in a can, and her students have been spraying this in her classroom. Anyone that teaches middle school knows that flatulence is already an issue, but this was icing. I had never heard this before!

So we think of how we can prevent farting in our classrooms, and find images that best represent our presentation. And we are LAUGHING hysterically. I am so grateful to those women because I was able to get in front of the group without worry. Our Google Slides presentation was hilarious.

The whole point of having Anthony Veneziale at EdCamp Summit was to get us out of our comfort zone, and boy did he do a good job with that! He provided some fascinating research that made me realize that I have to, HAVE to put myself out there. I cannot keep hiding because I have something important to offer my students, my colleagues, and the rest of the world. All of us cannot hide because we are all valuable. So my advice? Stop hiding in the dark.

Thanks for reading! I'll see you next week :)

- Rachel
My Teacherspayteachers website