Asilomar Nerves, Part 2

I’ve returned home after a wonderful learning and teaching experience at CMC North in Asilomar. On Friday I was discussing my nervousness and concern about my session and Ignite on Saturday. This is the follow up to that post.

To my surprise, I had a full room for my session Saturday morning. Several of the teachers there told me this was “exactly the session they were looking for” and I found out Saturday evening that two teachers were sent there by a PD facilitator I met at our district when the original facilitator took ill and she substituted. She told me they came back excited from my session and were showing her several pages of notes and ideas they had accumulated during our time together. We had a very interactive and collaborative session, teachers worked through an activity I wrote to encourage students to inquire and develop a definition. Afterward, we talked about some extension activities that could be planned and ready for any students who completed the task. The participants had several great ideas, and I was able to model pulling out of the conversation and allowing the room to take over. Things went very well, exactly as I had hoped they would. Only a couple of the participants are using twitter, so I pitched the MTBoS and encouraged them to start “lurking”. It worked for me.

I ran into Steve Leinwand during the day, and told him how I had feared that I would have an empty room having to compete with him. He said, “this should show you that you can fill a room all by yourself”. I felt very validated, as I always do when I interact with my colleagues from the MTBoS and twitter. CMC North is a wonderful conference, smaller that the NCTM conferences and in a beautiful setting at Asilomar, it feels very warm and friendly. Meals are set up so that you really have no choice but to sit with new people each time, and some very interesting conversations are often the result. There is a little more time between sessions also, so it doesn’t feel so rushed to get to the next session or that you have to leave early to make it. Unless, of course, Dan Meyer is speaking.

Saturday night was invigorating. There were ten of us presenting Ignite talks, and I was number seven on the list. As I listened to the six in front of me, I began to notice my fear rising, and the feelings I often fight of not being good enough. When it was my turn, my first words were, “I feel a little intimidated right now”. As the slides started, I forgot about that and just gave way to the desire to share what I had put together. It went much better than I had anticipated, and quite a few people made a point of telling me both Saturday night and this morning how much they enjoyed my talk and related to it.

All this, and sessions by Robert Kaplinsky, Shalek Chappill-Nichols from RAFT, Andrew Stadel, Jo Boaler, Phil Daro, and many, many more that I was unable to get to but heard great things. I have seen presentations by some of the other presenters and have learned great things from them, so I believe all that I heard. I ran into people I haven’t seen for a while, including one of my methods instructors from my credential program. It’s just a wonderful place, and I’m happy I was able to be a part of it.

One more step in my journey toward becoming a better educator and believing in myself.

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2 thoughts on “Asilomar Nerves, Part 2

  1. Wendy Menard says:

    Yay for you! Sounds like such a wonderful conference, and that you did splendidly. I know you will use this energy for more growth – for yourself and your teachers. Happy Holidays!

    • Teresa Ryan says:

      Thanks Wendy. I’m already thinking about presenting at the K-5 level next year. There definitely was a greater need at that level than 8-12. Thanks for the encouragement. Happy Holidays to you!

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