Today I presented with my amazing coworker, Tammy, at the North Carolina Middle Level Education Association Conference. I’ve attended the conference a number of times, but this was my first time presenting.
NC’s teacher evaluation instrument encourages being a leader outside of your own school and making a difference in the field. Therefore, I have been looking for more opportunities than in the past to present to my peers and fellow educators. Today wasn’t my first time presenting to teachers, but it was my first time at the middle school conference.
Before presenting I learned so much sitting in other presentations. Today’s sessions especially were exciting as a teacher. The first session I attended provided ideas to teach executive function skills. These include impulse control, focus, working memory, planning, and organization. I loved this because so many of my students, my own child, and I often struggle with this.
The other session I attended was 40 practical ways to teach our students to read like detectives. I loved that I carried out practical ideas that I can implement tomorrow. Plus, there were freebies. Who doesn’t love that?
Once I left that session, I walked next door to where our session was scheduled. We arrived before the previous session ended. I was thrilled to see a handful of people waiting at the door so they could go to our session. Yay! We weren’t going to be speaking to an empty auditorium. That’s always good.
We spoke about a technique to lead students through a research paper or project in a completely paperless way and to help them be successful. Several people asked questions and nodded during our talk. A few even stayed afterward to ask questions. As silly as it may sound, I almost wanted to smile and say to Tammy, “They liked us. I think they really liked us.” It’s funny that no matter how old I get, I’m still always excited to see some approval like that.
We only had one frustration. Internet access — or lack thereof. The conference center did not give free internet access so that was a bit of an obstacle to overcome. However, we did it.
I love working with students, but I get equally excited to work with teachers and adults. To know that sharing something that worked for us may be placed into other classrooms and help other students and educators be successful is awesome.