While presenting at EdmodoCon 2014, I heard Nathan Garvin discuss two kinds of teachers: Doomsday Preppers and Cliff Divers. When the EdmodoCon call for presentations arrived in my email inbox, blinking at me oh-so-slyly, I dove in (cliff diver) and began to craft my proposal. My son helped me create a video that defined the essence of my presentation perfectly. I pushed the submit button and moved on with my busy teacher-wife-mom-friend life.
I had never written a proposal to present before, so I was proud of myself for meeting that task and accomplishing it. I never thought that I would have something that the selection committee would deem worthy, but I decided I needed to take more risks with my career and push myself to do more…to be better educationally both in and out of the classroom. Connecting with other educators on Edmodo; expanding my professional learning network and collaborating with like-minded teachers was exciting to me. I found that I was anxious to get to my classroom each morning and try out new strategies and lessons with my students.
Then one day in late April, the familiar ding of an incoming email message caught my attention. I had been accepted to present at EdmodoCon 2014! I was ecstatically jumping around the living room, dancing with my black lab, and calling my sister, all at the same time. The committee believed that what I do matters and wanted me to share this with others.
Remember what I said about being a cliff diver? Well, now I began to prep! I might have panicked just a bit…”Was I good enough? Who would want to listen to me? Can I really do this? Go ahead, quit.”…but I pushed on. I connected with EdmodoCon staff at Edmodo headquarters. They helped me hone my presentation. Edmodo staff was available to me to encourage, collaborate, and guide me every step of this journey.
I collaborated with other presenters to get a feel for their work. It was this community that provided me meaningful feedback and support. The process of creating a worthy presentation was both exciting and scary at the same time. I was really pushing myself professionally and this helped remind me of the angst that my students feel at times when they are learning something new. I persevered and created work that I still reflect upon a year later.
Presenting at EdmodoCon 2014 was the penultimate! I was treated professionally and got the feeling that as an education leader, what I do matters. Sometimes I felt that I was toiling away in my classroom in solitude and EdmodoCon 2014 reminded me why almost 40 years ago I decided to become a teacher. Presenting at EdmodoCon 2014 has helped me grow as a presenter as well. I was selected to provide ongoing professional development in my school district, and have also had numerous opportunities to present on a national level. Often times when I am contacted to present, the proposer will say that they saw my EdmodoCon 2014 presentation. I feel a sense of personal satisfaction and professional positivity, all due in a large part to being given this opportunity.
Are you thinking about writing a proposal for EdmodoCon 2015? If so, I suggest that you accept the challenge. You will find that you, too, will be an empowered educator. I can Edmodo that, how about you?