I have been teaching for over nine years year, and I still love it. However, I have found that simply being in the classroom is not enough for me anymore. I want additional challenges and I want to help more students than just those in my class. After completing my second year of teaching I had the opportunity to present at my first teaching conference. I co-presented with my Special Education Coordinator on the basics of creating a special education program at charter schools. It was a big success.The thing is, I didn’t have a PhD, I wasn’t presenting at the culmination of years of research, I wasn’t even sharing a ground breaking experience. I was speaking as myself. I was sharing my teacher voice and I learned that my story mattered. If you are a teacher, and you have ideas and opinions you want to share–just do it!
I have since had the opportunity to present at many webinars, professional developments, and other local conferences. In fact—I will be presenting tomorrow at the 4th Annual UMTSS conference. You should come. Because I tend to fall in the overly-ambitious category, I actually submitted two presentation proposals. Both were selected.
I will be doing a poster session in the morning and sharing the Hope Street Group report, “On Deck: Preparing the Next Generation of Teachers.” This report is full of data gathered by the National Fellows through in person teacher focus groups and online surveys. The report was created by teachers for teachers in regards to teacher preparation. I wanted my poster to by eye catching and easy to read. So instead of doing a typical scientific method layout, I opted for an info-graphic style poster. Hopefully it will draw some traffic.
My afternoon session is an actual presentation. My co-worker and I will be sharing tips and tricks on using technology in transition planning. To keep the audience engaged we are keeping our session very interactive. It should be a riveting hour.
The point of all this rambling is: if I can do it, you can do it. Next time you see a “call for presenters” just do it! Submit a proposal.