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Adrenaline Rush…of the Nerdy Kind

Yesterday, my alarm went off at 5:30.

That’s AM, folks…not PM.

Why on earth would I get up so early on a Saturday morning?

Well, it wasn’t to attend a soccer game, as in days of old when the kiddos played and we traveled many, many weekends.


This time I got up early, leaving my sleeping fur babies behind, to attend my county’s annual Reading Conference.

Pele tried to entice me into staying home with this sad face…

It is a much-looked-forward-to event and the “go-to” happening place if you are an educator in my district or surrounding districts.

It is always held at one of the local colleges, so the venue is comfortable.

This was a special year for me, though, because I had been asked to be a presenter.

That’s right…


At first, I ha ha’d it off (as in laughed, in case my lingo didn’t come across well).

Ok…so I didn’t laugh, but I gently declined because, as a fourth-year teacher, I didn’t feel knowledgeable enough to be presenting to other, vastly superior teachers…many of whom are my official and unofficial mentors.

My thinking changed after my school’s TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) trained my students how to use Google Drive.

A brief introduction of Ryan.

He is one of the most likeable, approachable young men (I can say this because I discovered that I’m about fifteen years older than him…give or take a couple of years).  Rooster was in two of Ryan’s history classes and adored him.  Ryan’s style of teaching suited Rooster perfectly.  It was very hands-on and made the kids apply what they were learning to fun tasks.

Ryan works out of the district office now to assist teachers with using technology in their classrooms, and he’s been invaluable to my growth as a teacher, sparking my thinking by the most casual comments or bits of how-to information.

We are working together to improve my students’ writing skills through the use of Google Drive and other technology…hence the training.

We work well together, and our conversation between classes the day he did the trainings (he stayed ALL DAY), led to a discussion about the upcoming reading conference.

He graciously invited me to be a part of the Google Drive presentation he was set to do with another TOSA (shout-out to Doug), and I was on board!  I didn’t feel the pressure of being a one-woman show.  I would, in essence, be the teacher testimonial to their techie know-how.

After we set that up, I was invited to do my OWN session…same material…in a second session of Google Drive.  Ryan generously offered to let me use the presentation that had been created for our session, so I took a leap of faith and agreed to do that session on my own.

Talk about nerves!

I speak better in front of a classroom of teenagers.

Heck…I know I’m not all there and a little…um…uncool.  I can get away with that with teenagers.  I am an adult, after all, and not expected to be cool.  Put me in front of a bunch of adults, and my legs turn to jelly!


Ryan, Doug, and I met a couple of times to discuss the presentation, and they were so sweet.  They sensed my insecurities and assured me that I would do fine.

Their confidence buoyed my spirits and, after writing a few notes of things I wanted to say, I walked in to the first session feeling prepared.

Look at the pretty ribbon I got to wear…

I do love technology, after all.  It’s always been a passion of mine, and teaching gives me an avenue for blending my love for students with my love for digital learning.

The first Google Drive session went off swimmingly.  We made a perfect team, and the information came across seamlessly.  Those guys are AWESOME, and the packed room of eager teachers seemed very receptive and excited as the presentation progressed.

As part of the presentation, we showed this very short video to give attendees a general idea of what Google Drive was about (we later expounded on it)…

The second session went well too.  I was no Ryan or Doug, that’s for sure, but I did my best and didn’t do too badly.

I am my harshest critic, and I can’t help but analyze myself.

A do-over would include me talking much more SLOWLY.  Unfortunately, when I get excited, I talk fast…VERY fast.  There’s so much in my head that I want to share that my words stumble over each other!

That’s why writing is good for me.  It forces me to write ONE SENTENCE AT A TIME…unlike talking, where ideas flow without punctuation and somewhat randomly.

I had a couple of chats with some lovely people after both sessions and left the college on an adrenaline rush.

There is nothing I like better than helping people.

The last few years, I’ve mostly been helping my students, but to take what I do and extend it to other teachers marks another turning point in my career…a step up and outside of myself.

I’m starting to get to the point where, now that my new teacher classwork is finished, I can stretch myself in different directions.

My natural enthusiasm for what I do in the classroom is beginning to spill over to conversations with colleagues.

I don’t do this because my IPDP says I have to in order to be “Highly Effective.”

It’s just a part of who I am…who we all should become as we learn more about our craft.

In the end, it makes us all better educators, which benefits the charges we’ve been blessed to take care of.

2 Responses

  1. Congrats! What an honor!

  2. Way to go girl! Congrats!

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