Yesterday, instead of teaching my 6th graders, I went to Richmond, VA and made a presentation with my friend and colleague, Tammy. Because of all the support we got, the day was a success.
Thanks to Tammy driving us the two hours down 95, we easily arrived.
Thanks to the helpful Marriot staff, the car was parked, our bags were checked and we had a few hours to grab lunch and rehearse before our 4pm showtime.
Thanks to Evi, our one friend also attending the conference, whose serendipitous encounter just 10 minutes after arriving amongst the 100s of teachers scattered around the lobby, helped calm our nerves. (At least one person was planning to come hear us!)
Thanks to the conference volunteers who registered us and helped us find where we were presenting when confusingly the “Learning Lab” wasn’t listed on the conference map.
Thanks to the tech supports. One man ensured we had the cords and dongle and a working mic and another shared the wifi password with us. (And for Tammy who tracked down these supports while we both envisioned the worst case scenario – our tech not working for a presentation called Using Technology During Reading and Writing Workshop).
Thanks to Sarah, a conference attendee who volunteered to introduce us to our audience. She arrived early and helped pass out our handout and shared the wifi password and now is a new teacher friend. Afterwards we exchanged emails after we discovered she lives in the next town over from us back home.
Thanks to the 30 or so teachers who came to learn with us! They listened, asked questions and smiled as we both nervously shared examples of our students using padlet, google slides and kidblog in Reading and Writing Workshop all shared from this padlet.
Finally, thanks also to our school, system who supported us by covering the cost of the conference and are family and friends, who sent text messages of encouragement.
As I sent out a tweet after the presentation, I was reminded that it was International Women’s Day. I’m thankful, as a women, I had the opportunity today to empower more women in their teaching work.
Now today, I get to spend another day here. But this time, I’ll be sitting in the audience to learn from Jen Serravillo and Smokie Daniels! And I’m wearing jeans and my VA sweatshirt (because happily, my team, the UVA Mens Basketball team won their first game yesterday in the ACC tournament – Go Hoos!).