5 days and counting….
In 5 days at this very time, 7:05am, I will be at the Rochester International Airport with my 3 principals. Jon Sanfratello, my current principal, Foster Miller, my former principal and Matt Flowers, my adopted principal. We are flying to Houston, Texas to attend the What Great Educators Do Differently, #WGEDD, conference. I have butterflies…
This will be my second #WGEDD conference. In October I attended #WGEDD Chicago with the original team #GVEPride, fellow teaching colleagues Dawn Ellis, Danielle Morsch, Mike Deming and Greg Scholz. We left the conference charged up and ready to go! But unlike other conferences where the initial enthusiasm fades after a few days back in the “trenches,” upon returning to school after #WGEDD we immediately wanted to start sharing our new found passion with everyone!
Fast Forward #1: Success!
The original team #GVEPride found their “Brave” (Thanks Angela!) and, with our administrations support and encouragement, began taking over the planning, development and implementation of PD on conference days. Suffice it to say that it has been a HUGE success!
Fast Forward #2: Encore!
Because of the enormous success of the first #WGEDD conference, a second #WGEDD was planned – enter #WGEDD Houston. As soon as I heard this I just knew that my principals (*I know it’s odd to refer to 3 different people as my principal but that is something to be explained in another post…) needed to attend so they could experience the awesome. After much discussion and finagling it was set – they were going to #WGEDD Houston! And even better – I was going along with them! *A huge shout of thanks needs to go to my Assistant Superintendent Dr. Julie Donlon for making this happen!!
Fast Forward #3: The E-mail
After I knew for sure that the 4 of us were going to #WGEDD Houston I, of course, shared my excitement with the twitter world. Not long after the e-mail came. Would I be willing to present an Ignite session at #WGEDD Houston. WHAT?? Me?? Why?? Had Jeff and Jimmy lost their minds? I’m just a little old teacher from an unknown, rural school district. What could I possibly have to offer? And then I STOPPED. I was not thinking like a “Great Educator.” Had I forgotten everything I learned at the first #WGEDD? I took a deep breath, told myself I could do this and then said Yes!
Fast Forward #4: The Butterflies
So now here we are, 5 days away from jumping on a plane to Houston. The butterflies didn’t hit until yesterday. I’m really doing this. For some, presenting for 5 minutes may not feel like a big deal. For me, it’s huge. I’m nervous. I’m scared. I hope I don’t screw up. I think it would almost be easier if everyone in the audience were perfect strangers. But I know out there watching me will be my principals – I’m representing our school – I need to get this right. And I know out there watching me will be Jeff and Jimmy – they’re trusting me to do a good job – I need to get this right.
Fast Forward #5: Flying in Formation
I know I can do this. I know that once it’s done I’ll want to do it again. That’s my personality. I’m passionate about people and I love sharing my passions with others. And those butterflies, instead of fighting them, I’m now training them to fly in formation. I’ve made them friend, not foe. They’ve become my invisible side kicks and I welcome their presence! (Thanks for the tip Scott Berkun!)
5 days and counting…. #WGEDD Houston here we come! Team #GVEPride take 2 is on it’s way, butterflies proudly in tow!
The Optimistic Educator…