Carrie Baughcum is a Special Education Teacher of 15 years. She currently teaches a 6th, 7th and 8th grade Extended Resource Special Education class in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. She is an inspiration junkie, idea sharer, tech ninja and learning enthusiast who believes that all children can learn, we just need to find out how. She writes at carriebaughcum.com...where life and learning are HECK AWESOME.
CONQUERING SELF DOUBT…IDEAS WORTH SHARING
Last Saturday was …
... the first time ever that I would be the one standing in front of everybody.
…the first time I would be giving the information.
…the first time I would be the one teaching information and showing someone else new ideas.
…the first time ever being a presenter at a conference.
My first and second sessions came and went. They left me feeling better than I could have expected. My ideas were welcomed. My audiences reactions warmed me as questions were asked, ideas were shared and I heard the ahaas and oh yeahs that something I had shared and taught had connected with them.
I walked out of my second session still floating in the happiness and pride that comes from presenting at your first conference. I walked the hallway to get some coffee and smiled at my thoughts about each session. With coffee in hand I was ready to find a spot, sit and relax before the keynote. I pulled out my phone and called my husband to share this moment and my good news... I had survived. A couch called my name. It was perfect for sitting, relaxing, putting my feet up (my feet were killing me…new boots…fashion hurts sometimes) and soak up the experience. My hard work paid off. Sharing my ideas with others was worth it. With my feet resting, my happiness warmed me as I checked the tweets of the conference. Suddenly a very different feeling came over me and made me pause. It wasn’t a feeling of energy, a moment of ahaa and oh my goodness. It was missing. My crazy, amazing, idea learning feeling was absent. It was a feeling I was not used to when I attended conferences.
Sunday morning I brewed a cup of my favorite hazelnut flavored coffee and sat down to read and catch up on Twitter. My iPad began pinging over and over again. I watch it as a stream of retweets filled my screen. My tweets retweeted...shared over and over and over again. In between sips of coffee I smiled. My ideas were being shared. A tweet with a link to a post about my session pinged in. I quickly clicked to read about her thoughts, her reflections, her take aways of the conference and the session of mine she attended. I scrolled through her blog reading one post and then another and another. She shares all her ideas... big ideas, little ideas, great ideas, everyday ideas. All of them. She fearlessly shared for one of us, all of us to learn from her ideas.
I clicked back to Twitter. The flow of retweets had stopped and were replaced with responses, words, replies and interactions. A woman who would seen my tweets had travelled to my blog. She had read one of my posts. She told me how happy she was that she had found one of my posts. She shared her enthusiasm about sharing this tool with a student she tutors. She told me about the empowerment the app was going to bring this non-writer. An idea I had shared just helped one child access technology and potentially learn to do something they thought they couldn't do.
I finish off my second cup of coffee and thought about the weekends errands and things to do. My thoughts suddenly stopped as I realized very powerful. I learned that I'm a teacher and that doesn't change if I'm standing up in front of the kindergartners, 8th graders or adults. I love to teach. I learned that my ideas, no matter how small, how big, how lofty, how outside the box or how simple I think they might be… one, just one of them, one of my ideas might make a difference in someone else's classroom, might make a difference in somebody else's teaching, might make a difference with someone's child or someone’s student. I learned I need get past the notion and that need for my information or my idea to be a big idea, aw inspiring idea or awinspiring idea. I need to share with others the little activities, the little ideas, the little experiences too because you just never know what impact your idea, your thoughts, your moments or your lesson might have the lesson, lives, classroom or thoughts of others!