Today I took a personal day so I could work on my presentation that I'll be giving at the National Writing Project's Rural Sites Network conference in Little Rock, Arkansas next week. I've been a bit overwhelmed with the whole presentation---I'm actually co-presenting with a doctoral student from Michigan, so we're working on it together using Google Docs. She is amazing. I went to two of her presentations this fall, one at NCTE and the other at the National Writing Project Annual Conference. She is active with her local Writing Project and is on the National Tech. Leadership Board through the National Writing Project. She's presenting at something like three other national conferences this month---I'd end up in the wrong state at the wrong time if that were my schedule!
This conference thing has been a source of anxiety for me. I have felt completely inadequate and frankly, not smart enough--it's a humbling experience, so it's taken me awhile to even get started. But, I always tell my students that they won't fully grow if they remain comfortable. I am definitely learning a lot through this. It's pushing me to think outside of the box to connect two seemingly opposite ideas, dig deep into theories on digital philosophies and consider a variety of backgrounds while creating a presentation for an audience I virtually know nothing about. I'm still waiting to receive feedback from our coach (someone from the National Writing Project who is working with us to develop and hone our ideas) on what I've accomplished today. Let's hope I receive at least one thumb up!
This week the program for the conference was mailed out to us and I got to see my name and our presentation write-up. It seems completely insignificant, but I was really pumped to see it!