Okay finally time to write my workshop experience down. Overall, I think it went well. I think that most of the people that attended the workshop got something out of it that they could immediately use in their classroom. A few things that I walked away with:
1. My limited experience really humbles me when I’m speaking in front of a room full of people that all have been around longer than me. By this I mean, I have only been teaching for 3 years (4 if you count student teaching…but we won’t go there). Most, if not all, of the people that attended this workshop have been teaching well beyond my 3 years. So even though I know what I’m doing is good for my students, it was still incredibly difficult to share. I felt like what I had to say was inadequate or boring or “fill in the blank”… I was worried about what all my colleagues would think. They are math teachers. They are also experts on math content. I wasn’t just presenting an idea in front of someone who didn’t know any better. I was presenting ideas to people who were very capable of picking every inch of my ideas apart. That was scary.
2. My feelings were confirmed from previous posts. A lot of people had never used “discovery” or “inquiry” in a math classroom as a tool to teach new content. I took a quick poll and out of 18 people, only 2 had ever dabbled in this method. Those two had only done it “unofficially”. So I knew the information was new to most.
3. I need to work on my presentation skills if I plan to do this again. My face was red the entire time. So it was very obvious that I was nervous and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. The second I saw my face getting red…it just kept getting worse. Because then I was nervous and then even more nervous because of the redness…and it was just a vicious cycle.
I want to keep presenting. I enjoy sharing my ideas with others. I also want to get better at presenting. My goal is not to get so nervous next time. They are just big kids, right? …big mean kids! We will see. Pretty soon my survey results will be returned to me. That way I will have some data to show how I actually did…instead of just how I thought I did.