It never fails. No matter how much I prepare for presenting at a conference, I’m still putting final touches on my final product fairly late the night before. It’s not that I’m not prepared. More like I’m not satisfied with the work I’ve done. Not. Ever.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a perfectionist. Not by a long shot. But, the images aren’t just right. The text doesn’t look right. The content is just not as complete as I want. Oh, wait! I’ve only got 45 minutes! Cut out a few slides or just plan to skip them if it seems necessary. Improvisation is the name of this game.
I’ve been presenting at conferences and workshops for over 20 years. I’m not a professional by any means and it’s certainly not my regular job. I just love to share knowledge – almost as much as I like to learn something new. My students teach me something new every day. They are amazing at finding some tip or trick that I didn’t know. They constantly make me re-think my methods and my motives. Sometimes they make me laugh and sometimes they make me want to go back to school and start again.
As I develop my session, I use authentic student work. Some work from my adult students and some work from my second graders. This cross section is amazingly similar. They are very diverse in ages but very similar in learning styles. So when I bring forth examples, I hope to guide other educators down the path that has kept me teaching for all these years: constant amazement at what learning does for the human soul.
So, I’ll go back and add another image. Or take one away. Or I’ll move the text over and change the background. Or I’ll delete another slide and add fewer graphics. Maybe I’ll even finish before 4:15 tomorrow when that first slide pops up and it’s showtime. Come to my session and see if I’m done! Google Classroom for Littles 101 in Room 302B at the Raleigh Convention Center at NCTIES 2018. See you there! #ncties18 #Google4Littles