So day 1 of #TMC15 was incredible. The topics covered were exceptional, the speakers were excellent, the organization was impecible and it was also personally challenging. As a teaching professional at my new school where I have been for one year I am a confident person who people come to when they have questions, I am a maker of change within, I push people to go further, I train and, oh ya, I also do my job... which is doing whatever it takes to find ways for my students to learn. But... I can’t say, “Hey, can I join you for lunch?” to a bunch of teachers I had just been sitting with for two hours in a morning session. It may sound stupid, but it’s hard... being a social introvert at an conference that, by design, has a social purpose (which it absolutely should).
OK, lets go back to yesterday…
Day 0 I forced myself to go to the Wednesday night social. I almost didn’t go… I’m not staying at the hotel, so it was more than just walking downstairs. I drove around the parking lot a couple times to find a place to park, walked into the building and then walked into the Maple Room where the social was being held. There were three tables of people all focused on what they were doing, so…..I walked out. Went down the hall, saw the baseball players eating their dinner and told myself to go back in. I did, then walked out again. This time I found the bathroom, it was near the end of the hall if you missed it. Ok, third times a charm right??? I had a plan this time…. Go get a beer and you will at least look like you are in the right place and maybe there will be someone in line you can talk to. So I did and Glenn thank you for needing a beer too. Someone to talk to and someone to introduce me to others and things started to roll. I had a good time, I met some wonderful people, I stuck around for nearly 3 hours and then I was off. Back to my trailer for a good night’s sleep. Damit, I forgot my pillow!!!
I read somewhere, and I apologize I forgot who blogged it (I don’t have internet connection as I write this), that when coming to #TMC15 I should have a goal in mind. Of course learning new this and that or how to do that and this better will obviously be on the agenda, but my goal was/is to meet and build resources. Yes I pull lessons from @mr_stadel, @robertkaplinsky, @ddmeyer, @Jstevens009 and @fawnpnguyen to name a few, I have even had some breif twitter corresondence with some of them, but meeting people who want to move the education of our kids forward, creating that introduction and hopefully open a working dialog is what I view as mhy biggest goal of Twitter Math Camp.
So, social introvert goal for day 2… Have plans with people for lunch before leaving campus. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem being by myself, I often prefer it, but you can’t build relationships with people by yourself.
So what am I trying to say. Partially it is a pep talk for myself for tomorrow, partially it is for anyone else who relates to this and partially for anyone who may read this about 8 months from now that are considering going to #TMC16. Make your goal(s) and definitely GO!!! It is a rare opportunity you get to be in the same room with so many rock star teachers, but being able to build connections with them that could possibly span your career is what it is all about. Everyone is here to help better the education of our kids, no one is being forced and there are a couple hundred people who are taking time out of their summer to learn.