Some of you may know that I’ve recently posted this on Facebook:
I was astonished by the enormous support I instantly got from my PLN and friends from all around the world.
Strangely enough, it was not long ago (precisely October 28) when I wrote about the reasons behind my refusal to become a conference presenter. In today’s post, I’d like to share some of my fears and hopes I have now that I’ve finally accepted the offer. So here goes.
What if …
my topic is not interesting enough to attract an audience? I’ve been attending local conferences for some time now and I know that their regular attendees have already heard and seen loads of interesting stuff. Also, the teachers come on a Saturday, many of them from far away places, to be inspired. This obviously makes me feel a lot of responsibility.
I don’t appear interesting enough to attract an audience? Well, I may be the same old face on social media but that doesn’t mean that local folks know my name. So while some of my PLN would definitely turn up (out of sheer curiosity or to support a newbie presenter), the people who attend this conference may not feel like wasting their precious time listening to some secondary school teacher slash blogger.
things go wrong? I’ve been a teacher for more than two decades so I know all too well that there are lessons which go wrong for no specific reason. It just happens and it always fills me with bitter disappointment. Surprisingly, this sometimes happens when I ovedo it or when I overprepare. By the way, as this is my first workshop, I’m definitely planning to go low-tech. And I think I’ll actually go very ‘light’ in all respects.
my timing is all wrong? The workshops last for an hour. This may turn out totally unimportant, but over time, my brain has adjusted to slightly shorter units – of 45 minutes. Also, as I have no idea whatsoever how many people will finally turn up for my workshop (the attendees don’t register for the individual workshops in advance, which, by the way, I always considered an advantage), I can’t tailor make the content to a specific number of attendees. This leaves me with a number of unknown variables, such as the number of photocopies, the number of chairs, the shape of the seating arrangement and the shape of the activities themselves (pairs, groups, mingling, etc.). This may easily disconcert me and eventually add more pressure or even cause some confusion during the workshop.
I make mistakes? I know this sounds almost ridiculous, but yes, this is also one of my concerns. The sky won’t fall in if you make a mistake in a regular class (your mischievous students will let you know instantly anyway), but it must be terribly embarrassing when it happens to a conference presenter (cause conference presenters are supposed to be flawless, right? 😀 ).
Anyway, I’m an optimist and I think I can make it because
- I have plenty of experience with classroom management and teaching in general so I can improvise and multitask.
- Conference audiences are usually very enthusiastic, compassionate and understanding. (I’m convinced that teenagers, for example, are much more challenging).
- I know the place very well and I know how things work there – at least from the outside.
- There will be lots of familiar faces, which is one of the highlights for me.
What do you think? Are my concerns justified? Did you feel the same before your first workshop/webinar? Thanks for reading and all the support.