Talking and teaching are my two favorite things. Conferences combine my two loves ~ I get to talk to teachers about teaching! I have been presenting at conferences since 2010, I think.
I LOVE presenting at conferences. Admittedly, sometimes teachers are terrified to talk in front of grown-ups.
Teachers will be ready to shake, rattle, and roll in front of their students, but they don’t want to speak to grown. BUT We NEED teachers talking to teachers.
Talking and teaching: We need each other
Be Confident. We need teachers to share their expertise with other teachers. Instead of Teachers Pay Teachers, think Teachers NEED Teachers.
Do not underestimate your value. What you do every day in your classroom is important…why not share. Teachers tend to do their jobs within their classrooms and keep it to themselves, but you shouldn’t.
Did you have a lesson that worked? Do your students know how to read, write, add, subtract really well? Do your students understand the routines and organization in your classroom so well you don’t even have to tell them what to do?
That’s what teachers want to know! You are the expert. Talking and Teaching.
Give them a Reason
Tell teachers exactly why they should listen to you. Own the data.
If all or most of your students are reading on grade level, tell them. If your classroom is a well-oiled machine, tell them.
If you love teaching and love what your students are doing, tell them. We are all part of a sisterhood (sorry, guys).
Teachers need to stick together. Talking and Teaching.
Show Them Examples
Just as the old saying goes: the proof is in the pudding. Show them what your students have done. Provide examples of everything.
We love examples AND teachers want the evidence. I presented a writing workshop with lots of student examples and I had someone tell me after the session that I was lying.
She literally said, “I think you are lying. Kindergarten kids can’t do that.” I was taken by surprise and I said, “Mine can and I’ll help yours do it, too.”
However, for that ONE person I have had hundreds tell me how much they appreciate my ideas. Don’t let the one “grouchy old lady” take away the opportunity to share with other teachers.
Tell About “Real Life” in the Classroom
We all know “real life” in the classroom isn’t peaches and cream and perfect. Every lesson doesn’t work.
Every student isn’t ready for every lesson. Most of the data in any classroom isn’t 100%. Own it. We all know it. We LOVE having it acknowledged. We also love funny stories. It keeps us sane.
Student responses are treasured. Share them. Publishing companies and people out of the classroom for a while, have mostly lost the ability to talk about the real classroom.
Think about it…Teachers NEED teachers. Teaching and Talking.
Check out the Virginia State Literacy Association conference. It’s top notch.