I guess the best way to start this post is to affirm one thing I am sure of: if you happen to be complaining that you are bored with teaching because you seek and do not find professional opportunites, you must be in hiding!! With all that is available, both on and offline, I cannot even fathom this sort of comment being a reality.
I am addicted to learning, I admit it. I love studying, teaching, reading, sharing and being a teacher allows me to do so much with so many great educators worldwide that it just makes me want more and more.
Just a few weeks ago, I was honored with an invitation from Shelly Terrell to take part in the #RSCON (Reform Symposium E-Conference), and I need to admit: I wasn't sure if I should celebrate and be thankful for yet another learning opportunity, or to fear the thought of presenting virtually to a community of global educators without any knowledge of platforms such as Blackboard Collaborate. I chose the first and went on from there.
It wasn't too long before I had collected my thoughts on what to present, so I went on and revamped my previous 'What is this new writing?' session and there I was, all set to go. But still fear lurked on, as I felt the insecurity setting in, due to my total lack of knowledge about BbC. That's when Chiew Pang came in, as one of the organizers of this wonderful event. He was awesome in helping me overcome my fears, providing support and some lessons even at times when his time zone had reached near midnight. I am grateful to him for his help...Chiew, if you read this, thank you SO much. Your help was very important, and it is always a pleasure to connect with you.
Well, then came the day of the presentation. Everything was set and I was mentally (psychologically?) ready. Naturally, as a first-timer you begin to imagine of all of the things that can go wrong, and this is what sparked a sense of insecurity. Fortunately, everything went A-OK!
Now for some impressions of my own: speaking for nearly an hour without anyone physically present is quite a trip. It was quite strange indeed, and throughout my talk I kept wondering whether or not people at the other end of the cables could see/her me and/or my slides. They could. Yes!!! And it was wonderful to count on the help of my moderator, Dina Dobrou. Dina ... if you read this ... " muito obrigada!!" :)
Would I ever do it again? Definitely! If I am honored with another invitation, it will be chance to brush up my skills and improve. Let's see what happens there.
And now about the event. I had posted about RSCON3 two years ago, and how much I liked it! It is simply amazing to have so many wonderful sessions, plenaries, keynotes without leaving your home ... and for FREE! I feel, however, that the word needs to go out more. Not many teachers, on a local scale, were even aware of the fact that a conference such as this exists, and is so easily available. As part of the Braz-Tesol Pernambuco chapter, it is also my responsibility to share this information with other teachers, for more adherence and, consequently, learning and sharing so that was done. Still, I am looking forward to RSCON5, and all of the wonderful sessions that will be a part of it. And if you'd like to watch the sessions (which btw were ALL recorded and are available to you also at no cost whatsoever) just follow this link, and best wishes for great learning! Ah, and be sure to pass the word on!
Final words: I can never mention enough how Twitter has been such a great resource in my professional road to greater development. It is there where I met such inspiring educators as Chiew, Shelly, Dina and so many other amazing people. So ... ready to stop complaining and start learning??! The time is NOW, and it all starts with one simple 'click'. Good luck! :)