I was privileged to be a leader at Learning2.0 this October in Beijing. I still need to write a post about the experience, because “amazing” might be an understatement. But one thing that I will always remember is the fear and energy that I felt presenting a mini-keynote to the audience of 400 teachers on the final day of the conference.
My speech was called, “What are we afraid of?” For me, public speaking is right up there with the things that terrify me. But as we prepared for the conference, I felt a need to talk about why international schools are so lucky to have the freedom and ability to put the ideas we learn at Learning2.0 (or COETAIL) into action. We can try new things and make mistakes and grow as teachers. And because we are connected, via blogs or friendships or Twitter, we don’t have to make these changes by ourselves. That’s powerful incentive to be innovators and change-agents in education. And I believe our students, wherever they may be and whatever their circumstance, deserve the best that we can give them.
I think (I hope) my talked resonated with people. It wasn’t perfect, but it was heartfelt. Thanks to all who took pictures or gave me a hug after. If it’s possible to treasure tweets, I’ll treasure the support I found on Twitter before, during and after my talk. Major thanks to Nicki Hambleton for the awesome picture I used above. I was scared, but I am passionate about what I believe in. I believe change is coming and some of it is coming from the people who were in Beijing for Learning2.0. And I was so lucky to be there too.