Somehow, through a series of fortunate events, I am benefitting from the support of other leaders. My career is beginning to evolve and it is only through my relationships with strong and secure leaders that I am able to believe them when they say “you can do it”. I have faith in them and they have faith in me, therefore I have faith in myself: can the Pythagorean theorem apply to developing leaders?
A few months ago, I was asked by my friends at OTF to help present at the TLLP training session that was held earlier this month. (have you noticed the subtitle on OTF’s website? Your Voice. Your Strength.) This session is vital for new TLLP teams, as it provides them with the encouragement and information that they will need to manage a successful project. I certainly appreciated the lessons I learned at last year’s event.
— Math Inquiry TLLP (@math_inq) May 12, 2017
At about the same time that I was asked to present at #TLLP2017, I had a very interesting phone call. My Principal watched my class while I spoke with Suzette Clark, the Director of Educational Services at OSSTF. She was developing and planning the upcoming Embracing Technology conference for May 15th and wanted to know if I would be the keynote speaker.
~ I think I forgot how to speak ~
She gave me some time to think about the idea, and after a few hours (and some deep breathing), I accepted. I began contacting some of my trusted colleagues for advice — and I relied on the support given by my friends. Peter McAsh and Doug Peterson acted as my editors as they reviewed my initial thoughts and provided invaluable suggestions while we all collaborated using Dropbox Paper.
The weekend before the conference, I stayed with my friend Lindy (a.k.a. “the Mother of the TLLP), which was so much nicer than staying at a hotel. Not only did I get caught up on laundry, but she encouraged me to practice my keynote with her, which allowed us to make some last-minute revisions.
The day before the conference began, Doug and Peter traveled for hours to help out. We met the afternoon before the conference started, became familiar with the room where I would be speaking, went over my notes and slides, and made sure to meet early the next morning to get my equipment ready — everything from making sure my laptop was properly connected, to helping me distribute crayons and play-doh to every table before attendees arrived.
Much like waiting for Christmas, when it seems that the big event will always remain in the future, it finally arrived. No more preparations, pep-talks, or revisions. It was show time.
— OTF/FEO (@otffeo) May 15, 2017
Contrary to my fears, I actually found myself enjoying the keynote. All of the attendees at #OSSTFtech were so encouraging while I spoke; their smiles gave me courage and they participated in our activities together — check out the gallery of their work by searching the conference hashtag or by clicking here.
I’ll admit that part of my reason for writing this post is an effort to savour my first keynote (who knows if I’ll get another chance at this!), and another is to thank the leaders and educators who have faith in others. My hope is to become the kind of leader who can pay it forward.
— MLaPeareGEDSB (@MLaPeareGEDSB) May 10, 2017
“You learn leadership by doing leadership” ~ Carol Campbell