Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What I really love

Tuesdays at Two Writing Teachers!
"Oh, you LOVE talking in front of people! I'll just sit over to the side and nod, maybe click the slides..." My colleague laughs and winks at me, joking-but-not-joking about her nervousness for our upcoming PD presentation about modifying assessments.

I grin, because she's right-but-not-right, and I like the me that she sees. I like that she doesn't see the anxious tension that ties my muscles tight before a presentation or the restless intensity that courses through me as I check and rework my slides. I like that she doesn't see my jittery knees and hands, the fierce heat that pours into sweat as I talk, or the flurry of thoughts that floods my brain as I fight to appear calm, knowledgeable, and relatable. I love that she sees my enthusiasm instead of my fear and doubt. Because I actually hate "talking in front of people", but I love teaching them.

I love nudging people to change their thinking, whether they are students or adults. I love opening minds to new possibilities, designing opportunities for focused practice, and settling down elbow-to-elbow to guide and encourage. I love lit-up eyes and heads bent in concentration. I love building communities that center on learning and growth. I love sparking change. Most of all, I love my kids, and I know that I can make a bigger difference for them by stepping out of my comfort zone to be a resource to my colleagues.

So while I'm rehearsing my exact words for the millionth time, pressing my hands across my laptop case to savor its calming smoothness, subtly stretching my rigid back, and sucking in deep breaths, I'll take a moment to float above the room and see myself as I jump in: energetic, determined, and grateful for every chance to change the world for my kids.


  1. Keep floating, Jennifer. So many wonderful phrases for capturing your nerves and also your drive. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love how you harness that nervous energy and use it to energize the room (and the writing!!). Go, Jennifer!

  3. Wonderfully described, the wanting, but the reluctance; the joyful goals, yet the sweat pours. I'm sure you did a wonder of a job, and your colleagues learned about your teaching. Woo Hoo!

  4. I know you opened many new minds for possibilities with your presentation. What a great resource you are for the teachers who need that nudge to be able to reach your students (and all other students as well). Loved the repetition in each part.


Comments make me happy and I'd love to hear from YOU! :-)