One year ago…
Exactly one year ago, I had my first go at presenting in conferences. Back then, I was just someone trying to show the results of a small-scale research I had carried out on a topic that happened to be of major importance in my teaching career, inclusive education. However excited, I had never felt completely prepared for it nor even capable of doing so on a regular basis.
What actually made me confident enough to apply for it was the limitless support I had always had from my dear friend Fabiana Muliterno and my boss Amanda Baruchi and so I did. When I got there, some questions did appear and they were not academic or technical, they were quite human: How many people will be there watching? Will they enjoy? Will I make mistakes, grammar mistakes?
When I saw only six people in the audience and two of them were people I was acquainted with, I had those five first seconds of disappointment which were immediately replaced by a feeling contentment and I will tell you why. It was just because I could gather six people who could have chosen any other topic or presenter to spend some time with and they were there. At the time I did not know that I was looking at Stephan Hughes, Alice Turibio and Dani Hersey who are now really dear peers to me.
After this talk and the sense of mission accomplished, I have embarked on a project with two other friends, which has been giving me so many rewards and it is constantly proving that I am in the right place, doing the right thing. Now I am preparing myself for my first international conference and that got me thinking: How did I get here?
I was ready to say that it was only because of the five people I spend the most time with, you know the drills right? It is true indeed that they play a fundamental role in my professional life but when I came across an article by David Burkus, I started thinking about the community surrounding me. David claims that we are the average of ALL the people around us and because of that we should make sure we are with the right folks.
One year ago, I was just a teacher trying to find my place. Now, one year later, I feel like I am someone and that I belong to something special because of the five people I spend most of my time with and also because of a community that welcomed me and gave me all the support I needed. I hope our community keeps following this path, embracing new ideas, making room for new teachers so we can still be the right tribe that helps people like me to find their places in the world.
Looking forward to seeing whether you agree with this or not.