This past Thursday and Friday, I had the good fortune to attend the 2015 Nebraska Educational Technology Association (NETA) conference. I’ve had many friends attend in the past, but I was never in the position to go. I either had too little money, or was in the middle of a theatrical production. When an email went out this year asking if any Kearney Public School employees were interested in attending, I jumped at the chance.
However, I wasn’t too excited about it on Wednesday when we left. I was stressed. I’ve been working hard to get a documentary showing of Sober Indian | Dangerous Indian off the ground. Being new to the Kearney area, I just don’t know that many people and not many were signed up to attend on the facebook event page. Wednesday I was trying to design flyers, write mass emails, and following up on the press release I had sent out. (By the way, Tuesday April 28th you should come see it for FREE at The World Theatre). I hadn’t felt that successful and knew I should be committing more time. I also had done several photo shoots recently and I was trying my best to get back to the clients all while doing my best to make sure the student-directed show that opens May 1st was on track. The set hadn’t been built yet, and we were 10 days from opening. Oh, and I had classes to teach and sub plans to write. My conclusion on Wednesday afternoon: I was doing a lot of stuff, and none of it well.
The week before I had made a commitment to myself to complain less about my “busyness” and physical pain I’d been suffering lately. I had watched the video below. I highly recommend spending the 12 minutes to watch it. (warning: it isn’t an easy video to watch and there is some graphic medical content) It tells the story of a young man who lives with an incredibly painful skin condition and the hours of agony that each day causes him, yet he still wakes up, lives with joy, and purpose. Even though I know everything is relative, it made my pain and stress seem so incredibly minuscule, I was embarrassed.
Yet, on Wednesday when I was rushing around to finish everything I needed to get done in order to go the convention I no longer wanted to attend due to my stress—-I was complaining. It’s amazing how quickly we can back out of our promises to ourselves…
After some forced relaxation Wednesday night, I already began to feel better and become excited about the possibilities of the next two days. It’s amazing what a long walk and some of your favorite vegan Mexican chocolate ice cream from Ted & Wally’s can do for your attitude.
The first day of the convention was inspiring, energizing, and exactly what I needed. I began to dream of ways to become a better educator, artist, and human. I was reminded I’m very lucky to be in the presence of my students every day and I faced the harsh reality: I could be doing so much better.
Inspired by the keynote speaker on Thursday, George Corous, and his workshop on “blogging as a professional portfolio” I decided this was just what I needed to keep me accountable, organized, and inspired and continue to work to be a better teacher.
So today is my first blog post and my first attempt at a flipped classroom video. I should have put on make-up, added more humor, fun graphics, and probably worked harder on my script, but it’s a beginning. If you want to spend 9 minutes learning about the role of a scenic designer in theatre, you can view the video below.
I plan on posting more about my teaching here and my experiences using the many tools and techniques I used at NETA. I am so thankful for the two days of education and inspiration I received. I hope to see you at NETA 2016!