20 slides. 15 seconds per slide that auto advance through a total of 5 minutes.  Fun math, an exercise in conciseness, and a healthy dose of practice time come along for the ride.

I jumped in, and wrote it in pen with commitment! (“Write it in pen” was the theme of my talk).  Why? Who knows. Haha – but I DO know.  Trying something a bit outside of my comfort zone has proven fruitful for me lately.  “Why not me?” my brain questions.  I say yes, and then figure it out along the way.

I often approach teaching this way.    I find inspiration for an idea that will engage students, and then find the curriculum that uncovers itself along the way.  There is always way more curriculum to link than you would first think.  Just try and name a literacy strand that doesn’t marry itself nicely to most subjects and projects. Integration, empowerment, choice and student voice are the vehicles that let us make curriculum meaningful.

I asked to go first for the Ignite talks at EdCamp London 2018.  I didn’t want to follow a seasoned pro on my first time out.  As it always goes, it was a blur in the minutes up to being handed the mic.  Then ‘go’ and the well oiled machine comes to life.   I had a blast.  The feedback was great.  The audience was forgiving – the audience was teachers and we can all recognize and empathize when risks are being taken.

Props to those seasoned speakers out there! What looks so organic is the result of hours and hours of fine tuning, practice and failing in front of audiences.  It’s not a natural gift – it’s an educator so excited to share good things that their energy pulls you in as they frame their experiences with a message or take away.  A joy to watch.

My message: try something new or different every day and write it in pen as a promise to yourself to take that risk.  Do it! And say yes to doing an ignite talk if you get the chance! You’ll be richer for the experience.