May 31, 2012 by readlisaread
Some how I find myself lined up to present at two different conferences within the next two weeks. I’m stoked about the opportunity and looking forward to doing what I really want to do for a few days… and it got me to thinking about the journeys we take. I love my job, I really do… but it is exhausting wrangling teenagers for 7 hours a day, awash in a sea of angst, Axe and arguments (have you ever argued with a teenager? Perry Mason would have a hard time). I also love my colleagues. A room full of teachers has a personality all its own, but we usually manage to find common ground for an entertaining lunchroom discussion, that, while always collegial, is rarely academic.
One of my favourite parts of my job is getting to teach other teachers. Giving workshops or just facilitating learning is an opportunity I relish. I’ve come to realize that this is why I have a hard time with other experts coming by to tell me how things are. It’s not the content, usually, it’s the delivery. I can spot a lack of passion instantly. A few months ago we had a presentation from the Odd Squad— a drug enforcement division of the Vancouver Police. The guys had terrible presentation skills, as far as speaking and commanding audience respect, but they had instant buy-in from the kids, because their authenticity was obvious, their passion palpable. A certain amount of shock-value added to the buy-in, but kids have incredible bullshit-detectors, and no amount of shock and awe will keep them engaged indefinitely. Then there was the “Beth Laur” presentation. Here was a master speaker, with a “scared straight” style presentation that had kids sit on a standard-issue cold gym floor for 2 hours. That is what I aspire to be: and Expert… not an “expert“