Sunday night, I was so nervous that I couldn’t sleep. Even though it’s the point in the week where I usually sit there and wonder if I should still be a teacher, this past Sunday night was especially nerve-wracking. Not only was I experiencing my “normal” school day jitters, I still had to write lots of sub plans, and I was about to leave my room for three days.
Getting no sleep, trudging through those sub plans, and learning to accept that whatever happens while I’m gone is just the way it’s going to be has all been worth it now that I’m in Denver at the CEC 2012 Convention & Expo.
It’s been great filling my head with new ideas at sessions, getting lost in the Expo while trying to find as many free pens as I can, and meeting the rest of the Reality 101 bloggers. As bloggers, one of our commitments in Denver was to present at the Student Forum on Thursday. It was a time for students going into the field of special education to learn more about how to get involved in CEC, how to navigate the ever elusive life-work balance, and what it’s like teaching in the real world. The last part was where we as bloggers came in with our very limited, but perhaps slightly insightful expertise.
We shared about the mentality that no matter what happens tomorrow is a new day, how to work with general education teachers, and some of our other ups and downs. One lady, however, asked us an unexpected question that really got me thinking about the role Reality 101 has in the world of special education. She started off by sharing that she feels the blog is very helpful for pre-service teachers because it gives them insight into what it’s really like to be a teacher. In other words, the blog is benefiting those who read it. But then, she asked us how/if that benefit is reciprocal — if we as bloggers also benefit from being bloggers.
After a second, I realized that, yes, being a blogger has been incredibly beneficial to me. Not only has it allowed me to be here in Denver, it has shown me more of CEC than I would have otherwise discovered on my own, it’s introduced me to educators all over the country, I can work with a huge group of people to brainstorm ways to help both Felipe and Joey, and my fellow bloggers and I, as Richard put it, have been able to essentially mentor each other.
So thank you, lady who was wearing a suit, for asking an awesome question. It’s people like you who make the CEC Convention & Expo the incredible experience that it is. I can’t wait to get out there and learn more!
And if you’re into all that techie stuff, make sure to follow more great CEC conversation on twitter, just search #cec12. You can even follow me — @allisence.