I need to start off this blog post by once again speaking to the imbalance I experience in blogging itself. Try as I might, I sometimes take years to process an experience or a reading and I find it really challenging to write regularly. Today is no exception and I’d like to revisit an experience I had in May 2014 called Treasure Mountain Canada. Treasure Mountain is a research retreat of school libraries and I’ve attended 2 of them…one in Connecticut in November 2013, and one in Victoria, BC where I presented my M.Ed. capping paper on Transliteracy.
Today we are trying to recreate the experience for the participants at the annual Ontario Library Association conference in Toronto. To give you some background, there is no better place to start than with Anita Brooks-Kirkland’s blog of the Treasure Mountain experience last May. The audience at Treasure Mountain is small but extremely diverse … there are major stakeholders in school libraries present.
In the week leading up to today, the revisiting of Treasure Mountain, I have really enjoyed going over my own thought process from January 2014 to May 2014, and I’m glad I was so visible in my thinking about it. One of my favourite elements to revisit was a Google Hangout experiment where, as part of the capping paper requirements, I needed to present my ideas to a public audience. I knew Treasure Mountain was coming up in May but wanted to make the experience as authentic as possible. So….in true transliteracy fashion, I arranged via social media to make a Google Hangout to present my 20 slides and ask my authentic audience of educators some seriously deep questions about implementing transliteracy. I considered editing this down to something manageable, but at the risk of appearing self-indulgent, here is the whole messy experience. For at least 3 of the participants, it was their first Google hangout.
As most of you are well aware from your own experiences, I learn a lot each time I present new material, and this time was no different. Looking back at that experience, I realize now that sometimes I need a big push to try these things. Reflecting on that idea alone, isn’t that what I ask the staff and students at my school to do every day? One of my drama students a few years ago said, as she was fearfully preparing to take the stage, “I just need to put my big girl pants on and do it.” Everytime I feel fearful of risk-taking, or worn out by being a change agent, I say to myself, “Just put your big girl pants on and do it.” There are times during this presentation where I’m just giddy with happiness of the sharing and comraderie I experienced as I struggled through it. Treasure Mountain itself, is just like that….a bunch of experienced and knowledgeable people coming together to share and loving the sharing. I always feel energized and motivated by experiences like this. This is the reason I’m addicted to supporting my own professional development.