Happy Anniversary, Power Posing, and New Beginnings

It’s been over one year since I started my blog.  In fact, I published my first post on 8/8/13.  I realize I haven’t posted anything lately.  I just haven’t found a topic I thought was interesting enough.  After school got out in June, I was busy packing up my classroom and moving into my new office space at a different school.  I wanted to be all moved in before I left for my vacation in July.  After my vacation, I went back to school.  It’s been busy.  Basically, after returning from my vacation in Hawaii, it was back to work.

Last week, I attended the last two days of a math institute given by my school district.  Math leaders from all over the district met over two days to plan the district-wide professional growth day which would focus on math practices.  I would have to present two sessions.  One was on math discourse and the other was a polygon investigation.  I was able to remain calm while others around me expressed their anxiety.  I think it had to do with having presented to a large audience last spring for the SDAWP Spring Conference.  I was not nervous at all, except for right before I was to present.  During the institute, one of the consultants shared a video about power posing.  All it takes is two minutes of power posing to raise your confidence and lower your stress.  Who knew??

Amy Cuddy talked about not belonging.  Boy, can I relate to this feeling.  I started my job as a district math coach this week.  I spent most of my time at my mentor site which just happens to be the largest elementary school in the district.  My first order of business is to build relationships with the people on staff.  It’s been difficult, and I find myself missing the people I had connections with at my previous school site.  I am thinking this is pretty normal.

I felt odd not prepping for the first day of school, which is tomorrow.  It ‘s the first time in 25 years where I wasn’t getting ready for students.  I felt like I needed to be doing something, a task of some sort.  Instead, I organized my office space.  I prepared for my next staff presentation by doing research in the many resource books I received.  I don’t know why I felt guilty.  Everyone in my building was “working”.  I was working, too, but in a different way.  It was strange.  I managed to take a picture of my office and the sign I created which I hung on the door.


I am excited.  I know I made the right choice in applying for this job.  All I have to remember is to stay positive and do my power poses.

A glimpse into my office


The Cowardly Lion

I was thinking about this character from the Wizard of Oz today.  He wanted to see the Wizard to ask him for some courage.  I don’t need courage as much as I need confidence.  This is because I have known for a few weeks that I would be presenting at this year’s San Diego Area Writing Project Spring Conference.  At first I was honored and excited that I was selected.  Then, I felt nervous and anxious about the whole thing.  However, it didn’t really hit home until this morning.

This morning I attended a follow-up meeting with my summer cohort.  We did some writing work in the morning.  Each of us participated in an activity where we shared resources, ideas, and experiences with everyone in the room.  We did this by writing on a piece of chart paper that was divided into 4 quadrants.  Every person in the room had a page that we passed around the room.  In the first quadrant was the issue we wanted help with.  Mine was on how to get my students to write opinion pieces with more substance.  As the pages were passed around, each person wrote something down in one or more of the sections.  We kept passing until we eventually got our chart paper back.  I really enjoyed that activity.  I believe it is something I could do with my 2nd graders.  When it was all over, I received some wonderful ideas on my chart that I could try in my classroom next week.

Next, I met with the four other teachers who will also be presenting on March 1st.  We received coaching from Christine Kane, co-director of SDAWP.  I looked around at everyone in my group and marveled at their confidence.  Why am I so nervous?  Why can’t I just be cool and relaxed like the other four?  Maybe my brain is not wired for that.  Perhaps I am missing some chemical in my brain that can help relieve my anxiety.  I suppose I am nervous because I don’t want to let anybody down.  My cohort believed I could do this, and I don’t want to disappoint anyone.  Public speaking is not my forte.  I was not expecting to be selected as a presenter.  I am more of the set up the chairs and tables kind of person.  I like working behind the scenes, but I also know this experience will be good for me.  It is something I have always wanted to do.  I have attended many workshops and presentations and wondered if I could do that.  Now, I have a chance to find out if I can.  I think it’s just like with everything I attempt for the first time.  I become more comfortable after I get the first one under my belt.  This is the same feeling I get when I am participating in a triathlon.  The swim portion always makes me nervous even though I have done it many times before.

I know I can do it.  I just need to remember to breathe.  There is no wizard to give me the courage/confidence for this.  I will need to find it in myself, just like the lion had all along.  Maybe I will have to take a shot of liquid courage (Tequila?) before the presentation to help me through.  No, that would not be good.  I guess I will just wait until after my presentation is over to take that shot.  🙂