Presenting at NAEA15 NOLA

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On a whim, I thought I would put a proposal in to present at the NAEA National Conference in New Orleans.  The proposals were due at the end of May last year, or something like that, and I cut it pretty close.  I don’t know why I put in that proposal…my husband had recently become unemployed and I wasn’t sure if we could even afford it.  But, I decided we would figure it out if I was accepted.

Fast forward to the beginning of the school year.  I received an email saying I was in.  I was in shock.  I knew many had proposed, and I was honored that I was a lucky one that was accepted.  Now, I had presented before at my state conferences. In fact, my first presentation was as a first-year teacher.  I was presenting a 3-lesson unit I had done during my student teaching.  The room was packed for that and I was nervous as hell.  But, all went well and I was glad I had done it.  Another time I presented I did a hands-on session.  While it was totally fun, I hated bringing all the supplies with me.  However, this was my first National conference.  Things would be different.  The audience base was a gazillion times bigger than Texas.  Talk about pressure.

This time I was going to present about how I have my students create altered books.  I chose to do a lecture-type presentation that would last about 25 minutes.  My session was called “Altered Books: Exploration Around a Theme”.  I created my powerpoint.  I gathered all the photos I had from various years.  And, I packed up a bunch of books my students had graciously allowed me to take to NOLA. I created business cards that had my session info and a QR code that linked to all of my information (website, email, twitter accounts, school website, etc.)  I highly suggest this.  It made it so easy to share things with others.  I was even able to give out at other times to teachers I had met during the conference.

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To say I was nervous is to put it lightly.  I was nervous I would talk too fast.  I was nervous no one would show up.  I was nervous I would flub.  I sat in the hall outside my room going over my slide show.  I knew the information by heart.  I don’t know why I felt the need to go over it.  It didn’t really calm my nerves.  Then people started to show up, waiting with me outside the room.  They were there for me.  I was starting to calm down.

I finally got in the room to set up.  I began putting the books on the table and it was like a signal went out the art teachers in the room.  They began to swarm the table.  I felt a sense of calm, and my worries melted away.  The room was full of art teachers–way more than I anticipated.  I began my show.  I was steady.  I slipped in my humor.  I talked with pride about my students.  I didn’t rush.

Basically, I felt I rocked it.  Later, during the rest of the weekend, when random people came up to me and said how much they enjoyed my presentation…I knew I had.

I look forward to presenting again.  I already have the wheels turning, trying to decide what I want to present about.

For those that didn’t attend, here are some files from my presentation.  Message me or comment if you have any questions.  I love sharing.

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One response »

  1. Pingback: Year in Review: Post 1: Highlights | Art Class by Mrs. B

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