Oh boy! I have been reading a lot of blog posts about TMC. The biggest discussion has centered around a post by MrKent800 entitled, "I'm a Fraud". There is a lot of discussion about this and posts in response to it. If you haven't read it, go and read it.
I read the post by Mr. Kent and felt sorry for him. I wanted to offer words to sure up his confidence, because I don't think that one conference makes you feel the way that he did. Other things have to have been happening in his classroom and professional life. I also empathized with him a great deal because even last year, there were times when I wanted to throw in the towel and quit teaching as well.
The thing is, when teaching is a part of you, you cannot just turn your back on it. Yes, you get tired – to the point of exhaustion. But, even at exhaustion, I am willing to try one more thing. Do one more thing. This is because I haven't completely given up on myself. I know that I can do better. I can be better.
I am striving to be the best that I can be. I use other teachers who I work with or who I religiously read their blog, to help me define what the best is. Each person that I was a bit star struck by at TMC has helped me to refine, shape, polish, destroy, and rebuild what my definition of best is.
I know what my strengths are and what my weaknesses are. After fifteen years in the classroom, I know what weaknesses probably aren't changing. I need to find ways to counter my weakness so that it does not hold me down and keep me from changing, or at the very least, trying to change.
As I think about TMC and consider the reflections of others, I am realizing that I can't change the world. But, realistically I don't think I ever truly believed that I could. I just want to help the people in my little corner of it embrace the possibility of what can be. I don't believe that I am great at it. I just keep talking about what I know, what I believe, what I want to create and hope to achieve by it's creation. I don't expect miracles. I don't even expect huge amazing changes because I have come to realize after working in many different situations that I am the only one who can change. If others chose to follow my example, so be it. As for me, I will continue to seek out people who inspire me, challenge me, and support me.