‘What are you doing here Mrs V?’

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I was walking back to my car after my first #TeachMeet experience in Sydney at the Wharf at the Rocks, when I bumped into an extremely gorgeous young man who greeted me with this question, a hug and a kiss. He was off to a performance by the Bangarra Dance Company and was accompanied by an equally beautiful young woman. (You see – even my description of this radiant couple betrays my age.)

His question, “What are YOU doing here?” was loaded with inference as well as disbelief. Why? Because I am a friend of his mother’s and he couldn’t imagine her being out on the town wandering the streets on her own. This is a bit of a trendy place around the city and even though I do try to keep up with the times, to be honest I was wondering much the same thing myself. I hadn’t ‘hung out’ around here for about thirty years.

How did I get here? The answer in one word is ‘twitter’. Since joining twitter I have changed. I am growing bolder, braver, better informed, more open to new ideas and eager and willing to be pushed out of my comfort zone; both with my thinking and methods of teaching. The TeachMeet was advertised on twitter and together with my IT mentor @BecUrry1, we bolted into town one Friday afternoon after school. 

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Wow! What an amazing experience. The presentations were 7 mins long – maximum. The presenters were enthusiastic, dynamic, interesting and clever. I couldn’t apply everything that was being shown or take it all in but the buzz was exciting. Here were 21st century teachers who were passionate about what they were doing – just like on twitter – but in real life.

It was a little overwhelming for a mum from the ‘burbs. I felt like I had snuck into someone’s party and was doing my best to look like a potplant in case someone asked me a question and I had to say something intelligent. I even went to the pub afterwards – don’t tell my kids – and did my best to make conversation above the noise. Such an old lady!

What was I doing there? What was I thinking? Will I ever attend another TeachMeet? Most definitely! Even old wallflowers are loved and accepted by ‘tweeps’. Maybe next time I won’t be so ambitious and I will attend a smaller venue closer to home, or maybe the new brave me will head off to the city again in the hope of surprising some more of my young friends 🙂

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