Moments that Matter: Don’t Expect to be Presenting at ISTE

showmeAround the time that ISTE proposals were due, I met with my mentor professor, who is a long standing member of ISTE. She wanted to speak to me about being a part of a panel that she was submitting on the use of iPads in the math classroom. As the person that I credit with an extremely large proportion of the success in my career, I told her that I would. In addition, I also told her that I was considering a proposal too.

I’ve been working for little over year “tinkering” with using data to drive student performance assessments via technology in math and I was finally ready to present. Thinking that she would be just as excited, I shared my proposal with her. The response that I received was surprising. She said…

“Don’t expect to be presenting at ISTE. You’ve never presented there before and they probably won’t accept you. You have a better chance of getting there on my panel. Then you can present next year because you would have done it.”

Needless to say, I ignored that advice and decided to submit my proposal anyway. Months later, after receiving my acceptance email, I called my mentor professor to share in my excitement. It was only then that I understood the method to her “madness”. Had she encouraged me to move forward, I probably would’ve pondered the idea well beyond the deadline as pressure can be deafening. On the other hand, advising me NOT to present, lit a fire within and forced me to prove her wrong, which is what happened.

Fortunately, I will only have the pressure of one poster session, as her panel discussion was unfortunately not accepted.

The moment that mattered here was this: It’s the small moments when you “know” your audience that make the difference. Knowing how I am, my mentor knew that I needed to be challenged so she re-framed her dialogue to me so that I would move forward. Had she not done that, I would not be heading to my first ISTE as a presenter. You can add my poster session to your calendar here.

Data by Design: Empowering Students with High-Tech Performance-Based Assessments
[Learning Station Session : Poster]
Monday, 6/24/2013, 11:00am–1:00pm
rafranz davis, Grand Prairie ISD 
Learn how iPads, web 2.0 tools, and other hand-held devices can help empower students to plan and execute real-world performance based assessments.

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