I was thrilled to receive an email in March telling me that I was being invited to present at the 2018 Australian Literacy Educator's Association in Perth. And a little terrified.
I've never been off the Eastern seaboard of Australia, let alone totally across the country. And although I'm a teacher and stand in front of an audience every day, there's something about presenting to your peers that is just bone-chilling. I'm that kid. You know, the one who avoids eye contact with the person holding the microphone at the professional development sessions. The one who'd rather sink into the floor than go on stage at a school assembly.
Yet, in July this year I'll be speaking to an undetermined number of people. Undetermined! *Deep breaths* My topic is 'Bringing Shakespeare into the 21st Century', so at least that's right up my alley. Well, it should be. I created it. But the concept and the execution are two very different things.
Isn't it weird and funny that a teacher (nay, career public speaker), can be so daunted by stage appearances? It's something I struggle with constantly, but I know I'm not alone. This year I will overcome that fear, I will succeed where I've been too scared to before. My knees may be knocking together, and I may be afraid I'll vomit, but I will get up on that stage and deliver a speech on a topic I'm very passionate about.
I won't think about the video cameras recording me. Not one bit.
I'm so honoured to have been asked and to be included in this year's line up of brilliant national and international speakers, all of whom are passionate about literacy among young people. I can't wait to be a part of it.