A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of running a session at Google Education’s London Summit run by AppsEsvent. AppsEvents is a Google Certified Partner who are responsible for providing training across Europe, Middle East, Asia and America. I’ve been working towards my Google Educator Certification (Level 1 and 2 completed) and I work in various schools co-ordinating their use of ICT. So this was a great opportunity for me. Although I was little hesitant to take up the opportunity, not because I didn’t want to do it but I worried whether my body would fail me just as I was about to present to the audience. If this is first blog post you have read read from me, I suffer from Epilepsy and an unexplained pain syndrome.)

I guess after the last four years my confidence has been dented somewhat following numerous attacks, periods of not being able to walk and being in and out of hospital. When I was teaching I always used to tell my students that nothing grows in the comfort zone, greatness occurs only when you are challenging and pushing yourself. But I think inadvertently I had placed myself in that very same comfort zone without actually realising it. It’s only when I reflect on how long I took to say ‘yes I’ll do it’ did it hit me. Some people may say that leaving a full-time job is not playing it safe but I guess this just felt different. On a bad day pain can be hidden or meetings rescheduled. But when you are presenting to professionals within an allocated time period, there is no do-over or delay till later.

I’m proud to say I made my debut. I stepped up, tapped in or whatever other wrestling analogy you can think of. I was present. I prepared my session, I sought feedback, I troubleshooted and rehearsed a few times. I wanted the participants to develop their confidence using Google Forms in their classrooms so I made sure I provided them with enough practical tips and opportunities to try a range of assessment techniques. Once the session actually began, my nerves fizzled away. It felt good to be present, communicating about something I love, sharing my knowledge with others. In a small way it reminded me again just how resilient I can be. But only if I choose to say yes.

Sometimes opportunities come knocking when you least expect them and you need take them with both hands. I can’t completely control my conditions but I can make sure I am as prepared as possible.

I am going to leave you with this quote from Michael Jordan “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have  been entrusted to take the winning shot…and missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why…I succeed”

N.B What is Google Forms?
Google Forms is a G-Suite application that allows you to create dynamic forms. It’s flexibility in functionality allows you to manage event registrations, whip up quick polls, collect email addresses for a newsletter, create quick step-through tests and much more.The session I lead on focussed on using Google Forms for Assessment and understanding how they can be used to support differentiation.