On November 2nd, 2017 I walked into what I believed was going to be an interesting, yet new experience: my very first Learning2 conference. I was unsure about what to expect, but was keen on the format and learning from other educators. Unbeknownst to me, on November 4th, I would walk out with way more than PD.
Fortunate Event #1
For those of you who have not attended a Learning2 conference, one of its components is the unconference, which is an opportunity for participants to connect with each other by discussing a chosen topic of interest in an unstructured manner. At the start of the conference all the participants have the chance to propose topics for the unconferences. Amongst the many topics proposed, COETAIL was one that caught my eye as many people had either written it as a topic or voted for it by putting a check mark. I kept wondering if I had missed something. What was COETAIL? How come I hadn’t heard of it before, given that a good number of people were eager to make that unconference happen? Had I obliviously been living under a rock?
Fortunate Event #2
In the hustle and bustle of the conferences (at Learning2 things happen fast), I was busy digesting all the input from the L2 Talks, specially Tricia Friedman’s Bring the Light. As I looked Tricia up on Twitter, there it was again in her profile: COETAIL. So, it was confirmed. I had in fact been living under a rock. As I connected with more conference attendees through Twitter, COETAIL made appearances here and there. At this point, there was no way back for me: I had to find out what this COETAIL was all about. And I did.
Fortunate Event #3
I came back pumped from Learning2, full of ideas and inspiration, and after a senior management position at my school was advertised, I decided to apply. After being in middle management for a number of years, I felt ready to undertake a new challenge. I applied, got shortlisted, interviewed, and got turned down. In the midst of reflecting on my application and interview, I put into perspective what I really value about my work: being able to make a difference in the lives on young people, regardless of the position I hold. However, the need for a challenge was still present and nudging me.
So, as I write this, my first post for COETAIL, I’m thinking of all the events that brought me to this very moment. I am excited to expand my horizon with this course, I am grateful for the twists and turns that have unexpectedly taken me onto paths I wouldn’t have otherwise known, and optimistic for the opportunities that are yet to come.
Featured image by Tyler Merbler on Flickr