#TMC18 Intimacy is Confidence

(This is not a typical TMC recap but I blogged every session I went to and I've blogged the typical recap before...if you have any logistical questions, please ask!)

I read this sentence in a book and weirdly enough, it made me think about TMC and Twitter.

It took a few years for me to find my confidence and my place at TMC, even though I kinda felt like I belonged on Twitter. My main reason for feeling that belonging was just by proximity and quantity...I was on Twitter every night asking for people to share their lessons with me for every prep I had the next day. People knew who I was because I asked anyone and everyone questions on a regular basis.

But I didn't feel like I was offering anything...didn't feel like I had anything to offer...didn't feel safe enough to be that vulnerable yet.

Here's where I want to be clear: I didn't feel like I had a space...because I wasn't DOING anything at TMC. I was quiet in my sessions, afraid if I talked to other people they wouldn't know who I was, I went to lunch by myself and dinner by myself.

How could I expect anyone to know me when I did NOTHING to make myself known?

Over time, I became more vulnerable on Twitter. Being the only math teacher at a small school, I had nowhere else to ask questions and share my successes and more often, failures.

Here's the second sentence from my book: True intimacy feels no shame.

Sharing your failures is hard for anyone at anytime. But then for others to hear your failures and respond with encouragement, empathy, and their own failures? To say you're not good enough and no one makes you feel worse?

That creates a safe place.

I had to take a risk to create a safe place so I could take even more risks.

After that, I share my '2 Nice Things' strategy and became known for that.

I started sharing pictures of my organization and my room covered in chevron and became known for being obsessed with chevron.

I posted card sorts and interactive notebook pages and became known for that.

I became known.

And so TMC is a gathering of teachers who feel known by others there but are also constantly seeking to know more people and make them feel known.

By presenting something you feel proud of: you make yourself known.

By going out to eat with others: you make yourself known.

By sharing a My Favorite: you make yourself known.

By tweeting and retweeting quotes from other sessions: you make yourself known.

By asking questions: you make yourself known.

By sharing your classroom: you make yourself known.

By sharing YOU: you make yourself known.

I am confident in myself and my place in TMC because of the intimacy I have built up with them over time.

So if you aren't feeling like you're totally a part of TMC yet....start sharing.

We want to learn from you. We want to know you.

And we want to make you feel known.


  1. Elissa, I could not love this any more even if I were cloned. I have loved getting to know you and spend time with you and share your journey. I have learned so much from you about organization and clean design and how these things make learning much more sticky.

    And I look forward to continuing on this journey with you, both online and IRL.

    xo, Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)

    1. Ggggaaaahhhh thank you so much Elizabeth. I always love to hear your perspectives and think that you speak with so much wisdom that I could listen to you talk about anything. Thank you for being part of my journey!

  2. Thank you for giving me permission to be brave! I made a teacher blog over a year ago and never posted/shared it because I didn't feel like I had anything to offer. BUT...I know I do. Maybe not everyday. Maybe not for everybody. But I know I can offer something to somebody. So, this is the year I hope to start blogging consistently about the things happening in my classroom and in my PLC.