One year ago today I rocked up to Startup Weekend Education Melbourne (some would say I was coerced to attend). I went because I was bored of the usual edu events I had been attending and was craving something different, something challenging, something exciting.
I completely underestimated how that weekend would change me as an educator and a leader.
During the weekend I was pushed to think differently, I was pushed to stand up for what I believe in and I was pushed well and truly out of my comfort zone. See, at the time my thought process kept cycling around the fact that I’m ‘just’ a teacher…I thought I had no place at such event, I had no confidence to actually think that I had anything worthy to offer all of these entrepreneurial types or that I could be a part of something big. I attended thinking it was a weekend thing, little did I know that I would be here a year later writing this post…a timely reminder that ‘just’ a teacher should never, ever be something people say. No teacher is ever ‘just’ a teacher.
One year ago today I met Will Egan, confidently sharing his thoughts on why kids need to learn how to code. My favourite part of that? He wasn’t a teacher…and he wasn’t trying to tell teachers what to do. He was honest, genuine and had experienced success of volunteering himself at his former high school. It just made sense.
Throughout the weekend, lots of thinking, probing questions and some heated discussion saw Code the Future emerge. Here we are a year later. In the last 12 months Code the Future Ltd as it is now legally known has become a registered Australian charity, has thousands of educators and developers signed up, just employed two developers to finish the website, has an amazing team who work tirelessly, has appeared and been featured at numerous conferences and events, has T-shirts…and stickers, has partnered with some amazing organisations and is kicking goals all round. Who knew that I would be a part of making all that happen!
People often ask me how I find the time. The simple answer is I don’t. I don’t find it, I make it. There’s a big difference. We all make time for the things we believe are important.
I have learnt so many things this year, I am becoming more confident when speaking to industry (it still scares me a little) and I am still as excited and passionate about Code the Future now as what I was after our pitch that very first weekend. The future is bright.