Life as a CEU Instructor
Today's lunch topic was my life when I travel to teach. I realized no one really thinks about the person presenting the course. I didn't think about it until I started teaching. Usually my main concerns were signing in, getting the manual, and getting the CEUs. I never really thought that much about the person standing up there for six or more hours doing the teaching. I thought a description of life on the other side of the projector would make a good blog.
I have a wardrobe I refer to as teaching clothes. I rarely wear them any other time. This includes shoes, jewelry and more recently a handbag. I always carry my luggage on the plane, so I'm limited in what I can bring. I'd love to bring my AFO collection or a pair of jeans but there's no room. As a result, I've become an expert on getting through airport security screens. I have getting my computer and projector in/out of their bags down to a science.
My company flies me to a destination. I get a rental car and drive to the next two. Sometimes I go to smaller cities and fly out of regional airports. That puts me at the mercy of weather, air traffic and just about anything else that can delay a flight. It's better to be stranded in a larger airport than a smaller one. Even with GPS on my phone, I get lost at least once a trip. So far the worst I've had to backtrack is 10 miles. Rental cars with satellite radio are worth the extra expense.
No matter the presentation, I have to figure out what I want to cover, research it and then write it down. I've found it easier to make an outline, write it out and then write the slides from that. Except for a few slides with specific values, I have to create each and every slide. I've had to proofread my creation and generate any pictures, complete with model release forms that I wanted to include.
Because I travel throughout the year, I get to experience all seasons and temperatures. I don't get to pick where I go. Since I live in Texas, I don't have a lot of cold-weather clothes. I'm always cold when I go to the northern states. Heat is not a problem. Once I had sleet, snow and freezing temperatures all within three days. Those things don't exist in Texas. Talk about culture shock.
I also get to see the country. Last trip, I drove winding roads through mountains. Others I've driven along the coast and through national forests. I've seen sights I would never have gotten to see if I were flying. Sooner or later, I always get a reminder I'm not in Texas. Once there was a dead deer on the side of the road. No way would whoever hit it have left it there in Texas.