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How one ISTA member got her teaching groove back

ISTA member Kris Samick shared her ideas for an Escape Classroom in the ISTA Advocate. In this blog, she talks about how sharing these ideas at the Good Teaching Conference helped her rebuild confidence as a teacher. 

Have you ever lost your confidence in your teaching abilities? Whether it’s students who aren’t grasping concepts, a helicopter parent or low class test scores, it can be challenging to bounce back from that loss of confidence.

Well, that exact thing happened to me, and all I knew was that I needed to get my groove back.

I received an invitation to present at ISTA’s Good Teaching Conference. OK, I was happy to present, but let’s be real, I wanted to meet Gerry Brooks! I decided to share how I did an Escape Classroom, which had been an engaging and challenging experience for my students. I hoped to help teachers avoid common mistakes and provide answers to any questions they might have about doing an Escape Classroom. I didn’t expect many to choose to attend my session, but I thought putting my ideas into a presentation might help me rebuild that confidence.

My first session had 10-15 people attend, and I was thrilled! I expected about the same for my second session after lunch. Boy, was I wrong. It. Was. Packed. We had to keep pulling chairs from other classrooms until it was standing room only. 

After the session was over, a sweet lady came up to me and said that I made her excited about teaching again. I was dumbfounded. Me? Shortly after that, a recruiter from a community college approached me and asked if I would be interested in teaching an education course for them, because they were looking for “teachers like me.” 

As I walked out of the building, I started blubbering like a baby. How could one presentation have done so much for me personally? All I can say is that the special people that attended the Good Teaching Conference in March did more for me than I could have done for them. I was reminded that you never know what sharing a kind word can do for another person. For that, I am thankful. And, yes, I got my groove back!

The ISTA Professional Resource Center welcomes submissions for presenters for conferences throughout the year. Contact Angela Miller at with questions.