Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fueling the Leaders

Yesterday I got back from spending a day and a half at Emory University free of charge thanks to the Gates Foundation and the Edcamp Foundation. Edcamp Organizers Summit was an amazing opportunity for those of us that have been on the planning committees for local Edcamps. It was an honor and a privilege to represent Chattanooga's Edcamp Gigcity.

I'll be honest, a month ago when I said yes to the event I was so excited but as the dates approached and the summer was slipping away, I begrudgingly got in my car to make the two hour trek to Atlanta for the event. My excitement level had waned but my commitment was there. (The irony was not lost on my that I was much like the 30% of our ticket holders that don't show up on the day of the free edcamp due to multiple reasons). After getting to the lovely Emory Conference Center and checking into their hotel, I starting making connections with many people in my professional learning network and realized this was a plus for the event. As I met new edcamp leaders from all over the south I found myself growing with excitement. The event was fabulous! We spent Tuesday morning in true edcamp fashion learning what we wanted to learn to make edcamps better or growing our educational practices.

Sometimes as educational leaders we get run down. Edcamps are hard work and I actually serve with a team of amazing educators that share the workload! In the midst of Edcamp Gigcity I always feel like I am there to serve and personal learning actually takes a backseat as I'm making sure the dynamics of the event are going well. After about the first hour of Edcamp Summit I realized it was relaxing. I realized I was being fueled. I realized I was benefiting from this unconference. It felt like a worthy use of my time!

I'm kind of stingy with anything that takes time away from my personal life but the older I get and more passionate I get as an educator, those worlds seem to be meshing more! I am thankful for being given the opportunity to sit around tables with amazing minds to discuss how do we make our edcamp experiences better. I am thankful for the new connections I made at this event. I am thankful that the Edcamp Foundation created this event for us weary, outliers that want to see professional education opportunities become MORE MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITIES FOR POSITIVELY CHANGING THE ACADEMIC WORLD FOR OUR STUDENTS.

I am encouraged. I am proud of what we have done thus far with Edcamp Gigcity and due to the excitement of Edcamp Organizers Summit I am ready to tackle another year of providing innovative options and thought patterns in my area. Thank you Hadley Ferguson and Kim Savick for what became an empowering two days for me!

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