Happy Anniversary Edcamp. You have made a tremendous impact on my professional career and personal life. From my first Edcamp Philly in 2011, I knew that this kind of professional development was going to be different. Four years, thirteen edcamps, four organizing teams, and hundreds of tweets later, I know this for sure. Edcamp is a magical form of connecting educators to each other in a way that honors their passion for learning and growing around the topic of education. Kids are always at the center of our conversations. Collegiality emerges but so does friendship.
During the worst week of my personal life, after the death of my fiance last year, my Edcamp family was with me. My edu-sisters, Chris and Shannon, were some of the first to arrive as I greeted visitors in a grief-induced haze. My edu-friend, Kristina, found her way from a conference in town to show her love and support. These aren’t just edu-friends, they are true friends–the ones who show up. Tweets, messages, and love were poured out over social media and, upon my next Edcamp “after” I was embraced by the deep hugs of these incredible humans.
Edcamp is more than education. It is a powerful force for connecting humans in a world that has so many ways to connect, but does not always does so in a way that is deep and authentic. I am passionate about the power of Edcamp for PD, but even more for the power it has to bring intelligent, driven, and enthusiastic humans together for the greater good.
This is why I chose to give to the #edcamp5challenge today and I encourage YOU to do so. And if you haven’t yet “Edcamped”–don’t wait, find one near you and jump in with two feet. (www.edcamp.org, www.edcampmgm.org)