EdCamp Awesome

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Today was a great day.  From everyone I spoke to, there was a lot of positive feeling and excitement about how everything went at EdCamp South Jersey.  In trying to look back and decompress on my EdCamp South Jersey experience there are a few major reflections that I came to today.

The first, is that creating the conditions for this incredible event takes some work, but it is entirely doable by anyone with the desire.  For today’s event we had a team of people doing various things at different points in the process.  With a handful of dedicated people working together, this type of event is achievable by anyone.

The second, which in some ways ties into the first, is that EdCamp is truly made valuable by the people.  It wasn’t necessarily the whole, “The smartest person in the room is the room” piece, but that you are sitting together with people and developing connections.  You laugh together, celebrate and commiserate together, and hopefully learn together.  Ultimately it is more about the people because it is about the bond you create.

We are not going to solve any of the largest educational issues at EdCamp.  We spark those discussions however, and through developing connections we can continue the conversations, the problem solving, and continue developing the collective resources to make a real difference.  The power of EdCamp is not in how we begin the conversations, but what we do with them once they have been created.

So if you went to EdCamp South Jersey today, or whenever you happen to find yourself at an EdCamp, remember the power is not in what you just discussed, but instead in what you do from here.

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Going to EdCamp South Jersey

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Are you going to EdCamp South Jersey? If you live anywhere near here your answer should be yes!

Why?

Here are 5 great reasons to go to EdCamp South Jersey:

1. Learning- there will be many incredible educators sharing and collaborating. While you are there you can choose what you find interesting or create create your own session! Everyone will be there to learn and share with one another!

2. Collaboration- unlike most PD you attend, this isn’t a sit and listen atmosphere. EdCamp is a place to discuss, share, ask questions, and build connections with other great educators.

3. Free Stuff- Yes there are some great free prizes and giveaways. There is also free FOOD! Who doesn’t love free food! Breakfast and lunch will be provided!

4. Meet great people- EdCamp South Jersey is going to provide you with a chance to meet and collaborate with some of the most innovative and exciting educators in the region. Award winners, authors, field leaders, ISTE presenters and more will all be excited to share, listen, and learn.

5. Re-Energize – This is the perfect time of year to come to an EdCamp. The atmosphere, the excitement, passion, and positive force from going to EdCamp South Jersey will be just what you need to catapult you through the end of the year!

Why should you be at EdCamp South Jersey? Basically, because it will be AWESOME! Sign up now here: http://ed-camp-south-jersey.ticketleap.com/edcamp-south-jersey/

 

Killing a Different Kind of Teacher Stereotype

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Shoveling snow gives me a nice opportunity to think.  So as those of you across about 60% of America can guess, I have spent some time reflecting this morning!  I was thinking of one of the most passionate, intelligent, innovative teachers I know.

He is always creating engaging ways to help his kids improve.  He says things and backs them up with action, and he is a true positive force in the teaching profession.  Today I got to listen to him talk about how he is using different apps and programs to enhance engagement.  I also got to hear about how he is networking with leaders in his field world wide to create a database of lessons to share with other educators that cover standards and incorporate technology and best standards.

I am sure you agree, he sounds like an incredible educator.  He is also a gym teacher. That’s right, he is a Physical Education teacher. Those aren’t the things I admittedly used to think of when I thought of gym teachers, but Justin Schleider (@schleiderjustin ) has changed my general perceptions about teaching in general.  Anyone who is passionate and driven can make an incredible difference in education.  Justin does some pretty incredible things, not just for PE teachers, but for all educators and for kids.

One great moment of inspiration at a time, Justin is helping to kill stereotype that many people have of “gym teachers”, including until several months ago, myself.