The California Teachers Summit is coming up on Wednesday, July 31. It will be a bit of change from your normal educational conference. There will be keynotes, EdTalks, and EdCamp breakout sessions. What exactly is an EdCamp breakout session? It's an opportunity for people to informally conduct a conversation about an educational topic. More about talking with people than at them. Simply write your session idea on a piece of paper and stick it up on the board under a room number. That's it! No need to worry about presenting a slide deck or lecturing. You will be amazed at what people will share during the break out sessions.
The EdCamp model promotes sharing and learning on your terms. What if you are in a break out session that does fit your needs? No problem. Simply get up and walk out. It's apart of the EdCamp culture, so don't feel like you are being rude. At this point you are saying to yourself "wow I can show up that day and hold a discussion on anything I want? And I can move on to another session without feeling like I am being rude?" Yes you can! Trust me, this sort of culture takes some getting used to, but people do rather quickly.
Another important aspect of the California Teachers Summit is networking. Make sure you connect with five new people. Find out their passions, best practices, and how they promote the success of all students. Sharing is contagious and can make you better as an educator and ultimately help kids. Social media is a wonderful opportunity to share your insight from the conference. Utilize the #cateacherssumit hashtag to show the world what you are learning about. The more we share, the more we are helping each other become better educators.
This special event will bring together educators from all walks of life. Titles will not matter, so check yourself at the door if you think that your title or accomplishments trump this day of learning and sharing. There is I doubt that when the California Teachers Summit has come and gone we will all be better off in the long run. The hope is that this state wide event will be so powerful that it can be replicated across the entire nation in the years to come. Our students and every educator deserve this sort of professional growth experience. We are better together sharing ideas than alone in isolation. Have no fear, there is still time to register. Visit www.cateacherssummit.com for details.
Brad Currie is the author of All Hands on Deck: Tools for Connecting Educators, Parents, and Communities and the newly released Personalized PD. He is one of the founding partners of Evolving Educators LLC. Brad is a 2014 ASCD Emerging Leader and Google Certified Trainer. Brad currently serves as a K-8 Supervisor of Instruction and Dean of Students for the Chester School District in Chester, NJ. He is a Google Certified Trainer and speaks nationally about tech integration. Learn more about Brad by following him on Twitter @bradmcurrie or visiting his website at www.bradcurrie.net.