Today is the first day of Educon, one of the most amazing conferences for educators that I know of. Educon is held at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, a charter school that was founded in connection with the Franklin Institute. The conference is based around the idea of having conversations. It is a model that demands that the people who present avoid becoming the dreaded “sage on the stage” and instead develop strategies that allow the teachers and administrators who attend to become part of the sharing and learning. The sessions are organized to create dialogue.
This is my third year attending. My first year, Educon was where I met face to face the people who were populating my PLN. I wrote about that experience here. Educon pushed me even further out of my past comfort zone, building connections with educators who were refusing to look at learning in the same ways that they always had. They were people who were and are deeply committed to their students and to creating enriching and meaningful learning experiences for them.
Educon starts with an Open House at SLA, where teachers can visit, talk to students and see how the SLA model of education works. It is also a time to connect with friends made in past years and learn what their experiences over the past year have been before the whirlwind of the weekend begins. Saturday and Sunday are filled with conversations, hours of thinking, sharing, and learning. My brain and in many ways, my heart will be filled to bursting by Sunday afternoon.
As I get ready to leave, I am excited and nervous. It takes a lot of energy to learn, to be honest about the mistakes of the past year and to look for new challenges for the coming one. It is something that I have to do, however, to stay fresh and determined. These times of conversation and sharing energize me with new ideas and force me to not become complacent. They help me to know that I am part of a community of educators, that there is a Moveable Pasture for me if I will take part in it. When I come away from Educon, I always have a clearer sense of what I want to try next.
My Survival Guide to Educon:
- Lots of sleep – I am a morning person, so it is definitely Early to Bed this weekend
- Sneaker – there is lots of walking around SLA and around the neighborhood
- Charged laptop
- Energy snacks for when I just want to keep talking and sharing and don’t feel like finding food
- Water bottle
- List of people coming, to jog my memory
Just saw this tweet from Maureen Devlin, @lookforsun and had to add it as the conclusion to this:
#educon Best Effect: Happy, engaged, curious, spirited, creative, empathetic, playful children w/skills, concepts & knowledge to succeed.
That says it all!