I participated in my very first EdCamp at Delta Secondary School in Vancouver B.C. on Saturday. The day was a whirlwind, full to brimming with conversations ideas, and joy. As it was my first, I was uncertain about the outcome; I had heard of EdCamps but wondered if one day of conversation could have REAL impact on me and my practice. I have been to Pro-D days where by 1 PM, I get a “I need a nap” attack and feel drained, checked out and antsy by the end of the day.
This was different.
The day was full of light, brightness and solidified my belief in the transformative power of connection.
The bag of rocks I have dragging behind me lately vaporized and vanished. The weight of struggling to change, lightened and lifted. The cloudiness of vision brightened and cleared.
The day was a celebration of a culture based on support, community, togetherness, and openness; to honest reflections, differing ideas, new ways, and failures.
The day provided me with the gift of time and space to connect and reconnect. Reconnect to what matters, connect to people who have influenced, encouraged and pushed my thinking over the last year and discover new connections to ideas and people. Sometimes it is hard to hear your own voice when you let in too many doubts and begin to question your goals; your dreams and heart begin to hurt, as you wonder is it worth it? At times, I have felt I have been living two contrary, opposing lives; one of hope, vision, bravery and courage and a contrasting one of shame, fear and frustration.
The connections and the opportunity to embrace and celebrate these connections that have made a significant difference to my life, my practice, my thoughts as I drive to school, the way I look at the world. The encouragement, be it in the form of a RT from a virtual colleague, the face to face meeting with people I rely on and trust, to a student who came up to strike up a conversation with me, all spotlighted what really matters.
The support and encouragement I have felt in and from this community is a gift; I feel so rich and enriched with real examples I see of kindness, community supported growth, risk taking and innovation all nourished and tended to with passion and intent.
After the long day I return home, still feeling uplifted and when I wake in the middle of night, with a thought so clear and loud, I get up to Tweet it (and because this world is amazing someone tweets back!). I have been focusing on the things that I cannot change (report card formats, curriculum, department assessment practices etc), structures that are too big for me to push out-of-the-way by myself and right now (sometimes I get impatient).
Change isn’t about what I can’t say, it is about what I can say.
Change is not about what I can’t impact and control, it is about impacting with intention what I can.
It is not about the negative comment from one, but the support I feel from many.
I need to focus, move, extend towards (like a plant reaching for light) what I can change, what I can impact and where I can experience growth… I can encourage, support and advocate for other teachers to get connected. I can do that. I can continue to grow and draw on my connections, to my own voice and dreams, to the people who support and care for me.
I can do that.
A day that was full of light and brightness.
P.S. A loud shout out to Aaron Akune for our conversation at lunch that helped to push my thinking forward and provide words for how I have been feeling.