July 7, 2015 (truth alert- really written and posted on the 8th)
My Twitter profile tells me that I joined Twitter in February 2010, but I know I did not really start using Twitter right away. I do not remember what really pushed me to give Twitter a try, but it may have been the Nerdy Book Club blog. If you are not familiar with this community I strongly encourage you to take some time to explore the blog- it has definitely changed me as a person and a professional and helped me to see that my community can be wider that the people I actually meet. This knowledge helped me to seek out more wisdom from these new friends and I soon learned that many were active on Twitter. I heard all about the plans for the first camp two years ago, but I spent the summer at “home” in Germany, so I settled for following along online. The following summer the camp got bigger and better and I again followed along while packing to move to Malaysia. This summer I thought I would be staying in Asia, so I ruled out attending. A change in plans this spring meant that I would be visiting the US for a few weeks in the summer and my brain almost immediately went to nErDCamp!
Fast forward to July- I left Malaysia on July 2nd at 11:15 PM. After a 14 hour flight to London I had a 4-hour layover before my 7-hour flight to Boston, arriving just after noon on July 3rd. On the 4th and 5th I spent some time catching up with my mom, visiting two book stores, and doing some shopping. On the morning of the 6th I was up at 3:45, to catch a flight to Michigan. I was lucky enough that a Twitter connection (@BethShaum) picked me up and took me to and fro for the two days). These two days were a bit surreal. I was actually meeting (or at least seeing from a distance because in most cases I was too shy to initiate conversations) so many people I have learned from over the last few years. There were many (900+) classroom teachers, librarians, authors, illustrators and more. It was a great opportunity to hear people in person that I have admired from their tweets, blogs, and books. I will not go into the details of the two day, because you can read them here, but I do want to share the notes from day two. If you were not a part of this incredible event put it on your calendar for next summer if you are nearby (or even if you are not- trust me- it was worth the trip!). Last night on the airplane heading back to Boston I started reading the advance reader copy of Crenshaw, a forthcoming book by Katherine Applegate I received at camp and I reflected on how lucky I was to find my tribe. These people at camp are the people who push me to be the best I can as a teacher and it was so invigorating to spend two days with them. I took away some knowledge, but more importantly I took away a stronger sense of community. There are great things being done in education and it was powerful to spend time hearing from so many people in person. I love that I can be a part of this learning any time any where via technology, but I am also thankful that for these two days I got to be there “in real life”. Thank you to Cindy Minnich, Donalyn Miller, Colby Sharp, and Katherine Sokolowski for creating and maintaining The Nerdy Book Club blog community and thanks to Colby and Alaina Sharp, Suzanne Gibbs, Niki Ohs Barnes, Jen Vincent, and everyone else involved in making nErDCampMI a reality. It is a privilege to read and learn with you. If you do not yet participate in Twitter the names above are ones you should start following today. Everyone is welcome to be a part of the Nerdy Book Club!