I’VE DONE some traveling recently. I flew East. My destination was a conversation. I traveled to connect with Jewish educators who are honing and advancing their craft – who want to reach each and every one of their students and guide them toward unleashing his/her highest potential.
BUT I HAD to take a red-eye to arrive on time. Two red-eyes, in fact. Last week I traveled from San Francisco to Paramus, New Jersey for a quick conversation on Sunday from 9:30a-3:30p. Because that’s pretty much the only day/time Jewish educators have in their busy week to add something else into their already over scheduled week. More than 60 Jewish educators from the greater NJ/NY area gave up their Sunday to learn/share/reflect and connect with other Jewish educators. Because they want to improve their practice. Because they want to reach and engage all of their students, in all of their different ways of learning and growing. Because you can’t teach what you don’t know and they came wanting to know, and open to learning/sharing freely from and with their colleagues. #JEdCampNJNY was the second of the #JEdCamp series modeled afterEdCamp. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s time you did. JEdCamp Baltimore is being planned for Summer 2013 and #JEdCamp West Coast Fall 2013. Follow the hashtag – add your own.
THIS WEEK I traveled to Jacksonville, Florida and spent two and a half days connecting with people I knew only by their Twitter handle and their thumbnail picture. And others I’d met for the first time. We came because we are changing the culture of Jewish education and sometimes you need more than 140 characters to communicate your ideas. And sometimes you need to leave your home and office, and go out and experience something different. And because transformative learning is happening at the Martin J Gottleib Jewish Day School. How do I know? Because the Head of School wants to learn, share, reflect and connect with other Jewish educators in addition to his day job of running a school. Because they have positions on faculty called Director of Teaching and Learning, and 21st Century Learning Specialist who are individuals leading not only in their school community but in the global connected conversation. Because 4th grade students can teach adults, and do it well. I know – I sat in on that session and was blown away!
THE WAY we make change today is by leading. Leading and connecting people and ideas. Connected people are changing the world.
BUT JON has a day job – and the others do, too. So each of us need to become a member of this connected community and carry/extend this work forward. Collaborating together. Sharing, learning, reflecting, connecting together – in order to advance Jewish education and the experiences for each and every student – and the educators, and the parent community, too. But you can’t teach what you don’t know – you can’t be a leader if you don’t put yourself out there first. Participate in an online conversation. Post a reply on someone’s blog. Write your own reflection and share it out. Attend a day of learning/sharing/reflecting/connecting. Organize a day of learning/sharing/reflecting/connecting. Lead a conversation online or in person. Lead by example.
I’M LOOKING forward to staying local for a few weeks, and participating in as many conversations as I can from my living room chair.
NEXT YEAR #JEdCamp in Jerusalem (or somewhere like it!)