The power of the eduSalon network
One of the most remarkable things about my time in Atlanta has been the network of educators I stumbled my way into. Stumble is the correct term; it all began when I tweeted an organizer of a local screening of Race to Nowhere, and this connection led to me finding a group of like minded teachers at schools around Atlanta, including my own. Loosely joined under then name of eduSalon, we’ve held semi-regular gatherings thought the past two years to discuss various topics in education, and more than anything else, we formed a tribe—a group of people you could go to for feedback on a new idea, or to find enthusiastic supporters willing to join in a project, like edu180atl, or fill up one’s evenings with entertaining and educational events around the city.
As much as I love connecting with social media, I must say I treasured the all too infrequent eduSalon gatherings for the face-to-face connection and friendships they fostered. They were wonderful moments of both social and professional connections, and helped me to feel a part of a effort to improve education that was far greater than anything I could do alone in my classroom or even in my school.
Now, as I am preparing to move to a completely different state, I realize I am going to miss this network tremendously. Though I know social media will allow me to keep many of these connections strong, I also know it won’t be the same, and this has me wondering how I can create a new network at my new home in Delaware. I’m a bit flummoxed as to how to do this—so far I’ve only managed to identify a dozen or so teachers in my new state who tweet. I’m pretty sure I could quickly build a network of physics teachers (and this is something I hope to do), but one of the many things I enjoyed about eduSalon is that it brought together teachers from diverse backgrounds, elementary to high school, English to physics, administrators, counselors and many more. So this post is one shot in the dark, if you happen to be a Delaware teacher, interested in forming some sort of eduSalon network like I’ve described above, do let me know in the comments.
And if you’re just reading this, why not form your own eduSalon in your community? Gather a dozen teachers or so teachers, get together every other month or so with tasty food and drink, and start to talk about how we can improve education. Wouldn’t it be incredible if every teacher could be plugged in to such a network?