EduCon is how I found SLA (and later how SLA found me). It's one of the reasons I didn't leave teaching the 38th time I almost quit.
The first time I came, a few years ago, I had never heard of EduCon, or of SLA, and barely of Philadelphia, to be honest. I happily tagged along with a colleague from the Writing Project with zero expectations.
It was January of my sixth year. I had worked enough to know progress existed, and seen enough to feel defeated and deflated. Burnout was a legitimate threat.
I had no idea how badly I needed a refreshing perspective about this thing that I do.
Unlike any conference I had been to previously, EduCon was hosted in an ordinary-seeming high school.
It appeared to be run entirely by the students.
The place was filled with people who cared about learning. I didn't see any vendors.
All of the sessions were conversations, where many voices were heard and participants were encouraged to connect and discuss and bring in their own experiences.
Socializing and networking were encouraged and facilitated. I met so many wonderful educators from all over the world.
I got to see inspiring classrooms in action. I pocketed about 800 ideas to take home.
We talked about real issues facing schools and classrooms. Every conversation was one I didn't know I'd been craving.
I mostly walked around and exclaimed, "YES! THIS!"
For two and a half glorious days.
I went back to my own teaching world feeling rejuvenated and excited to continue the conversations with the educators in my building and online with the folks I'd met in Philly.
Now. I had no idea I'd ever end up at SLA, or that I'd find myself a co-chair of EduCon.
But life is freaking nuts, y'all.
And I genuinely want to invite anyone reading this to join us.
Come to EduCon.
Be a part of the conversations.
Take the experience with you into your own pocket of education.
Our modest little unconference will take place this upcoming January, conveniently timed between the three-day MLK weekend and the Superbowl.
Register to join us.
And, better yet, propose a conversation for the weekend.
And I can talk about what an incredible experience it can be way, way more, if you'd like.
And I can answer all of your questions.
Please do reach out.
Will we see you there?
All photos from my Instagram, many EduCon moons ago :)