When you build up a future experience in your mind, it is not often BETTER than how you envisioned it. Twitter Math Camp was that experience for me. It was so much better than it looked on a hashtag.
In 2008, I began my twitter journey. I mostly followed celebrities and friends. My brother swore that twitter’s true gold was in following real people that have similar interests and ideas. As it turns out, he was right. Since jumping head first into the Mathtwitterblogosphere, I’ve experienced nothing but a genuine willingness to help one another become better educators. TMC solidified my understanding of this network of delightful people that make up the math-educator-online community.
Recently, twitter was abuzz over the thought that TMC should be more theory, less play. Part of the beauty of this experience was the organic nature in which everyone gathered and collaborated. At professional conferences, you never see groups of teachers still talking pedagogy at 6pm, still at 8pm, and at midnight, and still at 2am. This went on for FOUR solid days. Can you imagine this happening at school: students staying after school into the night to work on the math investigation that they can’t stop talking about? It doesn’t happen. But anyone who’s been a summer camp counselor knows that there’s always that group of kids that can’t get enough interaction with their peers and choose to forgo sleep to soak it all in. That’s why the C in TMC stands for CAMP and not Conference.
Some highlights for me:
- Justin Aion is the same ball-of-fun in person that he seems online. I’m grateful for getting to spend time with him.
- Max Ray is an artist at facilitating problem-solving. His session was masterfully orchestrated.
- Steve Leinwand is a humble communicator but an electrifying presenter. I was moved by his keynote very much.
- Malke and Christopher’s willingness to teach Math in Your Feet afterhours was generously spectacular. I was skeptical at first about my ability to engage, but I’m so thankful that I was pushed to do so.
- Bob Lochel knows more stats activities than pages in a textbook. I enjoyed working with him in the morning sessions very much.
- Glenn Waddell is an amazing human being. I’m humbled to have gotten to steal some of his attention this weekend.
- Eli Luberoff is a humble genius and a class act.
- I have the two greatest coworker friends, Teresa and Dianna, who came with me to Jenks and dove head first into the awesomeness of this community.
I had hundreds of interactions with some fantastic people. This isn’t something that can be re-created online, despite the fact that the community began there. Thank you, Jenks, for hosting such an incredible event.