By Tara Vito, MLIS
You know what really hooks me in life? Adventure. Last summer proves that fact. In a span of eight weeks, I hiked half of the Appalachian Trail (Georgia to West Virginia). Averaging 22 miles per day, I was a beast in the wilderness. Even a torn meniscus could not hold me back! A stubborn commitment to carrying only a few items - food, a change of socks, one phone charger, a Kindle and one sleeping bag of my own - kept me going despite whatever daunting weather, terrain or wildlife creature lay in my path.
Call me impulsive. I won’t deny it. The funny thing about living at the command of an adventurous streak is how a sense of daringness infuses itself into other parts of your life. As I prepare for a second and final summer finishing my 2,200 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail, adventure courses through my blood. Almost magically, the appeal of life spreads wider than a physically challenging, remote hike in the wilderness. Adventure begins to infiltrate all of the places and spaces I reside in.
Nerd alert, coming in strong. Adventure in learning is something I absolutely live for. No surprise that I am an educator - more specifically, a school librarian. I love to learn. People often ask me why I chose to become a school librarian. Three reasons I can give without much thought:
Therefore, I chose a career where I can benefit from being around children, question as much as I want and learn about everything (literally).
EdCamp is a thrilling idea. The greatest educators take chances, live out dreams, fail, adapt, keep trying and revising. As a result, their students remember them forever. In this sense, we are the ultimate change makers of the world … and boy, does this world need changing. This year, I presented at a national conference on the topic of Social Justice. This is a powerful phrase that encompasses many important aspects of our world: mainly, honest conversations on power, resources and voice with the intention of promoting equity for all. The fact that EdCamp is free, and open to all educators regardless of background, is a true model of an equitable professional development opportunity. All voices are welcome, all experiences embraced, and all ideas will be shared and appreciated.
I am excited to learn all about what other daring educators bring to the table in terms of questions, curiosities, explanations, experiences, and more. I am excited to be surrounded by curious individuals who want to learn, share and grow from each other. I want to be surrounded by innovators, which is exactly the crowd that this ‘unconference’ attracts. To me, individuals like this are the ultimate adventure in education.
Are there truly parallels between rattlesnakes and educators who are pumped to affect real change in schools? Most definitely. The best part - I don’t need to invest in any antivenom to attend. I can’t wait to see what we all bring to the table this year. It’s going to be an incredible time.
EdCampATL on Flickr