A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to attend EdCamp Buffalo for the first time. This was something I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. Having an entire afternoon to sit down, connect with, and learn from local people who are so passionate about teaching and learning and leadership is a rare indulgence. I’m very grateful to Colleen Brown, Melinda Callihan, Rob Fetter, Mike Fisher, Kristen Frawley, Rebecca Tharp, and Patrick Wirth for their hard work in making this opportunity a reality for our region.

The day did not disappoint.

My brain was sufficiently fed, but more importantly–the day was good for my soul. Ever have a moment where you meet someone for the first time and realize that they not only GET where you are coming from, but they care about it as much as you do? Yeah, that was EdCamp for me this year, and I really needed that.

One of my favorite conversations happened just before lunch, when I got to meet Jennifer Chan. Jenn founded Exhibit Change, an agency devoted to design thinking, which became a passion of mine when I founded the WNY Young Writer’s StudioI’ve always been less concerned with the “stuff” of staff development than I am with systems, protocols, and tools that facilitate learning and the right change for the right reason. Design thinking enables this well, and it lives in harmony with grounded theory research methodology and much of what I’ve learned about systems thinking from everyone at Communities for Learning: Leading Lasting Change.

There are so many ways for teachers to be inspired by this. I thought I’d share some of the resources I’ve been reading and sharing on the ground lately:

Jennifer Chan and Colin Lacey offer a tidy set of resources relevant to design thinking here.

Teachers might appreciate this Educator’s Toolkit for Design Thinking from Stanford.

And I’ve been pinning things of interest here as well. 

Conversations like the ones I had the opportunity to participate in at EdCamp help me discover more about who I am–not just as a professional development facilitator or the leader of my own organizations, but as a human being. Grateful to have had the opportunity to do that in the middle of the longest and coldest winter on record. Off to enjoy what’s left of this sunny spring break in Buffalo now! Happy Easter to those who celebrate!


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