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January 24, 2013 / JaymeJ

EdcampLA: Pondering Synergy

ImageMany people have posted resources from and reflections about EdcampLA 2013.  @Matt_Arguello discussed momentum@MrTheriaultFVHS posted his T3 — a fun, fast summary of “prize-winning tweets” — and the @edcampLA “Cool Tools Slam” was a perfect culmination of the day, embodying all that Edcamps stand for – learning, laughter, and putting faces to twitter handles. (Seriously – one of the best parts of my day was meeting @lindayollis in person!)

As I look back on this year’s event I am most grateful for the co-organizers. Some of us have been together for three years, others just joined this year, but each brings a unique talent and strength to the team. We have rockstars who magically make sponsors appear, who create and update the website, who keep track of the budget, who network and talk up the event to anyone and everyone, who setup registration, who update and organize the wiki, who make Costco runs for refreshments, who manage check in, who make the day seem effortless and do so much more. EdcampLA would not exist without the time and expertise of these individuals. I am inspired by each of these people and it is a privilege to work alongside them.

Reflecting about my membership on the EdcampLA team led me to thinking about other teams of which I am a member. What do I bring to the group? What is my role? How does the team benefit? Oftentimes I feel like I hang on the coattails of others, receiving credit for work I have not done. Other times I feel as if I seem to be “out front” — organizing or pulling together the cumulative work of others, yet not really doing much work myself. What I have recently come to realize is that I do not give myself enough credit. My contributions to any team seem easy to me, because I contribute what I do best. I am not trying to do things that are not my strength – those tasks are left to other team members. It would be torture for me to wrangle sponsors. Creating logos or artistic QR codes would take me hours. Running errands and gathering supplies beforehand would take time away from my family. But I am an idea person. Brainstorming is what I do best – thinking of possible solutions, gathering and sharing resources, seeing the big picture then mapping the steps to get there. Facilitating is my forte – helping the event run smoothly, fading into the background (when needed) and letting others shine, lending organization to chaos. That is what I bring to the team.

Individually, we are talented. Together, we are a powerhouse.

Pictured above, the EdcampLA Team (L-R) Matt Arguello (@matt_arguello), Bill Selak (@billselak), John Umekubo (@jumekubo), Vicky Sedgwick (@visionsbyvicky), Jayme Johnson (@jaymej), Gayle Cole (@ghkcole), Lisa Dabbs (@teachingwthsoul), Stephen Davis (@rushtheiceberg), and, not pictured, Jamie Gravell (@dontworryteach)

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  1. mrtheriaultfvhs / Jan 24 2013 7:32 pm

    Great post Jayme. I wrote a post about group work earlier this school year and in that post I have students reflect on their leadership role. I don’t create or force the roles, but they should show some leadership. (http://mrtheriaultfvhs.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/group-work-dont-drink-from-the-wrong-cup/)

    Specifically, I loved this line of yours “My contributions to any team seem easy to me, because I contribute what I do best. I am not trying to do things that are not my strength – those tasks are left to other team members.”

    Such an important thing to remember for teachers as we set up groups in our class and as we join leadership groups at school.

    Lastly, I’d be interested in what you think of my four possible leader roles in question 4 of my blog post- am I missing any roles or role definitions?

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